Slmz to all

October 7, 2007 at 9:54 pm | Posted in moraiman | Leave a comment
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 Slmz to all from Thil abeeb (as its transliterated from arabic)

Alhamdullilah I have arrived, finally got here after 10 hours flying time, 6 hours of interrogation at the airport… they prob have all your names and numbers now…So if you get strange calls 🙂 

Went thru my bags, my ipod, my notebook and ALL the contacts on my fonebook.

Alhamdullilah tho, with the grace and will of the Almighty and your duahs, I have made it 🙂

Pervasive Paranoia

The air in Isra3L is tense. Paranoia is present on both sides. I still find myself wandering if they could be monitoring this email, looking over my shoulder when i walk down the street etc etc. 

Arrived at BenJY airport at about 10am this morning via Cairo. The airport is modern and efficient. They efficiently seperate the arabs, muslims or anybody else who has a suspicious pinky toe.. put you aside in a room with a television. The television is part of the torture cos instead of showing the bokke beat the fijians in the Quarter finals(which was live at the time), they painstakingly show some silly soapies with hebrew subtitles! Was a lil upset that i missed the previous nights upsets(crackers im sure) … with the kiwis and the wallabies out… the bokke should reign supreme and it now urges me to continously wear my springbok jersey until the web ellis is ours! besides laundry is a shlep!

inTerrorGayshin

A barrage of Questions followed, then waiting which i decided to use for snoozing, then more Questions, then more waiting, then more of the same questions by a different person, more waiting, more of the same questions and more from the same person in a different more intimidating backroom, more waiting, then the baggage search… everything taken out and comprehensively examined with plastic gloves. Could do nothing but seek solace in finding humour in it. more waiting. Then finally .. You free to go with an !sra3li visa in my passport! Guess im gona need another one if im to go for hajj! Why am i here, what i do, who i break wind with, how many times a day do i pray and where etc etc    Stick to your guns… im backpacking and touring and want to absorb the culture and history of this country 🙂 

 I did, however, have my first lunch in some 3 weeks sponsored by the ministry of defence. Knee jerk was to ask in a Riaad Moosa accent.. “Is this even halaal?!” then i figured .. what the heck… it must be kosher! 🙂 Was sum non meat sub thingy .. thort about asking with a smirk if it was pork?! Sense prevailed over misplaced humour.

First Impressions

Tel Aviv is barely a century old, mediterranean seaside city with a modern, tolerant, laissez-faire attitude. Forsaking the spirituality of nearby Jerusalem for the stock exchange, and tradition for the latest fads, this modern, secular city concerns itself with finance, commerce and, above all else, fun. I need to get out of here soon! 🙂  Only got out of the airport after 4pm, so didnt get much of a chance to see the city.. the quote above is from lonely planet… my trusty travel companion for the next few weeks 🙂

The public transport system is extremely efficient.. havnt taken a train in a long while now.. more cosy than a mango flight! There seems to be a lot of young to middle aged people here and not as many children or older folk.. still trying to figure it out.. 

People seem quite modern though you do see the odd scattering of the orthodox jew in those black suits and caps and long hair and beards. The kids actually look kewt all dressed up like that.  On my flight here, there were a few orthodox jews, a couple of priests, some nuns, a church group from SA (this is the holy lands after all) and a sweet couple from the western cape who run a school for the challenged in strand. (rids.. they accept med drop outs ;))  

The Real Motive?

As i walked to my fate described above, i looked at the nuns dressed in black garb all covered from head to toe and the beards and a realisation crystallises in my mind (not sure if thats proper english but thats how it felt) Islams threat lies not in our garb, our beards, our devout praying, nor Islam as a Religion. The issue is not that they think we oppress our women or we are fervent in our prayers. That just doesnt make sense.. cos its much the same from them – devout followers praying fervently with beards and headscarves. So its not Islam as the religion or merely the rituals and dressing that we have reduced it to that poses a threat. Its Islam the way of life.. the ideology that is in stark contrast to the western(?capitalistic) model of life. I think if u strip away all the isms it boils down to one thing… MONEY!  … greed?! This is still a thort in evolution

