Just kidding friends, I know it's Dome OF the Rock, but every time I say the name I manage to use a new preposition. 'Of' is a preposition, right? Of the box? Yep. Preposition.
Last week, in between classes, friends and I hiked up the temple mount. The Dome of the Rock has weird hours due to the six times a day the place is preoccupied with prayers. So on Sat-Thurs the temple mount is open for a couple of hours in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. In any case there are lots of special rules about the area. You have to have sleeves that come to your wrists and long skirts and there is no touching ever. Ever. Even if you are just young, heterosexual girls that want a cute picture to put on refrigerators or magnets. There is no touching.
So we walked around and took lots of kewl pictures of the al-Asqa mosque and the Dome of the Rock and ogled at the brilliant and intricate tile adorning the outside like the good tourists we are. Then we spent a good five minutes considering all the ways we could actually get inside the mosque (ie bribing the guard, befriending a muslim, playing dress up) but ultimately decided that would be a bad idea and fairly irreverent. Also, I’m not sure I want to in any case. Imma use my imagination.
There are two theories as to what the rock of the Dome of the Rock is. Supposedly it is the rock on which Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac or else where the Prophet Mohammad was taken up into heaven. The actual rock is beneath the mosque and the Jews refer to it as the creation rock meaning Adam was created. It's the site of the past and future temples because it is where heaven and earth meet.
One guy and five girls incited polygamist comments frequently, "Morrrrmons? Morrrmons? Oooooh I see, one family. One famalee." Uh, no. Not those kind of Mormons.
The 50+ shopkeeper that cornered Lauren and repeatedly asked her to dinner. You can't barter your way into a date, buddy.
Imagining Mary prego, walking through the Judaen Wilderness. There is nothing there. It's you and a donkey and 100+ weather and Joseph. That's all. Woof.
My Modern Near East-Palestine teacher's slights at America during lecture. You do realize we are all American, right?
The man who sat next to me in an Israeli Jazz concert, took off his shoes, and then produced absurd rubbing noises for the remainder of the concert especially during the quiet parts. Sir, this is a classy concert, not a take-off-your-shoes-add-your-own-sound-effects concert.
The amount of sweat I produce per day. It's in the gallons, folks.
Turkey orientation: "...you'll be paying for your own toilet paper. Generally, for one very small square of toilet paper."
I'm diseased. Lots of phlegm everywhere.
Finding Emily's and Jeanelle's notes to me in Aladin's money changing business. Love you gurls!
I'm crushing on all my classes. How great it is that I get to spend this whole semester studying history and people of the Middle East, which I LOVE? The past few weeks have very nearly convinced me to pull a Condelizzarice Rice and switch my major from Neuroscience to Middle Eastern Studies and minor in Arabic. Then the CIA would hire me as a Middle Eastern expert until I got a gig as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ilovemymajor Ilovemymajor Ilovemymajor.
Falafel. Nom nom nom.
The security staff here at the Jerusalem Center. On class outings they follow us around and stop traffic and help us down steep hills and lead really hard conditioning classes twice a week. My thighs are burning.
Roomies! I'm loving how my life always turns out better than expected. Perfect, in fact.
TURKEY. I'm spending the next week in TURKEY.
Judaen Wilderness. Less wilderness, more desolation.
I'm entirely sure what that means...something nice about the Sabbath though. Like a Sabbath greeting? Here we have Saturday Sabbath and lemme tell ya, I could get used to this. It definitely bodes well for procrastination purposes.
I've been here for a little less than a week and already there is too much to say. So I'm gonna bullet point it. If I could I'd bullet all my communications.
The Jerusalem Center is spectacular. This is the view from my window.
Yes, that's the Dome of the Rock, and the Mount of Olives, and the Old City. No I will never get used to it.
Sometimes it seems like all we do is eat all. the. time. Junior twenty here I come. I’ve had a stellar time trying out all the local cuisine but I’ve been amazed by some of my more conservative classmates. At breakfast I sat next to a guy eating French toast and pancakes. Um hello? You’re in Israel. #whatareyoudoing
This week's highlight: Garden tomb with tour guide Pastor Atkins. Pastor Atkins is a retired Church of England pastor and just generally a beautiful man. As we toured the potential Golgotha and tomb sites he gave a wonderful sermon about it being the person, Jesus the Christ, and not the place that we celebrate. "One of the few definitions I know of heaven is coming face to face with our Lord. As we lay down our life for Him may we come face to face with Him in joy and thanksgiving." Such a lovely man.
I was surprised by the number of people who cried out at us as we passed by and obviously knew BYU and the ‘mormons’.Today when a shopkeeper stopped us and asked if we were Mormons, new-found friend Lauren asked how he knew and he replied “the eyes, the eyes.” Isn’t that nice?