Takes 15 hours. That is if you have about 150kg of luggage for 5 people, get stuck at the border for 5 hours going through security, and miss you direct bus. But hey ho. We got here; tired, sore but excited.
The first Israeli I met was certainly an interesting one – a music producer and part time Shaman. He certainly was a mine of esoteric knowledge. He did, however, tell me about an interesting new psychiatric syndrome – Jerusalem syndrome. Apparently tourists arrive in Jerusalem and are overwhelmed by the holiness of the place and find that they are incapable of leaving. They spend their time on the streets or in cheap hostals praying and/or preaching. He did suggest that if you had a well developed sense of humour your pretty immune – so that has us clowns covered then. honk honk.
Walking around the old city the past catches up and over takes you. Wandering through narrow covered markets an array of produce is on offer – assaulting you eyes (bright kitche and brighter sweets), your ears (vegetable vendors shouting their wares) and nose (spices, kebabs, sheshas, drains galore). Not to mention religious paraphernalia, materials, electrical goods and the ilke. Everywhere you turn there is either a religious site, and Jews, Christians and Muslims intermingle. However ever present is (in)security – barbed wire, metal detectors (to get the the Western ‘Wailing’ Wall) and the guns of the security forces. Just now on the way to the internet cafe I saw a young boy with fake gun in hand pretending to shoot shop keepers – the suggestion of potential violence is never far away.
Tomorrow is our first show in the West Bank. Time enough to go over the running order, work out workshops for the children and calm last minute nerves. Now the work, and fun, start.