 A very wise person once said… “Its all abt the money.. da da dum dum da da daa dum.. I dont think its funny” 🙂 

Travelling alone, is testing. Apart for the lonely planet as a trusty guide, one needs a strong conscience for company. Jewish Chicks are hot! no disputing that! lol People of the book? *smirk

Backpacker culture

I have checked into a cosy backpackers a block from the beach. Already met a few interesting people…

Meet David (my roommate for this eve) A 30 some odd american who apparently wanted to be a doc and did pre med. Was too lazy to continue and needed freedom from “the system” so came to Israel (to find a nice jewish wife i think.. did i mention.. jewish women here r hot! lol) and sumhow lands up in this backpackers. for how long.. im afraid to ask. Theres a weirdness abt this fellow. When he speaks, I am strangely reminded of Jack nicholson.. his eyes and mouth. but his weirdness is apart from that.

Meet Adolfo Rene Martinez (and another name i forget)  aka “Eddie” a mexican, a year younger than me, who has been travelling and working for the past 2 years! He travels.. runs out of money.. does odd jobs.. from washing dishes, carrying bags, tour guide in rome, setting up scaffolding etc etc to get more money and then travels some more. This guy is the dudE! Cheers to all those silly indian wanabee travellers who complain abt not having the money! or time?! “get a job, settle down, if you want you can marryyyyy … ”    

irrresponsible perhaps? nay, this guy has lived!! btw his name.. adolfo in english is adolf .. sends shivers down a few spines here *G* (hes also my roomate for tonight btw)

Theres a couple others like him.. a brit, a frenchmen and another doing a similar thin. apparently its very easy to find work here!  (Remem this for later)

backpackers r the b*mb.. i shudnt say this… backpackers r great!! so many interesting ppl and stories. Hotels r for yuppies. And married couples 🙂 So if u dont mind sharing ur dorm with a few others… its the way to go.

Also… i think backpackin was thort off as a concept before the advent of the trolley suitcase. A thort that comes from my aching back and shoulder muscles. it looks alot cooler but is just not as practical as just pulling something alonG!

Took a stroll out this eve, and come upon a mosque!! Hassan Beq Mosque … just down the street from my current digs. the only mosque in tel aviv im told. Had chai and sum delectable date biscuits in the courtyard with a couple of the pal3st!n!an arabs who are lucky enuf to have isra3li passports having being born in jaffa, and luckier enough to be sitting for itikaaf.

Whilst there.. a couple of the other musallees find a young man sleepin under a cloth on the lawn within the mosque. He is guarded, scruffy looking, grubby, defiant and perhaps a touch apologetic. A Filistine, im told, not so lucky to have gotten the piece of paper that allows him to work legit in israel. No work in filistine so forced to do odd jobs here. If police find him.. he will be locked up.. find him in the mosque.. and theres trouble there. (Remem what i said abt the work thing for foreigners earlier) My first soul stirring moment.   

I took a stroll along the beach promenade.. my thorts, conscience and creator more than enough company.  Reminds me a bit of Dbns beach.. tho i could just be searching.  Besides… ppl jog and cycle and lay on the beach at 9pm!  (or perhaps do more than jus lay? .. my myopia,both literal and figurativ, prevents me from commenting further)

in total security, no crime, no real threats. Perhaps even oblivious. 

A corn on the cob(thort of u zubz) and a fresh strawberry n banana shake from a quaint roadside cafe’ to drown my sorrow (not quite sorrow tho) already blowing budget today.. tomorrow i shall fast and save money! 🙂

Gona push on to Al Quds tom and hopefully the night of Decree in Al Aqsa.

Doesnt take alot of imagination to see why this place is so volatile and why the seeds for the end of time are sewn here and already beginning to sprout….  and I havent even been to Jerusalem yet!

In the Words of jack Nicholson…. “Why cant we all….. just get along” :))

Thanks for all the well wishes and duahs. Will definately reciprocate, InshaAllah.

TakeCare

ilal liqaai.

Mohamed  🙂

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