Even if I were more eloquent, even if my pen was more obedient, even if my words did glow, I would be incapable of describing the sensation, when after 5 months of exhausting journey through lands foreign to me, after 4 years of absence, I made my accent to Jerusalem and spied her ancient walls.
I woke up early this morning, grabbed my last cup of Turkish coffee from my neighborhood place, posted my pics and hopped a taxi to the border. The journey through the hills and valley of Jordan was stunning- verdant green and covered in olive trees. We descended to the King Hussein bridge, and i cleared Jordanian customs. I met a Jordanian who had lived in Brazil and we shmoozed about how awesome that place is. After I took a bus across the border, and I saw the symbol of my people flying proudly in the desert. My heart fluttered like the blue-and-white flag in the desert winds, and I sang "hatikvah" to myself.
My time at the border was long, but much shorter than expected thanks to one Dana Kursh, my former boss at the Consulate who helped smooth my entry. Meanwhile, I have a small problem with a bracelet I bought at a Sikh temple in Delhi that absolutely will not come off and sets off every metal detector. I had a relatively gentle search and answered a lot of questions. I also got the phone number from a really cute Palestinian girl who was in my cab to the border and was also waiting to get through security. West Bank Story.
I took the bus to Jerusalem and trudged my way to the Jaffa gate, where I made my triumphant entrance. Only slightly less triumphant than Allenby himself, cause he didn't have to lug a 22 kilo bag (~45lbs). I wandered through the alleyways I know so well, and went directly to the Kotel. I went straight up to the wall, bag and all, took off my hat and put my head against the cold wall that is the last remnants of our holy temple. I was literally trembling as I said my prayers. While I was praying, a bird's white feather landed at my feet. I collected it, finished my prayers and made my way to Kikar Zion, where I had the biggest, tastiest shwarma ever- filled with meat, humous, tehina, salad and chips (french fries) in a lafa (warm Iraqi pita). First kosher food in a long time. Washed it down with a Goldstar beer. Oh, it is so wonderful to be back in Israel!