Hannah and Je together

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Fourth Day – Museums

Today is my Museum day.  I wanted use the public transportation in Jerusalem.  I looked for the way in Google Maps.  I went to the Light rail station and bought two tickets at the vending machine.  But I was not able to find the bus stop for 66, so I came back to the Jaffa Gate for the Tourist Information Centre, and they taught me different road from the Google Maps.

Jerusalem Bus

Jerusalem Bus

So I got on the bus.  I gave the ticket to the bus driver, but he did not let me go back of the bus.  He said something, and I guessed he was saying to pay.  So I explained him that I bought the ticket this morning and never used yet.  But he was kept saying “Ofaam! Ofaam!”  And he did not understand me nor speak English.  We were not able to communicate each other because of language barrier.

Then a few people from behind came to help me.  They were all young and wearing kipa, so I guess they are Jewish.  One of them said to the bus driver that he would pay for me.  I was so moved.  It is not about the money.  The bus fare is less than $2.  It is not much, but just that he offered the small kindness to stranger was big thing to me.  But I refused because I had money.  The other guy translated for me and I found out that I must use the ticket within hour and half after purchase.  That is kind of stupid I think.  So I’d better use cash on the bus.

I was surrounded by several Jews who offered me kindness competitively.  I paid the fare by cash, and everything was settled.  God bless them!  But I had one more problem.  The bus announcement was only in Hebrew, never in English.  I had no idea where to get off.  So I asked another guy next to me (middle-aged man wearing kipa).  I was not asked the driver because he does not speak English.  The middle-aged guy brought me to the bus driver, and asked him for me in Hebrew.  Then he asked me where I am from, and I said that I am from Chicago.  Then he and I had pleasant conversation about Chicago until he got off the bus.

Last night I was insulted twice by Palestinians, and this morning I received kindness from the Jews.  If you had exactly same experience as I, then whose friend would you be?  McCormick people and I know about the Israeli government’s ill-treatment over Palestinians, but how many people do you think know all about that?  Even the people who know, they would be pro-Jewish and anti-Palestinian having such experience.

Signet Ring

Signet Ring

I went to the Bible Land Museum first.  The picture above is a signet ring.  This is the combination of passport, credit card and property certificate in the ancient world.  Judah may have been wearing and handed something like this when he went into his daughter-in-law.

Sumerian Mythology

Sumerian Mythology

This is the Sumerian mythology about the creation of humankind.  The gods were so busy, stressed and tired of taking care of the world after creation.  Even they expressed their frustration to each other.  Then they created human so that they can get relieve of the work.  So according to the Sumerian mythology, we are just free labours for them.

Family Idols

Family Idols

And the museum also said that this is what Rachel might have hidden from her father.  And if so, I guess she was desperate to be pregnant, because they are all emphasizing woman’s sexuality, which is fertility.

Riding Man

Riding Man

This is a man riding.  And we can see his sexual organ clearly.  And look at the picture below too.

Ancient Women

Ancient Women

I think they were not ashamed of sex and they did not try to hide it in the ancient world.  Then why we came to bashing the sex?  Because we oppress the sex, it grows in the weird way, and we have a whole lot of porn industry, and even Hollywood depicts sex in the wrong way.

Lachish Battle

Lachish Battle

Then I went to the Israel Museum.  I did not take much photo here.  In both museums, I borrowed the audio guide device, and I literally listened to the explanation one by one, not even missing one.  I focused on learning rather than photo.  The above one is the Lachish battle, where I am going to dig from next week.

Shrine of the Book

Shrine of the Book

I also went to the Shrine of the Book.  By the January trip, the McCormick group all know what the shape means.  But today, I notice that the four corners of the shrine set is exactly look like the four corners of the altar.

I had so good time in the museum.  When the museum announced for its closing, I was surprised because I thought I just spent a few hours (I thought it was around 1pm).  And then I realised that I was not wearing my sunglasses any longer.  I had no idea what happened to my sunglasses.

Yaffo Street

Yaffo Street

Then I got on a bus, not the 66 but 7.  I was supposed to get off at Jaffa street.  I thought I would get the word Jaffa in Hebrew, but I missed.  Someone next to me poked and told me to get off.  Why did I miss it?  Because the announcement said “Yaffo,” not “Jaffa.”  On the map issued by the Israeli government (tourism), it clearly says Jaffa, but the street sign says Yaffo.

Light Rail

Light Rail

This is the light rail in Jerusalem New City.  Jerusalem New City just looks like any other American or European city.

And I also realised that even in the Old City, Jewish quarter is much more clean and modern than the other quarters such as Muslim or Armenian.  And it also has more sunlight while the other parts of the old city is quite covered and lacks sunlight.

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