Tel Aviv.

I have a serious case of culture shock. We started our day in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and then we had a 6 hour layover in Amman, Jordan. Now we are in Tel Aviv. Hay dios mio! Boy do I feel out of place. I think I have only seen one other woman who wears the hijab, and she was in a car and our eye contact only lasted maybe 2 seconds. Tel Aviv has a Miami vibe because it is right by the beach, which is nice. But at the same time, I get a Vegas vibe because of the mini sex ads strewn across the sidewalks. (Do you get the picture?, they are hard to describe without being grotesque).

We went to Port Said which was a “restaurant”, that was an interesting experience, but not really my scene. So a friend and I went to an Ethiopian restaurant along the same street called Allenby. That walk was something else. We got many stares, and a 17-year-old-looking girl approached us for 20 shackles in order to hitch a ride to Jerusalem!? Really? We saw an Ethiopian guy on a bike we tried to flag down for directions – who just kept riding. We encountered friendly English-speaking Israelis who finally pointed us to the right direction. We came, we saw, and we conquered. After finally arriving, we enjoyed Tibs – a popular Ethiopian dish and a couple of sodas. 

Life has been good for the past two weeks, trekking up and down the Middle East. I just hope I find my cell phone. InshaAllah.

Shout out to the Jewish guy I talked to in Arabic who said he loved Arabs. I met him when I tried entering a synagogue, which happened to be closed. There is always tomorrow though.

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