Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nablus, Palestine 4.11.10

I've just had a morning stroll around Nablus: not a Starbucks, Costa, Pret, McDo, or Tescos in sight........................................WADDAMISUPPOSEDTOEAT?

I found 'the' mall: and bought some flat-breads, hummus, mango juice and an onion. The staff were very friendly (3 check-out guys) and knew of Project Hope. Prices were high, however, and I wonder how the locals can afford to eat well...35 shekels for a litre of olive oil, which actually comes from here! That's about 7 pounds/euros. Likewise tins of kidney or broad beans, 6-7 shekels, over 1 pound sterling.

My March 2010 Lonely Planet is already way out of date, and prices for everything are very expensive, even basics.

In the hostel in Jerusalem I was confronted with that most noble of creatures: the whingeing tourist! How expensive all the attractions are, how she had spent all of her money and couldn't even change her ticket home without incurring a penalty. I was dismayed, however, to hear her news: that at the 'gates' of Petra, magnificent sand-stone city carved into the desert rocks, entry is now 50USD per person. I'm glad I went 30 years ago, when it was free and they didn't have 5-star hotels at the entrance.

Also a Belgian traveller I met on the 'plane told me he had visited Stonehenge: fence all round it, 7GBP to enter and.......worst of all........they had erected some of the stones lying on the ground, that had presumably lain like that for millenia, and plonked them in the ground upright, holding them in place using concrete! It makes you feel hollow in the pit of your stomach: someone, somewhere is making a small fortune out of making the human race pay huge sums to see artifacts which belong to....the human race.

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