I am in Amman Jordan now. Before I compare the cities of Jerusalem and Amman, I just want to say a few words about my last full day in Israel. The day started with a visit to Bethlehem in the West Bank. Geographically, Bethlehem is not far from Jerusalem but it is so different. West Bank is controlled by the Palestinians and it is the much poorer cousin of Israel. Big brother Israel does interfere as it sees fit. Among the measures it took is this “big beautiful wall” that separates Israeli area and Palestinian area in both West Bank and Gaza; 800 km or so. Now, what graffiti artists can resist the temptation of so much blank canvas. I will admit that I am not a great fan of graffiti art but here, it is just so right. The section I saw was good but the really good stuff is in Gaza; strictly off limit.
I was trotting around gathering supplies for my breakfast the next day when I spotted some really fresh dates. I only want a small quantity as I am not sure if I can take it into Jordan. The nice merchant refused to charge me when he saw I only wanted 6. What a wonderful way to end my trip in Israel.
Oh, my visit to the Western wall did not happen the last day but it was special. I never thought that I could approach and touch the wall because I am not Jewish. However, it is for people of all faith or none. I was there in the evening, when it was quiet. I had my moment of quiet contemplation and touch the wall like millions before me; it was special. Oh, it is segregated by sex; the males get more space but there was more ladies praying at the wall.
Jerusalem and Amman may only be 65 miles apart, they are a world apart in many ways. Jerusalem has so many of the things that we take for granted in Canada; safe drinking water, sidewalks that is not hazards to your health, traffic signals for pedestrians etc. Amman is a third world city in so many ways. No, drinking the tap water is a definite no-no. Sidewalks are uneven with unexpected dips and holes. Sometime it just disappear for a variety of reasons, construction, parked cars. I ended up walking on the street, with all the traffic, the locals do. Traffic signals are pretty rare for vehicles and almost nonexistent for the pedestrians. To cross the street, it is an art of finding a whole in the traffic and just go. The cars do stop. I had to hide behind locals the first few times but I am getting the hang of it, now I am leaving tomorrow.
I am off to the desert for some hiking and glamping. No wifi for the next 5 days! Digital detox!