Rain, sometimes very heavy was falling. "Good, we need rain. I'll just curl up on the couch and read my book, maybe play with my silver a little too.........it's a good day to stay in." Don said, "I'm going to the Israel Museum and meet with Eli." (Eli is one of the archeologists in charge at the City of David dig and he is advising Don in regard to his thesis.) " The Museum! I wanna go too, may I go with you?" I love museums and spending a day there sounded wonderful.
We took a bus into town, it was a little walk to the stop for the next bus that would take us to the museum, rain was pouring down, so we hailed a taxi. At the museum lobby we called Eli and while we waited for him we bought ourselves one year memberships. Good! Now I can pop in as much as I want.
Eli took us to his office, it was filled with pieces of pottery, assembled pots, drawings of pottery and boxes of all sizes holding artifacts, many of these were from The City of David dig. Eli showed us around his small office and told us about the pieces, I was fascinated. While Don and Eli conducted their business, I looked around, waiting patiently........well, maybe not so patiently.........for them to finish so we could wonder through the rest of the museum.
After a light lunch in the museum restaurant we went a wondering. Our first stop was some rooms with 15th and 16th century religious paintings, they all depicted stories from the Bible, mostly from the Old Testament but some from the New Testament. I not only enjoyed the paintings from a distance but got up close to each one studying the brush strokes and techniques of the various artists. Because I have begun to use oils, I had a new interest in the way these paintings were done. I feel that I understand more about how to use oils since studying the paintings. We wondered through a room with ancient coins, many had been found stored in clay pots and some had been found in "safes", hollowed out stones from the walls of buildings. On we went through many rooms with interesting displays. Around 4pm we began to feel tired and hungry, let's go home.
In front of the museum, we were accosted by about five taxi drivers. It was still raining pretty hard and a hike across the parking lot to the bus stop wasn't all that inviting. Don reached into his pocket and brought out a hand full of change, 29 NIS, (one NIS is equivalent to 25 cents) with the memberships and lunch and a taxi ride to the museum, that's all Don had in his pocket, we'll take the bus. The taxi guys came to me, maybe I could bring it up to 40 NIS which was the price to take us home. Under my coat, in my purse I had a 100 NIS, but I just pointed to Don and said that he has the money. I knew that they would make a case for using my 100 NIS for the taxi, but I also new that if they thought all we had was 29 NIS, they would find a way to take us some where for that amount. They inquired if Don had some bills in his wallet.......no? I said "We'll just take the bus." "There are no busses that will take you directly to Abu Tor" was the reply. "That's OK" I said, "We'll take the bus into town, have dinner with a credit card and then take a bus home." "We will take you into town for 29 NIS!" They quickly agreed upon which one of them got the privilege to take us to town and we got into the taxi.
These taxi drivers work together, they are all hurting. Because tourism is down since the conflict started, hotels, shops, restaurants, taxis, tour guides and anything to do with tourism is hurting, it's very sad. JUC (Jerusalem University Collage) is also hurting. Some of the short term groups (these are collage students from the US who spend a semester studying here) have canceled, the school has had to cut back staff. It's too bad because CNN makes it sound so dangerous here and it really isn't.
This morning the sky Is clear, it's beautiful out, but I think I'll do what I was going to do yesterday, read and play with silver.