We went to Jerusalem again in the morning and strolled around the Old Town. We were stopped by the police guarding the entrance to the Wailing Wall – it’s Friday and only Muslims are allowed in today. A rude “it’s closed!” sent us into a different direction, a dead-end alley. On our return we wanted to have a little chat with the guards and, pretending to be ignorant in religious matters, ask them why we weren’t allowed in. In English, of course. We had to wait, though, as both guards were busy. One was talking on the phone (with his wife or affair, as Ruth translated for me later) and the other one was sleeping, his head resting on his gun.
We watched them a short while and eventually had to laugh about the scene. The guy woke up and explained – in English – why we couldn’t go in. I jokingly complained that he hadn’t even asked me if I was Muslim. He said he knew I’m not. More chit-chat; and when he asked where we were from and learned that Ruth was Israeli and spoke Hebrew the whole thing got even funnier.
The remainder of the day in a nutshell: We had tea and nargilah in a coffee shop; visited the Jewish part of the Wailing Wall were I got my very own kipa (the tiny Jewish hat); sneaked onto the city wall with the help of a friendly local (Arab); had lunch in East Jerusalem; left the city and drove up a hill to watch the sun set (but it (the sun) somehow played tricks on us); stood by a bonfire with some Israelis of Russian descent and listend to their singing Russian and English-language songs; had dinner in Abu Gosh, a village near Jerusalem famous for its Arab cuisine; drove home with two bottles of wine.