Thursday 28th July – an easy day with just dinner at Old Jerusalem

Gilbert leaves first and I shoo Ren out soon after. My knee is troubling me a little and decide I’m not walking up hill and down dale today. Ren had set up a ‘heart health’ app in my phone. She shows me I averaged 4-5 km a day when working. I notice on my days off I hardly did a km but then we realise my phones probably sat on the bench, as opposed to being carried. On this trip I am often doing up to fifteen or sixteen km a day, which is great but yesterday I tweaked my knee and I don’t want to stress it too much. After they go I pull open the curtains letting the sun shine stream in and spend the day napping and reading. 

Ren wants to take us out for dinner to a Palestinian Restaurant she went to when last here and we use the subway for the first time here no trouble as we follow Ren’s instructions like a couple of kids. Gilbert’s carrying his I-pad and Ren spots it under his arm as we head into the busy street. “Dad! She yells back. Give that to Mum to put into her handbag. B-l-o-o-d-y hell you’ll get the blimmin thing snatched off you,” she mutters to herself as we head down into the bowels of the city. 

Here we are at the Palestinian Restaurant and while not fancy it’s busy with a queue outside. The mark of a good restaurant though they have cleared when I take this pic after we have eaten. 

…and we are not disappointed as each plate is delicious and mopped up the last bits with flat bread. We finish with Baklava and Kunafa and Arabian coffee. 

Ren has seen we have eaten well on this trip. It’s hard to get her to miss a meal. She starts getting all faint on me! Thanks to her I’m sure I’ve gained some weight but I have loved every minute of it. Haha! 

“It’s not such a nice area but we should be OK with the three of us. Shall we walk home?” Ren suggests and I’m happy to as long as we take it easy and there no hills, so we set out. It’s not the nicest of areas and you wouldn’t be wanting to walk these streets alone. Ren has ended up a bit apart from us as she ties her hair up, and a guy walking towards us swiftly turns to fall in step beside her, telling her she’s beautiful and what’s her name etc. He’s so intense and completely engrossed in trying to engage her, he doesn’t realise I’m right at his elbow, ready to clock him if he try’s to grab her or something. Ren’s giggling, probably more because I’m so close and he’s unaware. “That’s my mum”, she laughs. He turns and gets a fright at how close I am. It’s all good but Jesus. We end up at a brisk pace passing groups, bars, nightclubs and several evangelical preachers giving it their all. We stop mesmerised at one, who in Mexican or Spanish is going hell for leather. He’s jumping and stomping, huffing and puffing. “That’s incredible” Ren gasps, eyes wide as we turn away. 

We pass many homeless, setting themselves up for the night on the street. They have been everywhere as we have moved around the city, and I mean everywhere. Mostly men. Victoria told us it’s always worse here in Summer and it’s such a big problem in the city. Ren has a friend who works in shelters in Vancouver and she enlightens us as we walk. “They have special places now where you can go to ‘shoot up’ with clean needles and stuff and even nurses to keep an eye on things”. “They give them drugs?” I ask. “Nah, it’s BYO.” We laugh at the term applied to homeless druggies. She explains its a big problem in Vancouver as many die in the streets and it’s expensive having to fund investigations into their death. Much easier to have them die in a shelter. Pretty horrible but a grim reality of city life and no easy fix.  

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