Tag Archive | Katamon

Taxi? Car! Bike?

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I went with Shlomo today to go pay two bills – one at the post office, and one at the bank machine.  Since I had to pick something up from Yitzchak, I chose to go the the post office near the shuk.  From there, it is about a minute’s walk to the bus stop (not the one by the shuk, the one right after).  I figured that at 10:30 in the morning, the bus would be empty enough to justify getting on a stop after the shuk, and I would still be able to get a seat.  Thank G-d, I was right.

While we were waiting for the bus, Shlomo started getting antsy (read: tired and bored).  I asked him a little while prior if he wanted to go to sleep, and he said, “Yeah?”  I gave him his doll, but he hadn’t gone to sleep yet.  So, to keep him from getting upset, I asked him where there were cars.  (Answer: Parked on the other side of the street, and driving on both sides.)  He immediately perked up and started looking at the cars.  “Car?  Car?”  And I started pointing to the cars that were parked opposite us.

In Israel the way you hail a taxi is by sticking your arm out, and pointing your finger.  That’s right – hold your arm out, over the curb, and point your index finger.  We were pointing at cars, and one of the cars, going the opposite direction, was a taxi.

“Car!” I said.  “Oops, that’s not just a car, it’s a taxi.”  At the same moment, I saw a taxi going in our direction.  I took down my finger, and shook my head (and wagged my finger from side to side), but it was too late.  He slowed and stopped, and I shook my head again, apologizing.

“What are you doing?” he asks in Hebrew.  He was kind of annoyed, and justifiably so, because he thought he had a customer, who then recanted.

“I was pointing, ‘car, car, car, car, car,'” I said.

The taxi driver grinned.  Suddenly, it was no big deal.  “Also, ‘bike, bike, bike,'” he said.  “Have a good day!”

We were standing right outside a bike shop.  Good idea, taxi driver.

“Sorry about that!” I called after him.  I don’t know if he heard me, but I’m not sure it matters.

Through the “Fake Shuk” (Jerusalem, Part III)

We left off, in my last post, in the middle of the fake shuk.  Now we continue, all the way the end of the street.

This is the second turn into the main shuk.

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Then we pass another housewares/paper goods store . . .

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. . . and a store selling nuts and dried fruits (as well as the third, and last, turn into the main shuk).

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Someone else has just received a delivery . . .

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A store that sells legwear and accessories.  To the left is a store selling only accessories, with a wider variety of them.

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An outdoor cafe.  It seems a bit too fancy for the surrounding stores, but it is just as busy.

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A store selling kippas, the religious headcovering for men.  This store carries a wide variety – wide enough that someon from almost any religious stripe can find something in their style.

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And a new juice bar.  It is too fancy, and too American-style, for the surrounding area, which is probably why I have almost never seen anyone actually buying there.  Chances are, the chain (of which this store is a part) will go out of business soon.  I have to say, I’m waiting for that day to come.  Israel has its own unique flavor, and American-style stores just ruin that uniqueness.

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We will turn the corner in the next post.

From Davidka to the Shuk (Jerusalem, Part I)

Today, Shlomo and I went to Katamon, for a doctor visit for me.  Since we don’t have a car, Katamon is pretty annoying to get to.  We stick with this clinic, though, because they are into preventive medicine – something that hasn’t yet caught hold fully in Israel.  (We’re getting there, slowly.)

Since I we prefer to be able to go to the doctor just for a checkup, and Israelis don’t seem to have patience for that, we go to a clinic that works with American doctors.  It goes against our philosophy and lifestyle to do anything specifically “the American way”, but health is health.  Don’t get me wrong – Israelis, and Israeli doctors, are terrific.  But, not always do they have patience for routine checkups.  It’s more of a problem-solving way of looking at things, instead of problem-preventing.  Which is good for some people, but not so good for obsessive worrywarts like us.

Anyways, we (i.e., Shlomo and I) got out of the house late enough that I wasn’t sure we’d make it on time.  And, long story short, we didn’t.  But, they took me anyways, and I only had to wait fifteen minutes.  On the way back, I started taking pictures (which means that yes, these pictures are from my camera).

This is Kikar HaDavidka (Davidka Square), close to the city “center”.  In it, you can see a security guard drinking coffee, a sign for the police station, and two women – one Muslim, one Jewish, talking to each other.  They are at a “train stop”, waiting for the light rail train.  You can also see, in the windows of one store, red writing covered by black graffiti.  I have to say, I have never, ever been able to read the words.  On the rare occasions when the window is clean, I was always on a bus passing it too quickly.  (Yes, there used to be buses here, instead of trains.  That was back in the good old days.)  But, someone always makes sure to re-scribble it immediately.  Once, I saw a hand sticking out, cleaning the window.  It looked pretty funny.

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Further down at the same stop (there are two shelters per stop [the shelters are pretty but useless; why do those words go together so often?] ).

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And the train comes (going my way, not theirs).

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I took the train one stop, to the shuk (marketplace).  It was lazy, I know, but I had a bus transfer, and during that time of day, the stroller is free, so why walk any more than I have to?  (Understand:  I’m not anti-exercise.  BUT, I was walking with a stroller, and I had already walked for about twenty minutes pushing a stroller, up and down hills, on an empty stomach.  So, I will walk some more later.)

These people are getting onto the train that I just got off of.

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The other side of the train stop at the shuk.

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We live in a country of constant renovations (and construction).  This store, at a diagonal from the shuk, for years, was a cheap clothing and blanket/slippers/etc. store.  Last year, it closed.  It was renovated (and, I assume, sold), and turned into a steak and fish restaurant.  Now, it is again a cheap clothing etc. store – with the interior design of a fancy restaurant.  This is normal – if you don’t absolutely have to renovate, then you leave it as is.  Don’t you wonder what the story is, and who owns it now?

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The [redone] square opposite the shuk.  In the background, you can see the above shop.

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That’s all for now, folks.  I have more pictures, but I also have stuff to do.  I will keep posting . . .