As it is with many places I love, I associate life in Jerusalem with foods. So far, I've been a bit of a homebody since I've got here a week and a half ago, and the foods-of-Jerusalem for me have been ones bought at supermarkets or the shuk and eaten at home. There's been a lot of (wonderful! fresh!) tomatoes and cucumbers. Olives. Fresh breads. Hummus and tahina.
But, today, I got my first shwarma, that wonderfully salty and greasy grilled meat (usually turkey) typically served in a pita bread with tomatoes and cucumbers and fried potatoes on top. I got a great one for only 16 shekels (about $4.50) near the shuk. . . Ain't nothing wrong with the occasional shawarma, of course, but there is a fear that -- as Minna suggested -- this was just the "gateway" shawarma and that I might not be able to stop myself from getting one every day from now on. . . . Which would get pretty expensive pretty quick!
Speaking of Minna, there she is above sitting outside our local pizza place where we stopped to get a couple of slices (11 shekels each) and a diet coke we shared (7 shekels). Note the pizza motif in the ceiling.
We were at the end of a long walk. I had walked into the center of town and stopped at the shuk (after eating my shawarma). Minna was at Hebrew U and we met not too far from the shuk and walked back home via the Gan Sacher park. We sat on a bench there for a while and just people-watched for a bit. . . . I love doing that here. . . . It's a bit interesting to me that I haven't yet done any "touristy" things -- no museums, or anything. Not even a trip to the כותל/Kotel (Western Wall). . . . . It's just living here that I really love. . . Just trying to be a part of the life of the city.
Of course, I know the life I live here is not the life of a real Jerusalemite. I may not be a typical tourist, but I am just a visitor. . . . But one who's enjoying it very much! . . . . And I'm finding it a good place to concentrate on the work -- work of a fairly academic nature -- that I've brought with me for my time here. I did some good reading and thinking for a couple of hours this morning in this nice, little park after I walked Minna to her ride to school:
. . . It's a simple life I have here, and it's that simplicity that feels so good. No car. No air conditioning. No elevators. . . . Quite a contrast to the life I have in the States -- especially working in a modern hospital with all its technology.
Here's some more pics by the pizza place. I like this one of Minna.
And here are a couple of decent pics of us together there.