I came back to Jerusalem last night in a terrifyingly crowded bus. I can definitely tell that I'm no longer taking Paxil, as I was panic-stricken the whole way. The bus seemed to stop every few yards to pick up more people, and while normal Israelis slept or listened to their walkmans, I stared at every face that entered, positive that a suicide bomber was going to take advantage of so many Israelis packed like sardines into one tiny space and blow us all to hell. I miss medication sometimes.
Well, back to my travels. The day after I went to Akko, Dror and his family, who were all on vacation, took me sightseeing around the area. We stopped at a village called Paki'in, or something like that, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Druze all live together in relative harmony. We paid a visit to a friend of the family, a wonderfully friendly Druze man who insisted on feeding us his wife's stuffed grape leaves and Kube, salads and potatos, and numerous other treats. After that we went to see an old Crusader fortress that had been rebuilt by the Ottomans--a recurring theme in the North--from the top of which we could see all the way to Haifa. Finally we stopped at what Dror claimed to be the best sweet shop in Israel--nay, the world--where we ate something called ktufa(?), a middle eastern pastry covered with syrup and pistachio nuts. It was extremely yummy.
That night, we joined a bunch of neighbors from the village and ate outside (near the sukkah, but not in it, as it was too small--but that counts, doesn't it?) and made fresh pita on the fire, bedouin style. By this time I noticed a dramatic improvement in my Hebrew, as I hadn't spoken English in two days, and I got along quite nicely in the conversation. Slowly, slowly. Anyway, it was a beautiful night. One with just the right amount of magic.