So here’s a little gallery of some of the photos I’ve taken so far on the trip. It’s been really incredible, still hard to believe we’re so far from home because in some ways, aside from the language, people act just the same as they do in America. We went out to stars & bucks last night, it’s actually a pretty nice little place – but nothing really like a coffee shop back home. They have mostly tea, fruity drinks and hookah – some food and baked snacks, too. We got the mint tea and went on the internet there, then met up with AJ’s friend Mo, who graduated from Guilford this past year. He took us to a hookah bar on a rooftop, a real classy place called Tal Al-Qamar. You could get your tobacco “fresh” which I think just means basically you smoke it through an apple.
A big difference here from America is that there is no alcohol – nowhere sells it and people rarely drink, if ever. What Mo said is, you’ll maybe see a beer bottle on the street in the morning but you won’t see anyone out drinking at night. Part of the outcome of this is that the streets are definitely more quiet here. Another reason for that is that Israeli soldiers used to come at night and arrest anyone on the streets. They don’t anymore, but people still have that habit. Plus, after all, in an Islamic society people just don’t drink or party quite as much.
I met up with Bashir, my friend from high school who moved back here 5 years ago. Those of you who went to west will know exactly who I’m talking about. He’s just the same, but older and he grew his hair out – it’s kind of hilarious. They have cool hair styles here, but much different than ours – many youth wear their hair long, or in different layers than we do ours. Hard to explain – you have to see it. I went with Bashir and some of his friends to his friend’s house, where we just hung out, played video games and listened to music – just like kids do in the US. One of his friends had a pack of cigs, which had a funny warning on it –
Ironically he said that the warning is what makes him like that pack more than others. hm.
I’ll mention politics later because it’s late and people who sleep in the computer room want to go to sleep. So if you are interested in that, stay posted – we’ve met alot of really cool people who are active in the peace process or the government.
Salaam and good night.