As a traveler I also was not too choosy of my destinations. Israel was on my long list of places to visit. However for Matt Gross, Israel was on his list of places not to visit along with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Being Jewish he was expected to have the Jewish state on his list– an author of “Am I a Jew?–suggested he see Jerusalem. Matt Gross “ended spending six December days in the holiest place on the planet and surrounded by the Old City’s 500-year-old stone walls and legions of Christians, Jews and Moslems, I would be the lone unbeliever, walking a tightrope between belonging and individualism, observing not necessarily my faith but the faithful.”

“The Old city turned to be…,exactly the kind of place where I feel comfortable. A place I never thought I’d visit. Now I didn’t want to leave.”

Leave however I did with the intention to return for a longer sojourn. This time I will perhaps not book sight unseen a hotel on the eastern side of Jerusalem. My introduction to the segregation of Jerusalem into the east and western side was disquieting. With his hand forming a gun and his index the barrel, my riding companion on the bus told me he wouldn’t be caught in that side of the city. I wasn’t aware this was conquered land from Jordan.

New York Times, Sunday January 15 2012.
Lost in Jerusalem while flying at 38,000 feet enroute to Cali, Colombia via Miami.

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