Monday, February 12, 2007
Another Kind of Pilgrimage
I felt like crap for much of the last week. I caught the communal Albright cold and it progressed from the sore throat stage into the hacking cough. I got some codine over the counter (gotta love the Middle East!) at the drug store next to the Albright and have been sleeping a lot. I won't take it during the day as I don't want to feel drowsy and I don't like the feeling it gives after prolonged periods. I'm also taking 3000 mg of vitamin C a day spread over 2 doses at the Director's suggestion. It seems to have worked because I'm not feeling perfect, but I am feeling better.
One of the other fellows, Christine - who is a UCLA student, and I went to the American Colony Hotel earlier on Sunday evening for a drink - I hadn't been there since Brian left. I haven't posted for a while as I've been working away on the lecture I'm required to give here on March 1 and now it's finished. The lecture will deal with mechanisms for the transfer of architectural styles and techniques, their significance, and the problems involved in studying these issues.
Have any of you dear readers heard about the riots here? The Israeli's are repairing the ramp that goes up to the Dome of the Rock and doing a little excavating along with it. They claim it was damaged in the snow storm (wouldn't surprise me) and the Muslims claim they are going to damage the mosque, so there were riots to go along with the Friday prayers. We knew something was going on yesterday, but since no one goes out much, they weren't sure what. It's funny to have something going on practically on our doorstep but to have to read about it on the Internet. I knew a bit more than others, because I made a pilgrimmage to the Christian liquor store to get a bottle of Arak to take to Trude's and a bottle of scotch for me - it's even more expensive here than in Australia. This required passing through 3 or 4 pedestrian checkpoints and the road in front of the Damascus Gate of the Old City was blocked to traffic. It's a good thing we visited the Dome of the Rock when we did as it is once again closed to tourists. This building activity by the Israeli's could trigger a 3rd intifada and security in the area has been increased.
I also hosted the first of a monthly happy hour in my apartment - the Albright paid, all I had to do was set it up and host it. That's the kind of party I like - one that someone else pays for. After dinner, I went to Trude's house and another archaeologist, Sharon Zuckerman from Hebrew U was there and we ate, drank, and talked architecture for about 3 hours. Trude is the famous Israeli archaeologist, Trude Dothan.
Last Saturday morning I went on a tour of Ein Karim sponsored by Al Quds University. This is a village in the hills just outside of J'lem - reminiscent of the foothills of the Troodos in Cyprus - with a bunch of churches, including the Church of the Annunciation. We also visited the convent of Notre Dame of Sion - which was a convent founded to teach orphans and has nothing to do with the Da Vinci Code - but they make great mandarin orange marmalade. It was nice to get out and get some fresh air. As alluded to above, a lot of people here have colds here, so I decided to forego the hash.
Now that I have finished my talk, I plan to continue research on my project as well as other things.