One Way To Ramallah

April 12, 2017

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I was sad to leave Little Tel Aviv Hostel (it was very nice and felt like home), but I was ready to get out of the bubble of Tel Aviv and experience something a little more raw and real. I checked out, skipped breakfast again, walked all around freaking Tel Aviv trying to figure out the dumb Israeli bus system, bought some chocolate and water (the essentials for life), and eventually found the freaking bus station since buses apparently don't stop at bus stops!?!?! The signage was terrible, I looked forever for the 405 to Jerusalem, but eventually I found it. I wait in line for about 10 minutes...the bus gets there, I board, and we're off to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is beautiful—it's no wonder they call it The Golden City. All of the old buildings are a beautiful, rich yellow color and you can sort of soak up all of their history while walking past. It's crazy to think about all of the things many of these buildings have probably seen. However, I'm not supposed to be staying in Jerusalem for too long. So, I look around for where to board the 218 to Ramallah but I can't find it for the life of me. I eventually end up in a place called Demascus Gate, and there is a big bus stop, but it doesn't seem the 218 is anywhere to be found. I look... and look... and look... nothing. I can't find this freaking bus. Eventually, I give up and ask someone.

"Excuse me, sir. Where can I find a bus to Ramallah?"

"Ramallah?! You? Heh, well, there's another station behind that building."

Well, that was weird. Anyway, I walk behind the building and see my bus! I walk aboard, pay my fee (like 7 Euros or something), all of the people aboard look at me like I'm a nut case, and we are off to Ramallah. There's a USB plug on the bus so I charge my phone and I text Yusuf to inform him that I'm not too far out.

Once I finally arrive in Ramallah, it takes me a while to find the entrance to my hostel. I see a big sign on top of a building but I can't find the darned entrance. I walk around for a while and worry that I'm making Yusuf wait, but eventually I realize I have to climb a bunch of stairs and I'm met by a really nice young lady. She checks me in and shows me around...only then does Yusuf walk in. I see him, run toward him, and launch into a hug. It was great to see a friendly face. We talk briefly, I put my stuff away, and then Yusuf suggests we get something to eat. I'm starving at this point, so I willingly agree. We head down to some falafel place (what I'll end up eating most of the week) and order some falafel pita and some other weird things that I still don't know what they are. Then Yusuf walks over to the buses and says,

Okay, let's go to Jericho!

And so it begins...