Post by Alica Bökelmann
The day started at the bus station in Ramallah where our little group met. Unfortunately one member felt sick and couldn’t join us. While we searched the Bus to Jerusalem one devious taxi driver tricked us by telling us that there was no bus to Jerusalem and that he could take us there. The only problem which we didn’t know: he could pass the check point. He left us there and we had to pass Kalandia checkpoint by foot which, unsurprisingly, didn’t feel comfortably or pleasant at all. We took the bus on the other side and without any further delays we arrived in Jerusalem. We visited the garden tomb, one of Jesus’ many possible graves which are spread through the city, before we started our tour through the old city. We saw the Arab Quarter, the Wailing Wall, then we visited the Temple Mount with the Dome of Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque and finished the tour in a little polish falafel-restaurant. The group split up because some wished to do the tour through the tunnel system underneath the Wailing Wall while others wanted to eat Sachertorte in the Vienna’ hospice which is nowadays a restaurant. The tour took about an hour and was very interesting. We saw the ruins of the second temple and the tour guide seemed to know everything about the history of this place. The group gathered again and did a detour through the Jewish quarter where we found the Madaba mosaic (the oldest cartographic depiction of the Holy Land). Afterwards we went back to the bus station. But instead of going home we decided to visit the Auguste-Viktoria Hospital on top of the Mount of Olives. There we had a fantastic view over Jerusalem, we could even see Jordan! If it hadn’t been so windy, I could have sat there forever. The walk back was easy: thanks to one of our team member’s sense of direction we found our way back to the bus station where we found the bus back to Ramallah easily.
Tuesday was the day of our supermarket prank. Our “Team garbage” had a team meeting in the Andiamo Café to discuss the last questions by a nice cup of coffee before we went to the supermarket. In the supermarket everything run smoothly, we introduced our idea to the cashier and hid the camera, than we had to wait for customers. The idea was to let the cashier tell the customers they had to pay for their plastic bag half shekel while we watched their reactions. In the beginning the cashier seemed to feel uncomfortably because it is very uncommon in Palestine to pay for bags but due to the calm customers’ reactions he got calmer. We interviewed our customers later on and had some very interesting conversations.
After the prank we decided to visit Rawabi, a city build by one Palestinian billionaire. We had to convince our Palestinian friend a little bit because actually our he had to study but we decided for him that the best way to spend the day was with us. I am sure he didn’t regret that 😉
We arrived in Rawabi headquarter, where we were told to wait. We thought, they wouldn’t let us wait for long but we were so wrong! We had to wait over two hours! But actually that wasn’t a big problem because we had so much fun together. We had food, a great view over Rawabi and Palestine, a mini-IKEA and a playground. It doesn’t take much to let some grown up students behave like small children 😉 We romped around, took lots of photos and had great chats. I enjoyed my company so much! After two hours we finally got our tour through Rawabi. The city isn’t finished yet but when it is finished, it will be impressive. Rawabi will become a modern city with its’ own amphitheatre, swimming pools, a huge mosque, schools, space for safari tours through the Palestinian mountains and solar panels on every rooftop.
Back in Ramallah the Palestinian students had to get back to their studies while the Germans met to have dinner together.
We did a little walk, trying to find the restaurant where another friend works when he is not studying. After a few detours we finally found it. The restaurant was really worth the search because the atmosphere in there was great and the food was even better (even though some of us had to wait almost an hour to get there food^^). The dinner ended with the traditional shisha, of course, before we went back to our apartments.
On Wednesday “Team garbage” did its’ second prank: we placed three different garbage cans next to one of the cafeterias on campus and labeled them. One was for plastic, one for paper and the last one for all the other garbage. The idea was to see, if students would separate their garbage if it helped to recycle plastic and paper. We filmed again with a hidden camera. We could observe some really interesting and funny reactions and again had a lot of intriguing conversations. After we finished we had a chat with our supervisor because he was asking about the process of the groups. Because we already finished our project and the “Team for special needs people” asked our Team for help, some of us decided to go back to Ramallah to support the other project.