Above: Edrin and his colleagues – The Three Wise Men – consult a map for directions (basically they got lost) in Jerusalem.
I’ve never really travelled with a group of friends, so when Edrin (a friend I met three years ago in Ghana through couchsurf) mentioned he was travelling to the same locations as me this Christmas with two of his colleagues, I asked if I could tag along… This would be fun!
I nicknamed them “The Three Wise Men” after our first sightseeing visit together in The Old City of Jerusalem last saturday. Their structured method of sightseeing meant they were even too proud to ask for directions, ticking off everything recommended by the guide book with no room for adjustments (boring)! Edrin in particular played the role of ‘Mr Know-it-all’ and marched ahead through the narrow streets armed with maps and a list of places to visit. Myself and Miriam struggled to keep up with their walking pace, but it was always funny when they had to turn back around and start following us because they read the map wrong. And all we had to do was ask a local person!
Unlike the Three Wise Men from the tradition of Christmas, ours had no intention of going to Bethlehem for the Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve. This should have been the highlight of our Christmas vacation spent away from our families, however myself and Miriam compromised and spent the Christmas Eve with them having a delicious home cooked meal and going to bed by 1am(!)
Things would change pretty dramatically on Christmas Day. Little did I know we (myself and Miram) would lose the three wise men when we decided to go to Bethlehem. I had to let the men know I would no longer be travelling with them…
You could cut the tension with a knife!
The awkward moment when we I told Edrin I won’t be travelling with him and his friends any longer after just two days of sightseeing together. And since there was no room in their schedule for change, we found a couchsurf host in Bethlehem. The scenario could have easily been as awkward as a woman telling her husband she’s going off with another man (or in my case – woman) and he’s surprised despite treating her badly!
Not that the wise men were in anyway bad towards us. Far from in fact. It’s just that their military way of travelling (basically being over organised with no leeway for flexibility), isn’t my style of travel. I like to take my time and feel the atmosphere of a place – not just go to a site to take pictures (I don’t even have a camera with me besides my iphone). Even more importantly, I like to meet people and where possible, get ‘the local experience‘. And we could get that experience that same evening with our host George who was waiting for is at the Bethlehem border in Palestine.
Me and Miriam made a dash for the bus station in Damascus Gate after breaking the news. We got the last bus 24 to the Bethlehem border at 7pm, and finally relaxed knowing that we were finally on our way to Bethlehem on Christmas Day… Without The Three Wise Men. They would head to Jordan the next day.
Find out what happened when we arrived in Bethlehem to meet our CS host at the Israeli/Palestine border… Stay posted!!