Elizabeth and i head over to the Moslem Quarter for dinner on Friday night. Options are always limited in Israel on Friday night for Sabbath. We enjoy a reasonably priced meal at El Nasser, close to Damascus Gate.
Elizabeth armed with a quality Streetwise map of the city suggests we take a shortcut back to our hotel and knowing the general direction we need to aim for i am happy to go along with her plan.
We manage to get hopelessly lost and we end up in an ultra orthodox Jewish area - Mea She'arim.
Elizabeth is happy to approach the few late night walkers to ask directions, but they appear completely scared and frequently wave their hands in front of theri faces and shaking their heads. Clearly they will only speak to a male, so i try my best. A few are more communicative but typically in Israel, each response is different to the last.
There are several large posters up which request all women “outsiders” where modest dress, and Elizabeth once a photo. She puts me on watch-dog duties and i give her the all-clear.
The flash goes off and out of the gloom comes an ultra-orthodox male running and screaming. I don’t know if to laugh or scream, and amazingly i resist both. We both beg forgiveness – this is clearly a serious breach. Our assailant goes ape-shit at us and we bow and apologise profusely.the offending photo
We certainly learnt our lesson the hard way.
Our “short-cut” has taken an hour and we are both relieved to have made it back to the hotel in one piece.