Each traveler has a preferred manner of exploration. Some like museums or nature, but I always try to integrate with the locals to the greatest extent possible. This doesn't mean merely snapping photos of strangers on sidewalks or public places and making assumptions about their lives. It means taking the time to actually speak with them and learn a bit about their personality and story. For me, it's the most important part of every journey, though it's not always possible due to language barriers or safety reasons.
In the post yesterday, I showed you an exotic dish and asked you to guess the name and country of origin. It was in Palestine that I ate the colorful creation known as "Maqluba" with this young lady and the rest of her family. It's known as the national dish of Palestine and also very popular in Jordan. And, yes, I know that Palestine is not a country but in my mind it's an entirely separate culture when compared to the Israeli-controlled areas I explored. The West Bank is for the most part a third-world arena, but in this environment I felt completely safe and comfortable. Now, a bit more about the national dish...( Read more...Collapse )