Old punk rock fills my ears as I sit at a wooden counter top that has obviously seen better days. And did I mention there is an endless supply of draft beer and accompanying booze meant for human consumption?
No, this isn’t heaven but it’s pretty close.
No matter where I find myself in the world I always seek out grungy dive bars. Because, well, I just feel at home. These are my people! Wait, why is that old guy passed out on the bar? It’s only noon!
You may ask yourself, where is The Beard this time? Where is he face deep in some sudsy goodness? Could it be Ireland, London, NYC, Miami? Could it be some crazy little Midwest town in the states where he is surrounded by truckers, bikers, and ladies who dance provocatively for a living?
Not even close. Where I am is far from those places. One might even say it’s the holy land… Of course I am speaking of Jerusalem.
The second you step foot on the slick stone walkways of the old city you feel it. You sense an energy gripping you that this place is archaic. Not old like your grandfather; I am talking drastically ancient.
This is the setting for that one book that you probably should be reading–yes you, heathen.
The old city of Jerusalem is like if a central Asian market had a baby with a small city. It is lined with merchants and food stalls, often times, trying to get your business. Separated in three quarters (Jewish, Muslim, Christian) a person can find any food or item that they desire. The vast possibilities of culinary treats include: Shawarma, hummus, falafel, and pretty much any other levanent or Middle Eastern dish you can fathom.
Here is a place you can buy stuff for friends and family, exchange money, see every tourist in the world…
With all that being said, let’s raise our glasses to dive bars. Let’s raise a glass to merchants and the aroma protruding from food stalls. These things are a slowly bringing the world together.