“The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”
Whenever anybody asks me about the most surprising thing I have witnessed during my trip to the middle east, the answer is the easiness in which a taxi driver of Skoda Octavia fitted 6 European passengers into his car*1. Yes, you heard right, it has really happened. And in this way, squeezed between one German gentleman, one German lady and my fellow travelers K4t3 and M46D4 I have arrived in Jericho*2.
Including Jericho in the trip plan was my idea. I googled its pictures, liked it, and made it my aim to go there. Now, I suspect it was faith. Going to Israel, I hoped to experience cultural shock, but I failed. Don’t understand me wrong, it was still super awesome. I slept on the desert, found my peace, and blah blah blah. What I was lacking, was the effect of surprise and a Muslim part of Palestine fulfilled that need in a heartbeat.
What was so groundbreaking there? OMG, where to start? There was loud and outgoing host*3, who integrated with us in such a natural way and for whom nothing was impossible. There were other tenants of the hostel, with whom we spent lots of time having deep, deep discussions about the universe. There was totally different architecture, messy structures, slightly weird things in shops. And then on the top of that, there were delicious food, exotic fruits, and colorful flowers all around. Sounds magical, doesn’t it?
And now, cos some of you may wanna go there, I feel it is important to mention that your experiences in Jericho may not be so great as mine were. More, you may not even like it. I mention it, cos for me it was very surprising that someone may feel uncomfortable there, but apparently a lot of people do. Additionally there was a cultural difference issue. Some people haven’t been curious about other culture and denied this culture it’s right to be different. Some people judged others and their behaviours through their egocentric self. It is still surprising for me how people with such an approach ends up in a place like middle east. When you go there you expect it to be quite extravagant, don’t you? Or maybe its just me…? Well, anyways, it happened that some people were not happy with what the meet there. I saw it. It was disturbing. It spoiled a trip for these people and made the rest of us sad.
But lets get back to me, cos this blog is about my feelings and my opinions. #egoalert. So let me tell you I totally loved Jericho! I loved the people, I loved how friendly and helpful they were, and I loved that they kept it real. As I see it, keep your mind open, learn from what you see and it will enrich you for life.