Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Western Wall and the Super Bowl

We woke up and ate the hostel's spartan breakfast. At the communal tables there were your typical backpacking stereotypes, the old Brits, the lanky sleepy Europeans, and the American know-it-all girls. I guess we were the PDA couple who isolated themselves and made snarky comments about the others.

Then, we meandered our way from the hostel to the Old City. We first walked through the Armenian Quarter which things like an Armenian art store and an Armenian coffee shop. Then we walked around the Jewish Quarter but never found a path to the Western Wall that didn't involve stairs. We later took the inner perimeter road to and the outer perimeter road from the Wall. Both are accessible, but you have to be in the road for parts.

We took a nap during the day to prepare to stay up late to watch the Super Bowl. I had chicken shwarma for both of my meals. After the second one, we marched to the Western Wall. I had always wanted to go there and stick a note inside. To actual be in its presence and touch it moved me to tears. I just stood next to it leaning on it for a while. My girlfriend had trouble getting near it as he had to muscle her way to touch it because the women's side is much smaller than the men's.

We went to the holiest place in Judaism on the holiest day in America. On the way back, a man veered his van into a parking and ran after us. He wanted to ask my girlfriend about her scooter and how we got it into Israel.

Then we went to Mike's Place to watch the Super Bowl because some Europeans were watching movies in the hostel's tv room. Turnovers were the story. The 49ers turned the ball over and gad two stupid penalties in the first half. Kaepernick struggled. Jacoby Jones made an incredible catch, got up without being touched, and zigzagged into the end zone. To start the second half, Jones ran back the opening kickoff in the longest play in Super Bowl history. That's when the power went out. 36 minutes later, the Ravens' Ravens'momentum had vanished. They began turning the ball over and making dumb penalties. Kaepernick snapped out of his slump and Flacco entered into one.

But the Ravens held off just enough to win 34-29. Two more field goals and a legendary goalline stand helped the Ravens capture their second Super Bowl. We walked back to the hotel as the sun came up.

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