Really, there are not words that could adequately describe the heat here. And it's still May. And I'm headed to the desert tomorrow. It's so hot it's hard to breathe. I learned that you walk quickly between the places with shade, and take your time through the shady patches. If there isn't already an expression that says it's 20 degrees cooler in the shade, there should be.
I had plans to meet Avi Rubel for breakfast this morning and decided to walk downtown rather than drive. It's a good way to get to know my way around, and harder to get lost. Afterwards, we went to the Old City and visited a water cistern in the Orthodox Coptic Church (I may have that wrong) next to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was pretty cool for a dark, murky hole filled with water.
Then we stopped by Avi's friend Mazzen's shop. Mazzen sells all sorts of rugs - from Turkeman, Pakistan, Afganistan, and some beautiful ones made by the Bedouin. We had some tea with mint and got a lesson in Islam. Mazzen is fairly religious, but the conversation was purely about Islam as religion and not about politics. The whole thing was fascinating and definitely not something I would have been able to do on my own.
And then I walked back to the apartment. It's probably only two miles, but in the heat, it felt like forever. I could have jumped into a cab, but somehow that would have felt like cheating. So I found myself dashing between the shady spots. (who knew that I could be counted on to dash?!)