I did mention that this city is Jewish didn't I? At least West Jerusalem. It's really a bit weird to come to a place where all the looks, sounds, feels, expressions and behavior patterns that were part of your minority life existence elsewhere, are suddenly the norm, the majority. It's kind of like opposites day or Bizarro world. I can see why so many Jews, especially those who tend to the devout, would be attracted to emigrating here even if they lived in a country where they were not oppressed.
There is this odd juxtaposition between concern and politeness and rudeness and not giving a shit. For example on the tram, people uniformly get up for older people or people with children. That's rarely something we've seen in the rest of the world. When you walk the streets in general, people give way for each other, again not the norm we've experienced in so many countries. But in the market place or in a crowded store, people will just push you out of the way or run into you because they are paying no attention.
There are also the ubiquitous young people in the military (military service is compulsory for all men and women). We've been in a number of countries where there are armed military at various locales that look very serious and grim...not the kind of people you want to cross. Today when we returned from the market we saw a young female military person with her weapon slung over her front, carrying a bag of groceries, and texting someone on her phone. A bit surreal.
This is our first day by ourselves since we arrived in Jaffa a week ago. #3 and family returned home this morning. We had thought we might go back to the Old City to go to the Muslim Quarter but with our still not feeling well, the crowds that were going to be downtown for the Giro, and the uneven tram service, we decided to just go to the main outdoor market that is close to us. It was kind of a feast for photographic opportunities.
Decorations for the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Jewish State
I'm pretty sure I saw these in War of the Worlds
A feel for the market
An incredible variety of people
People seem to sing/chant/march for any reason.
This was right outside our apartment
I thought it was a demonstration but on closer inspection think it might have been a school thing
More street art
And now, without further ado, let's get to the
The first stage here in Jerusalem is a time trial
That means the riders go off one-by-one separated by a number of minutes and race against the clock.
From our prime vantage point we got to seem them as they were on the final legs toward the finish. The drama is palpable
Wow, look at this guy!
He looks like he is riding a bike!
And this one
Gosh this guy looks like he's riding a bike too
I don't know if I can take the excitement
Wait, let's check with Sky Cam
"Hi there de-I...yes, they sure look like they are riding bikes"
Ah, I can tell that you are not getting the intense flavor of the action just looking at the still photos.
Let's get some action video to show you the real drama!
Right! Freaking crazy exciting people riding bikes.
Ready for more action?
It just keeps coming and coming
Just like this
Over and over
You can see why stage bike racing is one of the most popular sports in the world