Back in the holy land for 2011

After a 3 week break to see family for Christmas and New Year and see my home church and friends, I am back in my flat in East Talpiyot, south part of Jerusalem, having flown back on tuesday.

The flight was a bit more eventful than I would of liked, once aboard the Easyjet flight in its usual orange livery in Luton, we were advised by the captain that the plane could not take off due to a warning light the advised of a part on the plane that needed to be replaced, at first it was thought that a part could be brought over from Heathrow, after a while we were told this was not possible and that a replacement plane would be here shortly.  However the other plane was smaller and not able to take all of us, so it was back to the lounge and told to wait for the screens to show an announcement.   A refreshment voucher was offered to the value of £3 ($5 or 18 Shekels)  which makes me think that the voucher scheme for delayed passengers appears to be a bit out of touch with inflation, this got me one coffee as another 20p was needed for a packet of salt and vinegar crisps.

It was not until 4 hours later another flight was ready for us taking off at 3.30.   On the flight its quite interesting listening to British Jews speak in Hebrew with an English accent, I forgot my earplugs as I always seem to be sat near screaming children on flights but I did bring an inflatable neck cushion for a bit of a doze on the flight.   It left me some time to pray, as I also forgot where my iPod cable was and there was no chance of any tunes or TV shows as the battery was flat.  When exiting the airport I handed over my passport for examination which after being asked my purpose (volunteering) a couple of times there was a awkward long 2 minutes as the woman checked my details on her computer.

Once on the Sherut (a bright yellow Mercedes 12 seater minibus) it was just an hour or so to get to my flat, which I arrived at about 1.30am IL time.  I wasn’t feeling that tired by the time I got there.

Its freezing here, a different type of chill than the UK, but I am not used to it, I have not experienced Israel in early winter months.  It was cooler in December for sure and until mid-november I was wearing just one shirt.  The downside is my flat like most I see in Jerusalem is made of concrete (with the familiar white stone facade) with no curtains to insulate the windows, only roller blinds.

Yesterday we got some rain, it may of only been for 10 minutes or so before I went to bed yesterday but the metal rails of the balcony of my flat were still wet when I was up the next morning so this is a good thing this country is so desperately in need of.

More articles will be listed soon.