Friday morning with Charlie in the old city of Jerusalem.
Charlie and I drove from his town, Kfar Adumim, to the old city this morning, Friday.
Walked in the Jaffa gate to the Jewish quarter.
I found the "rivka" jewellery store with the same nice Jewish gentleman with Kipah.
He's several generations in Jerusalem.
Bought things for family and friends.
Walked to the western wall. Went inside where about 200 men were praying.
Photos were allowed although a chassid complained to me about all the shots.
I explained that I had not even shot one shot but I apologised anyway.
Went back thru the arab/muslim section. Quite safe.
The arab businessmen all want to do business and make you feel comfortable before they separate you from your money.
Invited in by a nice muslim store owner.
At first I was interested in beautiful handmade checkers sets with inlaid mother of pearl etc.
Then i saw the yemenite swords with silver hand crafted sheaths.
A big one was $400.
I showed little interest but mentioned a much lower price for the little one.
At one point he said he wanted to sell me both and asked for a price.
So I said something really low like say $60 for both.
I told him that I did not want to insult him before I named the price.
He said he would not be insulted and I could name any price so I said 60 bucks.
I ended up offering $100 if he gave me $10 back or 40 shekels back.
We settled on $90 and now I am the proud owner of 2 beautiful silver sheathed bedouin swords.
Jokingly I asked him if I could bring them back with me on the plane on board.
He joked to Charlie about what a tough negotiator i was.
I told him that it was good that he sold hebrew, muslim and christian paraphernalia.
He mentioned that he was muslim.
His christian byzantine and other iconic christian icons were exquisitely beautiful.
Had I more bucks, i'd definitely have picked up on some, even though they were christian.
Went into a t shirt place in the arab section.
Two guys about 25 years old.
They had all kinds of pro Israel stuff and even some really raunchy stuff.
Modern arab businessmen.
The t-shirts were about 30 to 40 shekels. About 10 bucks.
Some rauchy kama sutra stuff too and funny obscene stuff.
Lots of Israeli army t-shirts.
Even one saying Mossad which is ridiculous.
The guys quoted me 40 on a quality shirt and said he\d give me a discount.
So after I picked one out I mentioned the discount and said 35.
Then jokingly a couple minutes later i told him it was 30.
He smiled and shook hands with me and his partner laughed and said he was a nice businessman.
So it was 30.
I thanked him and told him he was a good man.
He said that money was not everything so
I asked him what IS everything.
He actually used the hebrew word "ha Shem"
So at the end I said to him salam alaychem and allah achbar.
He smiled and we shook hands and I left
Another good experience with arab businessmen.
The first guy above was about 45.
He was the stereotypical arab shop owner...always seeing if I wanted something else before I left we had a lot of fun with that.
You guys have to come here.
More things you don't see in the USA but see in Israel..............
-------------a dog walking along the shoulder of the highway.
------------ multi guys peeing on the road where you see the stream (never ever seen that in the usa)
-------------many motorcyclists driving on the right shoulder of they highway.