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Gap Year-ing it Around the World

A Morning in Jerusalem

ISRAEL | Tuesday, 16 October 2012 | Views [294]

Stepping out of my brother's hip, centrally located, apartment building in downtown Jerusalem, a cool gust of wind greets me. I look around. To the left there are three men taking out the trash, or cleaning up around the big trash can and the area, or really just standing around smoking cigarettes. Next to me, in the cute little all-natural foods cafe, the employees are preparing their shop for what's sure to be another busy day. Across the street are two Hasidic men, either arguing or praying... sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. There are your typical, grungy, Jerusalem cats, meandering around the area, looking for food and friends, and seemingly finding neither. I wait to cross the road until a taxi drives by, honking as it passes to see if I might be the first customer of the day. The sun, still low in the sky, is making me wonder why I'm wearing jeans and a long-sleeve shirt. Crossing the street, I pass two elderly men, sitting at a table, their coffees untouched, just watching the morning unfold. Turning the corner, I narrowly avoid a head-on collision (no thanks to her) with a rushed business woman holding a briefcase, a coffee, a newspaper, talking on her cellphone, and looking through her purse flung over her shoulder, presumably wondering if she remembered her keys this time. 7:55am my cell phone reads. I pass a few more cafes and stores preparing for their day, as well as a few more rushed business folks. A young boy and girl are running down the street, probably late for school, with the girl's braids flying out from behind her and the boy's backpack carelessly left unzipped. Now I am at the train station, and seem to be the only person actually pleased to be awake and going somewhere this morning. Everyone is tending to their own business: talking on their phones, eating a croissant from Marzipan, or just sleeping on the benches next to the ticket machine. The train arrives with it's gentle dings, reminding me of the church bells that would ring every few hours in Italy, no matter where you were. The train is practically empty, and still has that clean and airy feel that it loses by about 1pm everyday. Whizzing through the streets of Jerusalem, I get off at the square a few blocks from the apartment. Everything is as it should be, and my morning in Jerusalem is quickly passed, with the sun a little bit higher in the sky, and the morning dog-walkers already finished their duties.

Tags: coffee, gap year, israel, jerusalem, morning, people-watching, sun, train, traveling

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