felt right at home in my first visit to Jerusalem in many years because the shuttle driver from Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport was impatient, as his kind proverbially are, but with a penchant for explaining things to the drivers at whom he raged (though no more than one could possibly have heard him). I didn't understand all his cursing, but the end of one string of invective sounded like simcha
, the Hebrew word for happiness
Spent my first evening wandering around the Old City, and I didn't get lost, at least not in any way worthy of the name. The Old City is divided into Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim quarters, so I saw: Orthodox priests who, with just a splash of color in their garb, could have been Piero della Francesca's King Solomon; Chassidic Jews with hats cooler than those you'd see on any American hipster, and young Israeli Arabs who were more than happy to offer spur-of-the-moment advice, including one about 12 years old, who said, "It's closed" when I tried to wander down a side street to see the Al-Aqsa Mosque. "Only for Muslims."
Read some more Elmore Leonard on the plane over, including one story that began with a long, stolid, grimly straightforward description of a buffalo hunt that ended thus (the description, not the hunt):
"Wait until he rode into Leverette with a wagon full of hides, he thought. He’d watch close, pretending he didn’t care, and he’d see if anybody laughed at him then."
The man knows how to create tension.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012
Labels: Elmore Leonard, images, Israel, Jerusalem, Westerns, what I did on my vacation