Day 5 was a very different day. In some ways I wondered if it was a day of failure, as our bodies had given up on us and we needed rest. With all the walking, us "pencil pushers" had been doing, especially that the grueling 3.5 hour whirlwind tour all over the hilly terrain of Old Jerusalem, just did us in. Add to that the extreme heat of the day and no wonder we were finished.
We began to understand Jesus at the well where he stopped, sat down in weariness and let the disciples go on ahead to buy food.
We got immersed in our stuff, like napping and such, (material for another time) and when we did come out of it we looked up and we were surprised that it was already dark. We realized then that it was Friday night and that the Sabbath had begun.
Exactly! (Such crazy mindless tourists!)
My first thought was about food??? Would all the restaurants be closed? AAAAAHHHH!
It was eerily quite out on the streets that night. Very few people were out moving around and all the shops, yes and even the restaurants were closed. It felt both very empty, and refreshing at the same time, as now we could go right up to the different shop display windows and examine things closely without someone coming at you to push a sale. Kind of freeing.
But I had really only one thing in mind... what about supper? Was I to live or die this night? Was I to live off the power bars we'd brought for emergency snacks as supper tonight?
We walked on, past the usual places we'd already eaten at, searching, looking around for something open. Then we saw it.... yes, you are correct, it was a McDonalds! We were elated, and in great excitement we made a beeline for this familiar place that would be just like home.
The first surprise was that nothing was in English. A server pointed out a small sheet stuck to the wall at the end of the counter, a typed list of items in English! Small print too. We squinted, leaning over the counter to try and make out the menu.
I ordered a big mac meal, but discovered that for some reason I could not have a coffee with it, it had to be orange juice or nothing. I used my gentle persuasive techniques to try and persuade him to just include coffee instead, but that did not work. Might have been a language issue! We worked out another order and I got a coffee, but then I learned it had to be an espresso coffee, nothing else. It came in a very small cup, possibly 1/4 of the small cup in Canada. And no cream! When I asked about the cream he said they had no cream. The reason was that they had no machine that would
include the cream. I suggested that I would be happy with milk, did they have milk? His face broke into a quick broad smile, "Yes," he exclaimed, "we have milk!" He got a milk carton, placed it beside a machine, put a white hose from the machine into the milk box spout and pressed a button. After a while milk was sucking out of the milk carton and hot steaming milk was running into a cup he'd placed in a slot on the machine. He handed it to me with a huge smile. I immediately noticed he'd just given me more milk than the earlier order of coffee! Nevertheless, I thanked him profusely.
As I went back to my chair, I wondered what to do? If I poured the milk into the coffee cup it would run over. I sat down and poured the coffee into the hot cup of milk. I now had a coffee flavored cup of milk! Nice. I actually liked it.
Even though the experience wasn't very "Canadian", I still did have a great meal and appreciated the fact I did not have to starve or survive on power bars last night.