Monday, January 9, 2012

Marriage Advice from Native Shopkeepers.

Sunday was our first full day without any set plans

However, the JC is clearly strong believers in "early to bed, early to rise" because The Oasis
(where we eat our meals) 
was only open from 7-8 a.m.

At breakfast we were given little lunch bags with directions to make a pita sandwich, 
as it would not be open for lunch.

After breakfast Danielle (one of my roommates) 
(...I've been meaning to do a post about my roommates..I'll do one as soon as I'm able to upload pictures.
But for now just know that they are FANTASTIC)
and I went into one of the classrooms and 
kind of worked on homework/blogged.

Then at 11 we met up with a small group and headed to the City! 
We were originally planning on going to the Israeli Museum, 
but when we went to get our tickets from the Security office 
(here at the Center)
they had already given out all of the tickets they had 
and told us we'll have to go on another day.

So, we set off!
Without any plans.
An adventure!
Our objective? To get just a little bit more oriented with our surroundings.

We were going to go to the money-changer's (remember..Aladdin? ...but pronounced "Alla-dean")
but when we got there, there were tons of our fellow classmates crammed inside
so we decided to do something else and then come back.

We wandered around
until we heard 
"Mormons! Mormons! Over here!!"
(which we actually hear quite a bit...we are pretty popular around these parts :)) 
It was Omar..the well-known olive wood carver.

We spent over an hour
visiting with Omar
and checking out all of his impressive olive wood pieces.

Omar also made me laugh with his "wall of mormons"

This is the dialogue of one of our conversations with Omar:

Omar: You should get a nativity for you, and when you get married your husband. Or you can wait for your husband to get you one...
Danielle: I don’t know...I might be waiting a looong time...
Omar: How old are you?
Danielle: 19.
Omar: Ah! In 2-3 years, I guarantee you will be married! I know it! And promise me you will send your wedding announcement here to Omar.”
Just after this conversation, Omar gave us each olive-wood rings
"for practice"
and sent us on our way.

Showing our olivewood "wedding" rings.

As we were walking back on the street we heard, 
"Mormons, mormons!
From East to West, BYU is the best!"
We turned to see another man who proceeded to invite us into his shop.
I had actually heard of this shop, because Amy, the wife of my former boss, Dan,
built a very strong friendship with the "Bagdhadi Brothers" 
when she came to Israel...a few years ago.
I was told specifically (by Dan) to look for them!
After talking to them for a bit..
this is what I saw: 
Dan's wedding announcement! 
As we were getting ready to leave, 
I'm not entirely sure how the conversation turned to marriage, 
but the Bagdhadi brothers had a thing or two to say:
"Do not many someone who is not from where you are from."
They said. 
They then proceeded to lecture us (for a good 10 minutes)
about all of the problems that arise when people from 2 different places marry.
Most of it went over my head (some words were harder to understand than others)
but the conclusion was:
15 miles should be the limit of how far away your spouse's family lives from yours.

Otherwise, there will be much contention with whose family to visit:

the mother will want to visit her family
and the father will want to visit his. 
So they will plan separate trips at the same time,
and the kids will go with the mother--
so the mother will be stuck with all of the children while trying to travel...
apparently it's a very messy situation.
hahahhaa. It was pretty funny.
I'm sure Dad will be happy to see that though, 
(if he reads these posts)...he's worried that all of us kids are going to get married and move far away from CA..
I'll consider trying to keep their advice in mind

As soon as we left Bagdhadi's we were called over to Jimmy's.
The 3rd famous olivewood souvenier shop.
He, too, had many impressive and beautiful masterpieces.
 I was particularly blown away with one that was out.
I knew it would be really expensive,
but I wanted to ask anyway.
$2,500 he told me.

He said that many of the students that come here
buy the smaller nativities now
and then come back in later years (when they have more money)
and buy the really nice/expensive ones! 
I thought that sounded like a pretty good plan :)
Jimmy had a bit to say about marriage as well:
It's simple," he told us,
"You just need to find the right guy, with a good heart
. . .and a good job!” 

Nephites vs. the Lamanites chess set.

I'm not really sure why all of the shopkeepers were so keen to give us marriage advice
(I've talked to other people and it doesn't sound like anyone else got what we did, haha.
maybe because we were there just as a group of 4 girls?)
but I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

After all of this we took a quick stop at Aladdin's
where he showed us his
"Book of Mormons"
(a book he has had all of the BYU Jeru students sign since 1992) 
which i thought was absolutely hilarious. 

Then to the Old City! 
We ate our pita-lunches on the roof of the 
Austrian Hospice

On the roof of the Austrian Hospice! 
which is a beautiful and calm Lutheran Church building
in the midst of the busy city
that already I know I'm going to love spending time in/on (it has a great view!)
(...and lots of German speakers hang out there, which is a plus!)

 After that we walked around the city exploring!
We played marbles with some kids in the street
we asked for prices of certain things to compare from shop to shop
we walked by 'Basti Restuarunt'... 
 "Where Jesus had his first pizza!"
the shopkeeper kindly informed us ;)
On our way to find a particular falafel stand
we ran into a small tour group of people from Texas! 
One of my roommates (Danielle/ I like to call her 'T-Bone') is from Texas 
so we stopped to talk to them for a bit.
We actually ended up chatting them with 
for almost an hour! 

It was fun to meet some friendly faces from the good 'ole
US of A.

Our texas friends!! 

We started heading home and then realized
we had talked for so long with our new Texan friends
we would be cutting it close to getting home by sundown! 

We jogged part of the way 
(only the downhill parts ;))
and made it back just in time! 

one of my favorite sunset pics so far....see sunset post.

it was a GREAT day in the city!! 


  1. Hannah, I now have another very good reason to get out of bed in the morning. This is the lineup: throw on some clothes, take the madly-barking-frustrated-housebound dogs for a walk, then rush to the computer to check Hannah's blog! Thanks for taking so many of us along on your adventure. You have a wonderful talent for bringing things to life for your readers. Even if you never include any photos, I'll look forward to every post!

  2. I'm still laughing about the "Book of Mormons." (Chortle!)