If you want to get a real taste of life and tradition and history in Israel, you must visit the markets. We saw numerous fresh fruit markets and stands along the highway in the smallest of towns. The tangerines are fantastic here. We spent time at the Arab quarter in the old city. We got there early so the opening line from all the vendors was: "Special deal because you are first sale of the day." They believe it gives you good luck for the day if you cut a deal first thing. At least that's what they said. It worked because I bought a lot of things I probably don't need.
We also talked to a Palestinian cousin of former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh. He pulled up a table in his shop, poured us some hot tea, and talked to us at length about life in Jerusalem and his hope for the future. He was very kind and even took us on a tour of the church of the holy sepulchre where Jesus was crucified. He took us to his friend's restaurant and we had a wonderful lunch.
We also paid a visit to the Shook--the food market in downtown Jerusalem. We went as vendors and people were scrambling to buy and sell food in time for Shabbat. It was an incredible experience full of energy and excitement. You can hear my story from the Shook on FM News 101 Monday morning..or on a podcast later on this web site.
A tour of the Holocaust Museum tomorrow and then we're headed back to the states. I'll still be posting pictures on KXL's facebook site....so check it out.