The Jerusalem Food Market with a Touch of Dead Sea

Remember how I surprised you all and actually made a friend while volunteering at Kushi's animal bazaar? Well, it paid off! (besides the whole emotional benefit thing.)

Ella and her mom took a mini-vacation in Eilat and brought me back to Jerusalem with them afterwards.

It's unbelievable that this is the first time I've really gotten out of Eilat, but wow I needed this.

On the way up, we stopped by the Dead Sea and I felt the skin-silkening and body-bobbing effects of its uber-saline water.
Looking over the white city at sunset

The Dead Sea. It feels like swimming in Greek yogurt.

We then stopped at Ein Gedi for a picnic and saw one of these little guys. New animal! Exciting!

Meet the Rock/Cape Hyrax. It's like a combination between rat, guinea pig, and fat, nonchalant cat.
Thanks for the booty shot, new friend.
Side note: Its closest living relative is the elephant!

Arriving late at Ella's very Russian parents' house, her mother prepared a half-Israeli, half-Russian dinner of smoked fish, borscht, cured olives, and a tomato, cucumber, and dill salad.

The goods, including the best borscht I've ever tasted.

The next day, before heading to the farm where I'd be volunteering in Megiddo, I visited the Jerusalem food market with Ella.

Approaching the huge market
Israel knows its olives.
Little did I know before arriving to Israel that the fresh cheese selections found here are some of the best in the world. You'll never think fresh cheese is boring again. And don't get me started on the cottage cheese.
Garlic much?
Dried everywhere!
Israel produces the most amazing dates and pomegranates. Ever.
Halva! A dessert made of sesame paste and sweet things and whatever else you want to throw in there.
Tea time!
This is tea heaven.
Who doesn't love a good tepid fish?
Lots of pita. Lots of bread.
Guarding his bread mightily
A pita for all occasions
And then there's dessert. Who is buying all this stuff? Can I have the leftovers?
Pita-making in action
Pitas by the sackful and my favorite, the larger lafa bread
The largest head of cabbage I've ever met. We were told by these jokesters that it gets its shape by sitting on them as they grow.

Some flats right over the market. Lucky.

It was a brief trip, but I've laid the groundwork for when John and I come back and give Jerusalem its due time.

As Ella and I walked and talked, it was interesting to hear her version of Jerusalem's history, Israelis, and the conflict between Jews and Muslims.

Some of her explanations seem to reek of pure indoctrination (and I don't have a favorite in this game), especially after conversations about the same topics with my other Israeli friend with  strikingly different views on how it all went down.

After my own research, I know that neither the Jews nor the Muslims are innocent. I believe there are a lot of lies on both sides and for someone as intelligent as Ella to believe that the Muslims are the only bad guys in the situation saddens me.

As I watch her cheer when a fighter jet flies over our heads, I can only hope that she opens her mind to the messy world of politics and how we citizens must exert ourselves to understand all sides of the story, and not simply listen to the “good news” from the powers-that-be.

The "other" side of Jerusalem, where I'm told many of the Arabs live

Next up: volunteering at in Megiddo junction, stay tuned to find out what life's like at this arts and crafts "farm."

1 comment:

  1. I hope the market still looks as good today as in 2012. The photo with the dried fruit is especially impressive




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