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My Scholarship entry - A local encounter that changed my life

WORLDWIDE | Wednesday, 7 March 2012 | Views [366] | Scholarship Entry

“Grapes, mango…”a man shouts over the rustling crowd going up and down the narrow alleys of Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem. I manage to find myself a small broken bench in a now empty vendor’s lot next to the goat cheese and olives man. I look around at the vibrant afternoon colors in the market I wonder where all these people are scrambling to go to and how they can run around with such innate beauty surrounding them. The air smells of fruit and, fresh oven baked pita mixed with smells from the adjacent fish market and the pungent smell of people. At first you crinkle your nose but it soon becomes familiar and comforting. As I sit on my broken bench an older woman, dressed in colorful garments approaches the bench. As she gets closer I see the light cotton fabric of her clothes with patterns resembling butterflies,with the colors of summer sunsets and, around her neck a pendant, tied with red string. As I inspect this odd looking woman she approaches the bench and seats herself with a loud THUNK and a sighs. She takes a moment to look around then finally at me. With wondering eyes she scrutinizes me and finally says: “Lots to take in I imagine” We begin to converse about the scenery and ourselves, I soon find out about her life in India and her American parents. She moved to Israel 30 years ago after losing her job, her mother and her fiancée all in one day. As she talked I couldn’t help but notice the way her wrinkles moved on her face and how beautiful they made her look. It seemed every wrinkle had a story and was placed on her face for a reason. After sharing so much of our extraneous lives with each other, she looked at me with piercing green eyes full of sadness and warmth and said: “Remember that in life, money is just the means to the end, not the end, and happiness, is a choice.” With that she turned away and, after a struggle to get up, she shuffled back into the busy crowd where even her bright unusual colors got lost in the sea of people.

Tags: travel writing scholarship 2012

 

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