Here is another entry in our recently introduced category of “travel tales.” This one is actually courtesy of my sister, Theresa, based on her recent experience arriving in Jerusalem. Or, this could be titled, “what happens when you take an American female traveler, an elderly French nun and a taxi filled with luggage, and throw them into the middle of a gay pride parade in Jerusalem?” Read on.
Yes, we had an interesting entry into Jerusalem. The arrival at the airport went without a hassle but then the fun began when I booked a shared ride in a van from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Once a year, apparently, the city stages a gay pride parade. Guess what today was?
Because of the parade, we couldn’t reach the Ecce Homo hostel where I was staying because the road was blocked. Naturally, the driver decided at this point that he had no choice but to throw me and an elderly French nun out of the van with our luggage and tell us to walk the rest of the way. Really. Not kidding. Luckily, I only had one piece of baggage, but the nun had three. So I helped her carry her luggage through the streets of Jerusalem and up a steep hill, both of us dripping sweat as we tried to cross streets that were filled with crazy traffic and beeping horns.
When we were close to Notre Dame, where the nun was meeting someone, another taxi driver wanted to charge us 40 NIS just to cross the street because he said we’d never be able to get across as pedestrians. Keep in mind that we had paid 50 NIS to get all the way to Jerusalem from the airport 30 miles away. At that point, the good sister and I looked at each other, picked up our luggage, stepped in front of a bus and proceeded to cross three lanes of traffic.
Ah, the joys of traveling. What I love about tales like this is that they happen to pretty much everyone who travels and, as annoying as they are at the moment, they often make the best stories when we return home.
Photo credit: Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons.