DAY 1: LONDON-TEL AVIV-JERUSALEM
This time a week ago, Oli and I were sat on a plane heading to Tel Aviv, feeling totally up for the Gaza experience, but also quite emotional and very tired after a night of sleep-deprivation (I'm afraid we'll never master the having-an-early-night-before-an-important-trip philosophy, no matter how hard we try ;) ).
The entry to Israel went smooth as silk, the passport control being far more relaxed than the ones which usually awaits us whenever we arrive to London or Madrid, to the extent that you can approach the smiley lady or gentleman in the booth with whoever is travelling with you. Jan and Jackie had sent a taxi to pick us up, and we were chatting with the driver (Oli being Oli, of course the questions were political very soon, but done in his unique charming manner) all the way to their place, in the area of Beit Hanina.
After leaving the suitcases in the nice studio that our hosts had prepared for us (there's more than one flat in the complex they live, apart from the Theatre Day Producion's offices), we were welcomed by a dinner ending with one of the typical Arabic sweets that are eaten only during Ramadan: atayef, mmmmmm... Mouth-watering pancakes filled with cheese or nuts, closed in a half-moon shape, baked or fried and served with a sugar syrup...
The delicious dessert helped to sweeten a bit the news that Jan & Jackie broke for us: my coordination number hasn't been processed yet, so next day Oli would have to go to Gaza on his own... :(
Finally we went to sleep, not without being warned about the very loud call to prayer coming out of the speakers of the nearby mosque at 4 am... Whilst many of the Adhan I've heard are quiet relaxing and hipnotic, this particular Muezzin sounds like if he wanted to make a really big impression... I would only discover that the next day, because that night I slept like a logzzZZZZZZZZZZZ.