dinsdag 19 november 2013

The Religion of Traveling, pt5: I am on a boat

When my friend and I were in Ein Gedi, an old travel buddy stopped  on his way to a music festival for a halfhour to meet and greet me. He introduced us to his friend, who invited us to stay at his boat in Jaffa, in the end of our trip. When they were gone, my friend and I were jumping and dancing as little children, so enthusiastic about the end of our trip. And even start singing this:

So, one week later, with salty lips from the Dead Sea region, and full of sand of the Jordan desert, we arrived in Jaffa, which is part of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, and exists already for thousands of years. Tel Aviv is more designed for the newest generation of Jews, who came already back in the 19th century, after they have been expelled from their Holy Land for more than thousand of years. I don't say I support this migration; it is difficult to choose a side if both groups -muslims and Jews- have been living here, and have the roots of their history and culture here. Time and growing population merged the two cities together.  In the first day we explored Jaffa, and that evening my friend left Israel and me for her boyfriend's birthday party in Belgium, while I visited an old Israeli friend, who gave me a very interesting socio-geography excursion in Tel Aviv, and let me discover the different historic layers.

In the last evening I returned back to the boat, and was introduced to an old guy who proposed to do some night sailing. Unfortunately, the engine didn't work very well, so we had to return before sunrise. When that old man and I were sitting in the port, looking to the morning air, he told me he loved the ocean. "Every emotion leads me to the sea," he said. "When I am happy, or sad... I always feel running here." This old man lives and works on sea for many years, but he seemed a bit lonely.

I don't know if I would like living on a boat. At night, when everything is dark, the ocean seems dangerous. There is some power to steer a boat, like I did under the guidance of the old sailor, in the total darkness, and face all the emotions the ocean evoke, but there is not a total control. In the end emotions and other powers of Mother Ocean are more powerful than control and attempts for navigation.

When I left Israel after 2 weeks, I felt different. Not really sad. Not really happy. I faced many different beliefs, religions, and power of nature, like the earth and the water, but i the end I believe in the religion of traveling, where you meet people, get confronted with ideas, see the world, not via media, but with your on eyes, see stereotypes confirmed and also new stories... and that makes people grow. Religion is going back to the roots, going back naked, to be able to face the world and to grow... so for me meeting, traveling, exploring, being social... is the way of living.

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