We arrive to Jerusalem at dusk. We’re all staying at different hotels, and after leaving part of our friends at the YWCA, the sherut drives us to our hotel. I wanted to stay at a kibbutz, as we usually do, but this time my mates insisted on a hotel.
So on to our hotel we went. Our sherut driver has trouble finding the address; it’s in East Jerusalem. I don’t realize at first where we’re heading, till the driver stops and says “this is it”. I get out in my cutoff jeans, my sleeveless shirt, my Magen Star shining on my neck, my Israeli Army camouflage cap.
The hotel is not only in East Jerusalem, but its whole façade is adorned with a gigantic photo of Osama Bin Laden. Or maybe ayatollah Khomeini, I’m not sure which. I dive back into the sherut at full speed.
After a few frantic minutes trying to convince our sherut driver that I’d be perfectly comfortable sleeping in the sherut while my mates call me a coward – they are Christians, they can’t know how it feels for me to sleep inside what it seems to be one of Hamas’ headquarters – I don a hijab trying to cover, at least, my Magen David. I take off my cap and hide it in my backpack.
And I walk to the hotel – trying to look inconspicuous – as if it were a trial by fire.