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Life in Jerusalem

People in Jerusalem are laid back and casual as they walk over stones that are thousands of years old.  If you go to the City of David, which is located across the street from the Kotel (the Western Wall), you just might stumble on a column that is lying on the ground, oh! From the First Jewish Temple Period…1006 BCE to 586 BCE.

But it’s time to sit at a café and drink Café Afouche, which means upside-down, or the Israeli version of Cappuchino. The hot, frothy milk is put in a cup and then the Expresso café, most likely African blend or Italian Sefredo or Illy is swished around to make a lovely heart design.  The coffee has a deep, roasted and full-bodied flavor. You can sip and watch passersby with your laptop and free wi-fi.  Order a chavitah (egg omelet with vegetables) on fresh baked whole wheat bread, and some soft white cheese, pickles, a sliver of lettuce and tomato, and then a side salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, onions chopped with oil and vinegar.  Spend two hours; write your family history; write your novel or screenplay.

Check out the Shuk! Drink Café Afouche and people-watch with your laptop. Fresh vegetables and fruits, spices, meats, pastries. You can lose yourself for hours, write your stage play.

In winter, the cafes are warm and welcoming with soft music.  Bookshelves line some of the walls.  The books are in Hebrew, but sometimes you can find a nice English section. The books are 20 NIS, or about $5 or you can just read them and then put them back. Newspapers and magazines are there for your pleasure. And then there’s YOU, taking it all in, people-watching, writing it down, maybe incorporating it into a scene you’re thinking about for your novel.

In summer, the cafes are set with chairs and tables on the sidewalks and indoors where there’s sufficient air-conditioning and/or ventilation and/or soft winds in the relatively dry, hot climate of July, August, September.

Hop on the Lite Rail and take a tour of Jaffa Rd., downtown Jerusalem and check out the shops and eateries. You’ll see the Old City from afar where the First and Second Jewish Temple stood thousands of years ago. People watch on the train, relax, plan out your story line.

Watch the Egged City busses passing by close to the sidewalk cafes and stopping to let out the summer tourists. Music, always glorious music plays from the cafes and on the street with street musicians, clowns and street art; flea markets; pottery; kippahs and scarves for sale; jewelry and antiques and oriental rugs, some from Persia or Turkey hung thickly over poles, with sterling silver chanukiah from a thousand years ago displayed in the windows on stone-lined streets.  Everywhere Jerusalem stone…The sidewalks, houses, apartment buildings, hotels, and side-streets…Even the modern office buildings are in Jerusalem stone.  It’s EVERYWHERE!!  Statues of horses and bulls and modern art of some sort in parks and walkways that lead to used bookshops and poster shops and more cafes.  Time to write.  Time to write…

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