- There is a difference between a "friendly" honk and a "move" honk
- Arab cabs go fast. I know how to tell the driver to slow down, but I generally don't. Life on the edge is just too invigorating.
- The desert is hot. 75 degrees now feels cold to me.
- I have no reason to complain about the hills in the valley at AU. I climb real hills now.
- Solar heated water is great...until it's cloudy.
- Falafel is a lifestyle. My love for falafel may soon rival my love for pizza. Gasp!
- The hijab is truly a comfort. If it wasn't so hot I would wear one!
- I miss Mac-n-cheese and freezer pizza.
- Ramen is an international diet staple, not just an American one.
- Hummus will never be the same again.
- Every person has their own story and it deserves to be told.
- I don't speak Arabic (yet), but I can ask how much something costs and understand the response!
- There are a million Jewish holidays.
- Street food is my jam. (No pun intended.)
- There is a pizza place 5 minutes walk from my apartment AND they deliver. PTL.
- Arab hospitality puts everyone else to shame.
- Some teenage boys have a tendency to say "Welcome to Egypt/Jordan/Lebanon." No clue why.
- Everything is cheaper in Bethlehem than in Jerusalem.
- I will frequently be mistaken for Canadian because of my "accent." (Thanks, Michigan.)
- I can spot a tourist from a mile away.
- I don't consider myself a tourist.
- My landlord will walk into the apartment unannounced.
- I am capable of navigating the Old City on my own.
- The rooftop provides the best solitude.
- Being a lefty is awesome for writing in Arabic.
- The Holy Sights aren't the holiest thing I have ever experienced, but still amazing.
- Olive groves are beautiful.
- Prolonged eye contact with anyone can have extremely different meaning than I realize.
- Having a limited wardrobe is awesome for laundry, but not for variety.
- Conflict is not black and white.
- I get nervous and anxious, but I feel safe and secure and at home here.
- I want to live here one day.
That, friends, is just the surface of everything I feel I have learned in the past month. I could have written a separate blog post about each one of these things filled with funny, confusing, heartwarming, heartbreaking stories. Especially the food. Obviously I have a lot to say about that! Seriously, don't get me started on falafel. Yummmm. But, if any of you lovely people would like to know some of these stories just let me know! Each one of the pictures below has a certain story, but trying to tell each one would take far too long. So let your imagination run wild.
The grave of Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism
Sometimes you just have to find a place with iced coffee so you can be productive.
*Over-generalized and exaggerated in some cases. And should be read with a grain of salt. ;)