Sunday, September 9, 2012
These are my Instagrams I took of the wall while in Bethlehem.
The wall is basically a security barrier separating Israel from Palestinian Authority controlled areas in the West Bank.
(The graffiti includes a few of the famous Banksys).
There were so many things I got to see and do on this trip that I would certainly classify as life-changers: this one is definitely up there.
I think a trip into some of the Palestinian controlled cities (definitely like Bethlehem) (but probably/obviously not the Gaza Strip) should be a necessary part of any trip to Israel.
Because you will see: people trying their best to go about their lives same as you and me. (and, if in Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity!)
I take no side: it's an insanely complicated and painful issue that I can barely take a stab at.
Instead, what I took away from the wall is:
1. Walls are ugly things.
2. Trust no politician who makes this issue out to be simple, who talks in good versus bad terms.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
NPR is streaming it right now.
The song "Nothin But Time" may have made me tear up.
Other good things:
Read Gone Girl. The very definition of a page turner.
Christina Toci's food diary for Grub Street. A nice reminder to not be so uptight about food.
The discovery of sunnie brook hair tutorials.
I am the worst hair person in the world. It just gets in the way: a time vacuum. Hair appointments akin to a visit to the dentist. But I feel like my hair apathy becomes less and less acceptable: at 25 I should at least know how to curl my own hair. So these are saving my hair/life.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
My second "world wonder" with Walker.
It's really, really cool.
Rose red castles seemingly carved out of sand.
I don't think I fully comprehended the utter massiveness of the place. Be prepared to hike. Over days not hours.
Marveling at having completely free range. There are no guard rails, no signs posted, and no park rangers: you drop off the side of a cliff, you're on your own.
Interesting tidbit on its more modern discovery.
The world is unjust: little, cunning children who can speak multiple languages (compared to my one) hawk camel rides and live in huts on the side of a desert mountain, begging to touch my iPhone.
Dinner at a Bedouin camp. The best tea we'd ever had. Around a campfire. Stars out. After an impromptu scramble up rocks in a dress to watch the sunset.
And the English lady running our hostel: we liked to believe she fell in love with a Bedouin, abandoning her life in London for one camping under the stars in the rough and tumble Wadi Musa.
Just a note on Jordan in general:
Walker and I had one of the nicest American tourist experiences while in Amman.
We were stuck there after the border between Israel and Jordan closed (that's a whole other story), so we decided to go out exploring.
While wandering down some random, quiet street, little kids playing hide-and-seek stop and wave to us and old men sitting in chairs outside of their storefronts greet us with genuine "Hellos!" and "Welcomes!" (And not the "hellos" that really mean "come and buy something white people" that we are much accustomed to).
People began leaning out of windows and popping their heads out of doors, literally calling out: "We love America!"
Walker and I just looked at each other in bewildered wonder: what is this place?
A really pure moment.
Eat in Amman: Hashem Restaurant for fuul.
Like everywhere in Jordan, it is a business decked out in regal portraits of King Abdullah in his military uniform and framed pictures of his family (with pretty Queen Rania) in matching sweaters, looking more like a Christmas card from a US Senator than the keepers of the Hashemite Kingdom.
Also a note on my dressing while in a Muslim country:
I regret not being a little bit more respectful. (i.e. Picture of me in running shorts). I tried, I really did. But it was just so hot.
I read a line in a book recently about a trip to Morocco (a beach read of all things: The Love Season by Elin Hilderbrand) that really resonated with me, even if it oversimplifies the issue:
"Those American women," one of the taxi drivers said. "They like everyone to know they are free."
But believe me, I plan to post my instagrams at some point.