It can be so hard to capture what one feels from the sights, smells, interactions, and experiences on a trip. But some things will stand out, and the more personal it gets, the more meaningful it is, and the more worthwhile the expense and time. These are definitely worth recording. But how? After tinkering with using chronology, itinerary, and other angles, I decided to use the (English) alphabet to do just this. So here goes the first installment of the A-Z of Jenni’s Israel trip, with three entries for the letter ‘A’!
Alamat — this is a patois expression we use when one is flummoxed and the emotional alchemy is one of irritability, bewilderment, and a dash of embarrassment. This is how my trip began, and this is what happened:
the Turkish flight was pleasant enough despite the rather non-responsive flight crew, and after more than sixteen hours of air and road travel, we were definitely looking forward to plonking down in our hotel to gather our wits.
Ibrahim our chartered driver sounded very confident through his limited English after our confused attempts to locate him at the airport pick-up. He drove furiously for the hour and we stopped on a narrow lane next to a cafe. The street we had booked our hotel is on the city’s light rail route and no cars ply it unless it’s marked ‘police’. So, we got our bags and crossed the said street only to not be able to spot anything that looked like a hotel. Phil and I left Keith to watch the bags at the street corner next to a sign that said Capsule Inn and walked in different directions to find this elusive hotel.
Thankfully, Phil found it, and thankfully, Ibrahim didn’t abandon us. We all bundled back into his van and drove through considerable traffic, and this time parked at another street. When we finally arrived. I realized it is actually a small apartment block! Ah, the new thing called an apartel.
The hotel’s office is part of one of the living rooms of an apartment with a counter and two staff who gave off the vibes, ‘take care of yourself please’. Thankfully, they had an apartment ready and we trundled in. By this time, my daughter who had arrived two weeks earlier to attend her Law classes had met with us so we all got into this apartment that looked clean and pleasant, with the curious feature of…