Hannah and Je together

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Fifty Sixth Day – Fakes

The famous Stars & Bucks in Bethlehem

The famous Stars & Bucks in Bethlehem

This is very famous fake Starbucks in Bethlehem.  All the McCormick January Travel group saw this on the street when we were walking from the Bus Station to the Nativity Church.  The colour and font are same as the Starbucks’ but the name is slightly different (Stars & Bucks) and the logo is different, so we can easily tell this is not the real Starbucks and kind of joke.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S in Bethlehem

F.R.I.E.N.D.S in Bethlehem

This is a store in front of the Bethlehem University.  Most people would know where the sign is from.  This place has multi-function.  They have computers with internet connected, printers and photo-copiers are there too.  They also have several billiard tables, so that the students pay and play.

Toast-R-Us in Bethlehem

Toast-R-Us in Bethlehem

How about this?  This is also kind of joke or parody about the famous US brands of “Toys R Us” or “Babies R Us.”  Only one mistake is that they should have written it “Toasts-R-Us” in plural, not singular.

There are so many more parodies in Bethlehem, which draw attention of the tourists and make them laugh.  I believe that would also help their marketing.

Starbucks in Bethlehem. Really?

Starbucks in Bethlehem. Really?

In the old market next to the Nativity church, I found this Starbucks.  Unlike the other fake “Stars & Bucks” on the way to the Nativity church, it has exactly same spelling, and the logo is identical.  So I became curious if it is actual Starbucks franchisee.

Starbucks mug sales in Bethlehem

Starbucks mug sales in Bethlehem

They also sell the coffee mugs.  I asked the guy working there if they are the actual franchisee of real Starbucks from Seattle.  And he did not understand the word “franchisee.”  I explained it with easier English for about one minute, and finally he confessed that it is not the Starbucks from America.  I just wonder if it is OK to use the same name, not a parody, and also the identical logo.  But it would be OK here where the copyright is treated as a dog’s name on the street.  When I told them that I buy CDs and music files, local people here could not understand that.  And when I told them that we buy musics and movies in America, now they think Americans are so dumb and stupid spending money on where you don’t need to.

KFC Bethlehem. Hmm...

KFC Bethlehem. Hmm…

This is the KFC sign on the bus station building in Bethlehem where our bus was parked last January.  Some people may remember this KFC.  Now I wonder if this KFC is actual franchisee of real KFC or not.

Two licence plates coexist in Palestine

Two licence plates coexist in Palestine

Professor Ted Hiebert told us that the Palestinians would stone the car with Israel licence plate when they are parked in the Palestinian area.  So people took the licence plates with them so that their cars would not be stoned.  I think it was twenty or thirty years ago when he and Paula stayed in Israel for a year.  Well, that is not true any more.  I see so many cars with Israel licence plates in Palestinians areas in Israel or in West Bank too.  Actually the Palestinians in West Bank try and wish to get the Israel licence plates because they can drive into Israel with Israel licence while the Palestinians licensed vehicles are not allowed in Israel.  And the Palestinians know that all the Israel licensed vehicles in Palestine are owned by the Palestinians – their friends, neighbours, or family.  So they do not stone them any more.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Israel Trip Tenth Day: Church of Nativity, Refugee Camp

Today was another lecture day.

Stars and Bucks

Stars and Bucks

We walked to the Nativity Church from the bus terminal, and I thought I found on the way ‘Starbucks.’ But it was not.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

In front of, or between the Bethlehem Peace Centre and the Nativity Church, there was a huge Christmas tree. I wonder if it lights up at night. I saw so many tourists here from all over the world; I could recognise some of their languages such as Chinese, Korean, English, French, Spanish. And there were more languages that I could not recognise. I just thought how much Jesus has been contributing to local economy just by being born here.

Church of Nativity

Church of Nativity

This is the Church of Nativity, basically built by Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great (Personally, I don’t like ‘the Great’ part). Helena built this Church, and later Persians came and destroyed all the Churches over 95% of them. When they came to this Church, they saw a paining – three magi offering to Baby Jesus. And the magi were dressed as typical Persians. And the army thought, ‘Wait a minute… this building must have something to do with our ancestors.’ And they left it. This story reminds me how cultural diversity is important.

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If you see the three pictures, you can see the original huge gate at first picture. And then little bit smaller but still cargos can go in and out. Last one is current door and is low so that everyone bows down whenever they go in and to be humble.

Church of Nativity Catholic Sanctuary

Church of Nativity Catholic Sanctuary

The original place built by Helena and repaired by Crusaders is owned by Greek Orthodox. And next to it, Catholic Church is attached.

Jerome translated here the Bible into Latin Vulgate with the help of Paula and her daughter

Jerome translated here the Bible into Latin Vulgate with the help of Paula and her daughter

Catholic Church is of course commemorate the birth place of Jesus. But they also has another purpose – Jerome. If you go down to the basement, you can see the rooms where Jerome stayed and worked. In the picture, Left two persons are Paula and her daughter, the helper of Jerome. Jerome is the only Church Father who studied Hebrew in order to translate the Bible into Latin. And to help him, Paula and her daughter also learned Hebrew and Greek, and eventually they became or fluent in both language than Jerome.

Key to Home

Key to Home

This is one of the refugee camp. The key on top of it means the key to going back home.

Graffiti on Separation Wall

Graffiti on Separation Wall

On the wall, there are lots of graffiti. And the streets are so dirty with overflowing garbage.

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On the wall, along with other graffiti, I found John 3:16 in Korean. It struck my head. Yes, God loves them so much. God loves these persecuted people so much so that He sent his only Son so that they can live.

Lajee Centre

Lajee Centre

There is Lajee Centre. I don’t know what exactly is this, but they have a library for children (where we were sitting), and computer lab, and a few more.

American History

American History

Surprisingly, they have whole volume of American history.

Blocking Entanglement

Blocking Entanglement

They are surrounded by separation wall. Out of the wall used to be their farming field, and work place. But they most of them lost their job. To Jerusalem it used to take 10-15 minutes and now it takes more than 2 hours thanks to the Israeli checkpoint.

Bethlehem University

Bethlehem University

We went to Bethlehem university. It has beautiful buildings.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh spoke about his perspective of Palestine’s future and history. Interestingly, he is biologist and biology professor. He said if American government moves in the right way, the illegal occupation of Israel would end within two weeks. Well, that might be true since US government give about 2 million dollars to Israel every single day. But the thing is American politicians cannot live without the money from the Jewish lobbyists. And if Obama calls Israel to stop it, he may not be a president the next day.

Lawyer Raffoul Rofa

Lawyer Raffoul Rofa

After lunch where we had before on the day of Shepherds’ field, we came back to school for another session. Mr. Raffoul Rofa is a lawyer, working at St. Yves, a Catholic centre for human rights where 20 staffs working including 8 lawyers. They’ve been working for people with family reunion issues and house demolitions, and the likes. For house demolitions, they’ve got only one permit so far for fifteen years with thousands cases. And even the one was a school building built by US Aid. US Aid pressured the US federal government, and US government told Israel government. This is why they’ve got permit not because they fought in the court.

Rimon Kando Shop

Rimon Kando Shop

And then we had some time in the souvenir shop. I also bought something.

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