I may start doing these more often; forcing myself to write to a prompt every now and again seems like a good thing. Here’s today’s:
What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?
The summer after graduating from college, I went to Israel for a month. It was a program sponsored by the university; we were on a dig at Tel Beth Shemesh. (This was 1998, so it fascinates me that the girl next to the pile of pots on that page, the third picture down, was on my dig. That’s an old picture. I remember everybody going nuts when we found that refuse pile.)
Here’s how the dig worked: we worked five days a week, and weekends were programmed trips around the country with a tour guide. One afternoon– Tuesdays, I think?– we were on our own on the afternoons, and most of us took the time to go into Jerusalem and shop or sightsee or whatever. The problem was, by the time the digging was over and we’d had time to go home and clean up and grab some food and catch the bus, it was impossible to get to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount before it closed for the day, seeing as how it’s an active religious site and not actually a 24/7 tourist site.
The thought of being able to tour the Dome of the Rock was a sizable portion of the reason I’d wanted to go on the trip in the first place. I was thousands and thousands of miles from home with no real reason to believe I’d ever be in Israel again. Missing out was not acceptable. So on the night before our last Tuesday half day, I dropped in on one of the dig directors in his office and let him know I was taking a sick day the next day. And I got up early in the morning, got on the bus, and went into Jerusalem. By myself. I was 21 and spoke no Hebrew (I could read it, which wasn’t terribly useful) and had never been overseas before. Also: 1998, so no cell phone or means to get ahold of anyone. But there was no way in hell I was leaving Israel without a tour of that building, and if that meant I had to do it by myself that was what was going to happen.
You have very likely never been to the Old City. It’s a maze. And, worse, it’s a maze that shuts down around prayer times and a few other times as well, meaning that all the shops close and you can lose your bearings very easily when all of your landmarks suddenly go away. You remembered the jewelry shop on the corner was where you turned right? Good luck when the face of the jewelry store suddenly turns into a piece of plywood. I hired a guide. Agreed on a reasonable price. He took me on a little tour, where I did my best to make sure to memorize my route because I was alone and half-convinced I was about to be robbed, and then brought me to the Temple Mount.
Where he attempted to double his price. There was shouting. He switched to Arabic. I switched to Spanish. This was clearly a performance on his part, figuring the American was going to back down quickly rather than attract the notice of the local authorities– and we were certainly starting to attract notice. I, on the other hand, was firmly in “getting arrested on the Temple Mount makes the story better” mode, and wasn’t about to back down to the dude, figuring that the blue passport around my neck and my connection to Hebrew University through the dig was going to sort everything out sooner or later. (Yay, privilege!) He backed down and left. And I took my shoes off, got in line and got my tour of one of the most beautiful, spiritual places on the planet. I met my friends a couple of hours later without any real incident, managing to get to the spot where we’d agreed to join up without getting lost or anything else stupid happening.
Secondary funny Israel story: On the first trip into Jerusalem, we went to the Holy Sepulchre. The history of the Sepulchre is fascinating and well worth a read if you’re unfamiliar with it, but suffice it to say that there’s a shrine in there that is believed to be the actual location of Jesus’ tomb. You have to crawl, or at least squat, to get in there:
This is, in case it’s not clear, a really small room, with space for no more than a few people, and those shoved tightly together. And that little entryway is several feet long, so it’s possible to stand up too early as you’re walking in. And hit your head. On a stone arch.
If you do that, shouting “OW! JESUS!” at the top of your lungs is frowned upon.
(It wasn’t me. Thank God. But I was right behind her and oh lord keeping a straight face in a situation like that is incredibly difficult. Also, I can safely report that it is in fact impossible to literally die of embarrassment or Betsy surely would have done so on the spot.)
Under the jump, other answers to this prompt:
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Basically Beyond Basic
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | a Portia Adams adventure
- My Giant Step – Daily Prompt | alienorajt
- Four Things I Learned About Freedom From an Uber-Strict Prep School | Kosher Adobo
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon- Being Independent | Journeyman
- I Think My Leg Is Broken | Musings | WANGSGARD.COM
- Rocket To The Moon . | Crossroads
- A Rainy Day At Home (short story) and The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
- One Crazy Mom » Taking the Next Step
- I’m Michael Jackson | Knowledge Addiction
- I Will Weather | Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | likereadingontrains
- DP Daily Prompt: Walking On The Moon | Sabethville
- Walking On The Moon – You Kidding! | Views Splash!
- Daily Prompt: The Giant Step — A Haiku: Sunday, February 23, 2014 | LisaRosier.com
- It’s All About Trying… | Life Confusions
- S. Thomas Summers: Writing with Some Ink and a Hammer | A Violin on Baker Street
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Here I am !!
- Extinction | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- Hunters – reloaded | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- Inappropriate love | shame
- We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men | Among the Whispers
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
- If You Lose Your Head While Cooking, It Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon « Mama Bear Musings
- A giant step | Sue’s Trifles
- Have Faith In God | Flowers and Breezes
- I liked the place so much I bought more than the t-shirt! | thoughtsofrkh
- DAILY PROMPT: Risk | cockatooscreeching
- Dare To Dream | My Little Avalon
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon – LOVING THE ALIEN | Phoenix Fights
- Three Firsts In A Day | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
- Daily Prompt: Being Intrepid! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
- Craters in my heart. | Your Best Friend from the DMV
- Risky Business for this Girl Born in the Year of the Rat « psychologistmimi
- here’s to evolution | y
- milking the way | peacefulblessedstar
- What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? | askgrampa
- Walking on the Moon | I Write Therefore I Am
- Leap and the Net will Appear | The Zombies Ate My Brains
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Tiny Pieces | Barefoot on Rainy Days
- Losing Blood | The Land Slide Photography
- Daily Prompt: A Leap of Faith | Wright Outta Nowhere
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Delicious Ambiguity
- I’m Not Afraid of Lunar Monsters
- Some may say I’m wishing my days away… | An Upturned Soul
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | The Wandering Poet
- I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
- Dream awake | mnemosynesandlethe
- Igmutaka’s Blessing | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
- Two Years Later | Recovery Miles
- Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
- Where’s the Function Key for “Risk?” | by LRose
- A plea on behalf of all of us who self-publish. Daily Prompt | alienorajt
- for a pigeon | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
- DP_Walking on the Moon…or should I say – Gliding in the Sky! | Essence of Del
- Risk: Daily Post | Destino
- Haiku: Walking on the Moon | Mirth and Motivation
- My First Step Out of Rock Bottom to Start My Walk on the Moon | Ever Upward
- I did not break a leg | mombox
- Defying Gravity | Retrofocus
- My Disney College Program (A quick summary of why) | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
- Hall of Shame | Exploratorius
- Moon Walking For Dummies | Overcoming Bloglessness
- Risk- The fear and excitement of taking that important first step | A picture is worth 1000 words
- Risk: Walking on the Moon | Yowza, Here We Go!
- My brief American dream | Life is great
- Risk | Focal Breeze
- Risk Taking… Beware! | The Christian Gazette