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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Israel Diary - Tuesday

Tuesday was another beautiful day in Jerusalem (as were most of the days I was there). I started out the day with another walk around Jerusalem into town because I just couldn't get enough of it. I walked into town and back, did a little bit of shopping and site seeing. I met my friend around noon and it was time to hit the zoo - this time for real. I had never been to the zoo in Israel and it turned out being one of the highlights of my trip. It was beautiful - the scenery, the animals and all the kids playing there. We started out to the bus stop and saw the bus careening towards the stop and ran for it, since the bus to the zoo only came once every half hour. It was a crowded bus and we got on in the nick of time to a standing room only situation. As we made our way back, we ran into two girls who were friends of my friend I was with. She introduced me and it turned out that one of them was from Vancouver, where I lived when I was about 5 years old. I don't remember much of it there, but I mentioned to her the school that I started my education in, and it turned out that she grew up in the same neighborhood and knew exactly where I was talking about. I had never before met anyone that knew my kindergarten so it was really cool to reminisce a bit. "Only in Israel" story for the day - As we rode, the bus got a bit more empty and we made our way towards some seats. My friend sat down and put her bag in the seat next to her so that I could sit next to her when I made my way there. An older woman with a huge tichel on her head picked up my friends bag, set it in my friend's lap and sat down next to her. My friend suggested to her that there were some seats farther back, because she wanted to sit with me. The woman got very irate and hit my friend on the leg and yelled at her for suggesting such a thing. My friend told her not to hit her. The woman responded by saying that she shouldn't worry about being hit - she could have strangled her. She then let out a long barrage of mean comments towards my friend for asking her to move in order to assure a seat for her bag. My friend tried to explain that she was saving a seat for me, but the woman would not be pacified. My friend apologized and finally got up so that she didn't have to sit next to someone who was obviously so upset. We finally made it to the zoo with no further incidents and it was gorgeous. So many cool animals, such a beautiful setting and like I said, so many cute kids. We started out with the ducks and geese gliding along in the water. then moved onto see some of the birds then bigger animals like the cheetah and the elephants (though unfortunately we missed the brand new month-old baby elephant) Then we walked up a big hill, on one side there were lots of ibex and gazelles and on the other, giraffes and zebras so close we could almost touch them, even a baby giraffe who was so cute. We relaxed in Noah's ark and watched a little movie before heading back. As we finished up our several hours there and the sun was beginning to set, we made friends with some very interesting-looking birds and a little girl who was looking at them also. It was a wonderful day at the zoo. We returned home to have a nice dinner of yummy soup with my friend's husband. My friends headed toward a shiur and I took the opportunity to take another trip to the Kotel. I made the hour-long walk back to my friend's apartment in teh clear Jerusalem air, made it home tired but having enjoyed another incredible day in Israel.

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