May 26, 2011

Old City shopping

The markets in Jerusalem were amazing. Such an interesting microcosm of people and cultures and food and stuff.

We spent most of our market time in the Muslim/Arab quarter of the Old City. It was bright, loud, crazy crowded and there was a very strong mix of smells. If you know me, you know I don't handle crowds of people very i was done pretty quick. But it was very interesting.

In the Arab quarter they love to haggle, I didn't notice it as much in the Jewish quarter though. I do not like to haggle. Just tell me how much you want and I'll pay it. This is why I always take my mom to buy cars :-)

This video is hilarious. I was totally this man.

I was in love with the spice shops. They were beautiful and smelled amazing.

One thing that I thought was interesting were all the shops selling bras and underwear. Right out in the alley, big tables stacked with really bright, funky bras and undies. And all the shoppers were Muslim...I loved the idea that all of these Muslim women covered head to toe...were wearing insane undies under it all.

Another interesting thing was that there were IDF soldiers everywhere. They are in every section of the Old City. And they all carried fully automatic machine guns. On our first trip into the market I got ahead of the group and turned around quickly to find them. I slammed right into a soldier. He was very nice, asked if I was okay...but after i walked away, I realized that I had slammed into his machine gun. Little freaky.
There used to be safety issues in the Old City but a few years ago they installed over 300 cameras around the city. Between the cameras and the soldiers, crime has gone way down. But it's still...tense. When the man leading our group was there two years ago he saw an ultra orthodox Jew stabbed by an Arab shopkeeper. Like I said, tense.

I loved Jerusalem, but it really feels like it's about to combust.

Roley took us back to the market just before sundown on Shabbat. It was crazy.
The buses in this photo are lined to get people home before Shabbat. Hundreds of people waited in line for each one.

A thousand Jews hurring through the market grabbing last minute items for the sabbath. They of course buy all sorts of things, but everyone buys hallah and flowers for Shabbat.

Man selling hallah and other breads.

Here is a video of them selling bread. It was so loud. All the shopkeepers were yelling like this.

Fish shop. He was clearing out his remaining stock for cheap so he could get closed and home before sundown.

So much produce. Israel grows everything you can think of. Very rich soil.

And then, all of a sudden, everyone is gone and you know Shabbat has begun.


Jayne said...

Katie, this is really so fascinating. I'm loving the photos, and the video was great! Please post every day. Thank you.

Sue said...

Where's the pictures of the undies? It all looks beautiful!