CNN newscast

Being in Jerusalem feels much like walking into a CNN newscast, which essentially means that it is surreal and amazing and a bit scary all at the same time. There’s also this feeling that one is in the heart of something, and that if you listen really carefully you’ll actually be able to hear the sound of it beating.

Yesterday I went with Becky to her school, but due to security constraints I waited for her in a coffeehouse near campus. There’s a security person at the door of the coffeehouse who searches through your bags as you enter, but I still tried to sit as far from the front as possible and to be an anonymous newspaper reading espresso drinking person.

After Becky’s class we took a bus, a public Jerusalem bus, which Becky assured me was safe as this particular bus had never been blown up before. Instinct made me eye every passenger who got on and got off for the duration of the trip, although logic told me that if a suicide bomber decided to get on that there was little I would be able to do to avoid anything, short of ducking. I saved my ticket. We took the bus to East Jerusalem, which is where all the Arab-Israelis live, and to the Arab entrance to the old city — The Damascus Gate. I’ve never had the experience of walking through a place like East Jerusalem before, and it was then that I realzed that I was most definitely in the Middle East. I hate to keep bringing up the news, but as we were weaving our way in and out of women wearing khimar and men wearing the cloth and ringlet I couldn’t help but think that I’d seen all this on TV so many times, and how strange it is to be walking through it all.

More later, and before…

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