Trip Start Jul 16, 1975
16Trip End Jul 15, 1976
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Celebrations here revolve around Jewish holidays. Commercialism? Advertising? Luxury? Religion comes first. Also survival. For every Jew in Israel, there are 10 Arabs in surrounding countries that want to destroy their country. Military service is mandatory for boys and girls after high school. Everywhere are young soldiers carrying machine guns. I got pressed against a few on crowded Israeli buses.
I spent 7th grade at a British international school in West Jerusalem
Why did I pick Ben Franklin? He invented electricity. The average wait to get a phone installed in a new apartment here is a year.
My ethnocentrism changed pretty quickly.
During the summer when I first arrived, I went walking in the desert. What did I find? Lizards. So I chased them. I saw one about two feet long sunning on some rocks outside a cave. One day I found a scorpion. So I brought it home in a jar. Pretty new for a city boy.
One of my profound experiences was on Palm Sunday. That's when pilgrims retrace Christ's triumphant entry. So I, along with hundreds of other Christians, carried a palm branch over the Mt of Olives, into the old city and along the Via Dolorosa. How do you describe it? It's a strange feeling to re-enact a famous event at its original location.