Once upon a time there was a young red boy who decided to travel the world.

He had worked for 11 months in India and because of that time he received a return ticket from his company to his home country, being able to choose the airline and the route.

This is how he went to Turkey and, consequently, to Israel.

After a few days in Istanbul, Izmir and Pamukkale, he decided to leave for the promised land.

Arriving at the airport in Tel Aviv, he was approached by a policeman with a scowling face and few friends. Along with it, an incessant questionnaire was applied.

“Your name is not Brazilian” – the guard bellowed.
“Yes it is. Guilherme is Brazilian” – answered the boy.
“No. Your last name. Eisfeld is not Brazilian.”
“It’s German.”
“My great-grandfather was German.”
“Because he was born in Germany.”
“Smart ass! I want to know the reason for going to Brazil.”
“You see, immigration. The people were in a bad situation and left for Brazil and America in general. But relax, it was before the First World War.

Stereotypes aside, he wanted to state that his great-grandfather had not mistreated any Jew, but felt that the information would be better only  in his mind.

“Why did you go 3 times to Malaysia? Did you know that there are terrorists there?”
Actually I visited this country only once, the other times were just connecting flights.”
“You don’t have a bomb with you, do you?”

And the will to answer yes to the above question?

A few more questions passed, until a revelation surprised the boy.

“Are you traveling alone?”
“Are you religious?”
“So why the hell did you come to Israel during Easter?”

Without a clear answer to the last question and a little embarrassed, he was led into a room where other people passed through the same wait and uncertainty.

A few minutes later a call and a wish: Welcome to Israel!

Tel Aviv has an interesting waterfront, and in one of the corners Old Jaffa, with its old port and historic buildings.

But it was in Jerusalem that everything would happen.

The lodging was in a magical place. Located in the center of the walled city, it was on a mattress in the middle of another 54, on the terrace of a building, without a roof and just with the light of stars, that he slept for some nights. When waking up the old city wished him a good day.

The religious movement was intense, whether on the Christian or Jewish side.

Many places referred to famous biblical names, such as Mount Zion, Mount of Olives or the Via Dolorosa. People walked and staged the crucifixion of Christ through the streets with great devotion.

Also there are huge crowds of people around the Wailing Wall, also called the Western Wall or Kotel, an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount, and due to its entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though it is not the holiest site in the Jewish faith, which lies behind it.

On Easter Sunday itself, only religious groups could stay in the vicinity of the old city or walk freely with their proper identification cards.

No problem, all that religious demonstration was already exacerbated to the boy’s mind, so he took a break from it and headed for the Dead Sea.

A local bus passing through desert areas brought him to this saltwater lake in the Middle East. Its name is due to the great quantity of salt contained in it, ten times superior to the one of the other oceans, explaining thus the scarcity of life.

Due to the abundance of salt you do not sink, but what nobody explained is that for the same reason it was not advisable to dive, because the eyes would burn as if on fire.

Under strong sunlight the smart-ass ran to the water and did not even have time to stop to the screams of his new friends from the hostel. Diving followed by howling, screaming and cursing in the mother tongue, and the desire to tear off the eyeballs.

It was impossible to open them or see anything further. Groping for the ground he managed to get into a shower and the suffering began to pass slowly.

Recovered it was the time to try the dark mud for medicinal purposes that existed on this beach. If it does well I do not know, but it surely was more comforting than the dive.

A very beautiful region, rich with a lot of history, but living in conflict with its neighbors, and that I would not like to enter the merits, from its foundation to the present state.

The only thing I can hope for is more tolerance, respect and help from all sides.

This entry was posted in Middle East

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