Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Candy Floss Beards

The night was surprisingly warm as we walked the 15 minute walk from our front door to the Old City of Jerusalem. There were coloured lights lining the walls, floating high above our heads, suspended like luminecent orbs amidst a navy blue sky. There were no stars. Bustling crowds of carnival goers littered the entrance to the city. A marching band struck up a melodically catchy beat, hand clapping and cheers arose from the enticed crowed. A circle of people was forming, and upon closer inspection, we could see a circle of drums and a few brave souls banging along to the beat. There were others dancing in the circle and some around it. We joined immediately, kneeling on the hard, smooth stone floor we began to beat our drums to the sounds of the city.
A string of lights strung from wall to wall above our heads lit the way through the winding streets. Along the way you could hear the sounds of musicians emanating, seemingly from the walls itself. Carnival goers would stop at irregular intervals, some hugging their friends hello and goodbye, while others gazed, mesmerised at the musicians, engrossed in the melodies. Each instrumentalist was stranger than the last. Each instrument a true testament to the musician and to the capability of human kind in the arts. We carried on walking, stopping, also engrossed in the sounds. We reach what seemed to be the hub of the carnival. A sunken pit lay before us, people lined up eagerly overlooking the railings of the balcony to the band that sat just below. They were strumming and beating and singing and clapping. The crowd kept in time with the beat. White, sugary fluff hung on the breeze. The sweet sugary smell from the candy floss made it all to unbearable to go one more minute without it. We bought two spirals of candy floss and gently peeled away layers, devouring the sugar and felling it evaporate as it touched our tongues. The city was buzzing with people and music. Around every corner was a different sound, a different vibe, a completely different atmosphere. Each quarter of the city had a different smell. You could feel the electricity in the air. Hanging musicians lit up the walls as we were exiting the gates. One last jam session and we were off into the night, searching for another adventure.


We spent the greater part of the evening devouring the sweet sugary goodness that was the Fairy floss, and the rest of the night mocking the Aussies for calling it such. The six of us walked aimlessly through the streets of the old city occasionally stopping to clutch at our stitches from laughing too much. We left the old city with steaming hot cups of Sahlep (a warm milk pudding with nuts, cinnamon and coconut). Wondering the streets, we stopped for a bathroom break in a fancy restaurant that had mildly disappointingly unexciting bathrooms. The one had no door, and the other had no toilet paper. After a walk through the streets past the dirty shnattie bars, and a consensus to avoid them, we went to the trendiest bar in the area. Broken skate boards for handles and a foose ball table while the walls are almost covered in graffiti. A welcoming sight, and a lovely break from the chilly wind that had picked up outside. We said goodbye to Jess and Rosa, and headed home while they caught the next bus to Tel Aviv. Ari walked me home.