The once cozy little room with shirts that hung from the shower curtain pole, and toothbrushes and toothpaste all scatter on the bathroom countertop, and suitcases full of clothes strung about the bedroom/living room floor had now returned back to the cold, non personal air-conditioned hotel room.
The tourists, who had not long ago watched in amazement at a frum Jewish lady as she defended her family against a thief, had all packed up their belongings and were preparing to head back to the States. Except for one guy.
"Jeremy, your not packed up yet? We gotta leave soon, what's the matter?"
Jeremy just couldn't get himself to pack. He had realized that in all his stay in Israel, he hadn't gotten off the tourist path and never really saw Israel, its people, what life is like, etc. Also, he was too curious about the lady who had tripped up a thief with a fighting stick. He had never seen anyone do such a thing -much less a Jew. Jeremy wanted to stick around and learn more.
"Well, guys. I think I want to stay just a few more days. I want to see more of Israel"
"Have it your way," they replied as they headed out the door, "give us a call when you come back!"
And with that, Jeremy began his new stay alone in this new country. He felt a bit excited. To think that he planned to go off the beaten tourist path and to dwell among the "natives". He smiled.
'Wait a second, I better not stay in this hotel alone. It'll be too expensive for me' He thought. So he quickly shoved all his belongings in his suitcase and headed out.
The air was different now. It felt.....adventuresome and inviting. After turning in the keys and walking outside, he stopped the first guy on the street.
"Hey, do you know of any youth hostels?"
"Uh, oh! uh, do you speak English?"
"eh, ktzat" The stranger called someone eles over who knew English and they directed him to a youth hostel in the Old City.
"Toda. Toda rabba....uh thank you" He repied. boy, its not going to be easy, he thought, as he went towards the Old City ready for the adventure.
TO BE CONTINUED...