First Shopping Day in Old City

12 January 2009

JC Security did’t let us out of the Center for a couple of days because of protests and riots and things, since we live in the Palestinian section, but today, Sunday, we got to go out! Hooray!! But we could only go in groups of five or more and only to the places we went on our little orientation walk in the city.

So with no hesitation, eight of us girls got ready for an adventure. To be fully prepared for this, I equipped my fanny pack with all the goods: camera. copy of passport. gum. chapstick. dinosaur mirror. Jerusalem Center cell phone. Jerusalem Center ID card. hand sanitizer. and of course a polka dotted personal check to exchange money with Aladdin.
First stop: Aladdin money changer. He takes personal checks from BYU students, the Mormons. He is cool to the max. Dollars to Shekels. Exchange rate=3.8 Each shekel is worth about 25 cents. Sweet.

Next stop: Damascus Gate. Hold on to your fanny packs, or if you’re a regular,
less cool girl, hold on to your purse. But you don’t want to lose your shekels, so watch out.

And then….: THE OLD CITY!

Then us eight girls, which is tooooooo big of a group, especially of American girls, some of which were a bit too American. Anywho, then we just wandered around the little streets, going into fun shops. There are so many cool things, and all preeeettttttttty inexpensive too. I’ve got some good things to buy. Yay yay ya ya.

My first purchase of the day… a purple pashmina. (By the way, I hear pashmina is goat beard hair, interesting.) He said 20 shekels for it and I thought, “Sweet. 20 shekels, that’s like 5 bucks.” So I bought it after choosing the good one.

Then we went down the little alley streets some more and went in another little shop. The guy’s name is Emad and he, like many of the shopkeepers, loves the Mormons. He was giving us sweet deals and was selling his scarves and pashminas for 10 shekels! That’s about $2.50! Crazy cheap… and he was selling us cool earrings for 5 shekels. Whoa man. So I bought another pashmina and a pair of earrings. This store is now referred to as the “10 Shekel Scarf Shop.”

We journeyed onward to another shop called Ali Baba’s or something. The man’s name is Shaban. His store is often referred to as the BYU store. He is a huge fan of the “Young Mormons” and he has made special BYU Jerusalem shirts and sweatshirts and he sells scripture cases. And every time we go there, he gives everyone cups of juice. He’s one cool dude. My most favorite purchase of the day was bought at his store. They are….. GENIE PANTS! They are the sweetest coolest things to ever be on my legs. Oh how I love me new genie pants. I pretty much look like Jasmine when I wear them.

I also bought a most fabulous bag this lovely day. It was my first bartering experience. I need to get better. He told me like 80 shekels and I said I’d come back and he was telling me what a good deal it was and I liked the bag and he said 70 shekels and I said 60 shekels and he said okay. I now have a sweet bag that I spent $15 on. Not too bad. But I definitely could’ve gone lower. I’ll shortly acquire some improved bartering skills.

No Comments

Leave a Reply