Scene at an ATM in Arab East Jerusalem this Morning


Traveller waited on a busy walking street, streaming with young men, children, people going busily everywhere. There were ladies in traditional head coverings but some also in full hajib. Interestingly they seemed free to stare out of their black complete face coverings...their eyes following Traveller in his bright red down Nautica jacket as the saundered past, caused him to raise his own eyebrows in return gaze.

There was an older Arab woman having trouble getting her card to work. A young man in sports clothes tapped his foot patiently waiting as did a younger, attractive Arab woman as well as Traveller himself. Finally an older man approached to help her but, just as her transaction was being completed, two young Palestinian men, full of the importance of their youth and the business they need to do, stepped ahead of the line waiting to use the ATM also.

The woman was taking her time with her money, as older women tend to do, giving Traveller a chance to step forward and tap the taller of the two young man on his shoulder. "Pardon me," Traveller said, "but there is a line, that Gentleman," Traveller nodded toward the young man in sports clothes, "he is first, and then, then this young lady is next."

Traveller gave an exagerated shrug, "Me? Me, I don't care, you can go ahead of me."

The man turned toward Traveller, incredulous, staring at him through enormous sun glasses that hid everything about his eyes. Sensing that Traveller was serious, he asked, "So the bank hired you to monitor this line?"

"Yes," Traveller pleasantly responded, "they did. This is my Job."

"And this job pays well?" the man asked with a certain rising voice.

"No, not particularly well," Traveller told him, "but it is is honorable work, and," with a wave of his hand, Traveller finished, "I liked the people."


The woman trundled off, as old women tend to do and the man in sports clothes moved forward and quickly completed his transaction. Next the head covered, (of course), young Palestinian woman did her business and Traveller waived the young men forward.

They signed and rolled their eyes, pained at all the odd burdens life seemingly at random imposed on them.

Traveller himself stepped forward to the machine. It was a beautifully bright morning in Jerusalem. The sky clean and impossibly blue. The cold of the previous night had burned off early.

Traveller himself was an old man, but life was...very good.

Christmas evening, Traveller had completed in a single run, through the rabbit warren of tiny incredibably crowded streets and crooked paths that the Old City of Jerusalem was, all 14 Stations of the Cross, (even the half-hidden 9th station), in a run from the Lion's Gate to...The Place of All less than 90 minutes when the Church of the Holy Seplecure closes at 6:40ish early every night, locked by the Muslim key man.

Traveller was the last person allowed in.

Sweating in the cold.

The Greek Orthodox Priest ushered him into the tiny crypt, the rest of the enormous Church dark and quiet, the candles blown out.

Traveller kissed the stone, said thank you for having been allowed to live his life and wept.


I'm now in Netanya awaiting an early flight to Paris. I mean I can bitch and cry and moan about how tough life is, (and it is, truly), but not that bad either.

I tried to stay in Tel is just a big modern city. I have to be up at 5:00am no matter where I I came back to waves, no surfers glad for the winter storms, just placid, like glass, a crystal clear Mediterranean Sea. An unbelievable change.

Traveller quickly checked in, grabbed his mask and snorkel.

He was last seen swimming West, toward a warm setting sun.

Best Wishes, Traveller

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On the Road With Traveller to Mitzpe Ramon....


What fun!


Why Traveller Can Never Get Anywhere....


Best Wishes, Traveller

Final Word on the Negev...


Best Wishes, Traveller









An Overview of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives



Damascus Gate, Night, Part 1


I presume that everyone knows that despite the fact that I was staying in a Palestinian hotel close to the Herod Gate in the Arab part of town...I was not allowed to use it because I was not a Muslim. This is why I'm at the Damascus Gate so often, it is the permitted way for me into the old walled city.

Best Wishes, Traveller

"As a lawyer who would be better to do that"?


These are great, Trav.

Damascus Gate, Night, Part 2


Best Wishes, Traveller





Through the Damascus Gate (2) and El Wad Road



Through the Damascus Gate (part 1)



In the Gulf of Aqaba


I'm testing some stuff out. Things are still UL'ing, let us see how this works.

I will add others to this thread.

I know that two minutes of fish is a lot, or two minutes of anything. Almost all my videos are under two minutes, most often under 1 minute. I do start to drown about half way through because of the high wave action, (on top), but I recover well.


Under the Eastern Mediterranean Sea


In truth, there was floating plastic everywhere. I avoided shooting most of it...though, in retrospect, I should have shown this problem.
Still, wildly different aquatic life.
Best Wishes, Traveller

Excellent, Traveller, as usual.

mmghosh's picture

And show us the plastic!

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency




Nothing really to add


Save that your entry, as always, is lovely.



~It's as if there'sa lost verse to that poem that keeps rustling through my mind - wordless- when I read these. I have enjoyed them so much Traveller - thank you. You have for sure filled the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run.


A lovely account.


The word you're looking for is hijab.   Curiously, Arabs don't much use the word hijab for the head scarf, it means a covering for anything, as we might use the word "veil" in all its senses, literally and metaphorically.