Friday, December 24, 2010

The Holy Land of Milk & Honey

"Two roads diverged into layers of traffic jam,  
and I took the one that lead me to the airport!"

A week from now I will back to the Middle East. I will be sitting outside with a cup of fresh coffee with hel (cardamom) and probably crying to see the black landscape in front of me.
The wadi (the forest) is gone. Burned till the last root. Till the last memory of my hands passing through the leaves of terebinths and the aromatic woody smell of Aleppo tree trunks. I am scared. Scared to face devastation, scared to face sadness. Am I going to listen to the howling of the wolves at night ever again? 

Biblically, Mount Carmel is most often sited as a symbol of beauty and fertility. According to the Book of Kings, there was an altar to God on this mountain. As Pythagoras once said, the Carmel was the most holly of all mountains. We will pray so Nature will turn burned wood into organic fertilizer and bring our pine trees and shrubs back. 
Mount Carmel is our home, burned down or beautifully green, it is our home. 
A week from now I will be enjoying the company of my beloved family. We will gather around the table, and stuff ourselves with amazing fresh green salads and juicy cucumbers and watermelons, chunks of salty bulgarian cheese, roasted lambs with thyme and Sicilian lemons, tons of rosemary and zaatar, liters of the finest olive oils and preserved cucumbers in brine. The aromatic, salty, oily, combination of aromas will be followed by endless conversations about politics, Bibi Netanyahu, Likud, Iran...
A week from now I will get lost in the alleys of Akko Shouk. I will be thinking of Michael Mattison and his spicy fancy blog Spice of Life. I keep wondering how would this trip be much more fun if I would have the pleasure of his company. We would dive into tons of cumin, zaatars, cinnamon, saffrons...appreciating the spices of life. After all, friendships are the spice of our lives, aren't they??

The Akko Shouk (Acre Bazar) is a typical Turkish market, with vaulted ceilings, narrow passageways and small shops. The street market is full of fresh vegetables, freshly crushed pomegranate juice, dried fruits, fish, meat and poltry. Of course shouks are inspiration for oriental perfumes, but this by far a fantasy. The real shouk does not smell that good.

A week from now I will be delighted with the aroma of freshly baked pitas and Arab pastries. I will sit and enjoy the beautiful landscape and the Mosque calling for prayers while savoring the fantastic Arab delight: warm knafeh bil jbine - white threads baked to be transformed into crunchy golden pastry with goat cheese, pistachio and rose water. They are usually prepared in huge pans and placed in front of a glass window, so not only you are caught by its aroma of roses & sour sweet cheese, but you can't miss the sight of it if your nose fails you (mine never does!). All we have to do is follow the huge line of people standing outside mouthwatering. The same goes for Humus. Where the line is, good humus is offered.

A week from now I will silently track the trails of Givat Harakafot (Cyclamen Hill), being closer to God. This heavenly eucalyptus forest has a carpet of pink and white cyclamens that grow wildly in Nature. This is such a fragrant serene spot on earth that I am sure this is where God lives. Embracing a tree, closing the eyes and smelling the mossy wet earthy soil, touched by tons of petals of cyclamen is THE spiritual experience.

I will think of my dearest German friend, Ines Fessler and her joyful way of life. Her energy and her will to make things right. If the world would have more good hearted souls like her, we would be safe!
A week from now I will be freezing to death by the cold winds of Jerusalem. I will get pushed and pressed by religious people, by soldiers, by Japanese tourists, by Arab salesmen and their spectacular way of selling schmates (crappy souvenirs), I will be pressed and pushed literally by everyone! The Old City is Babel, and it has its charms.

I will be disturbed by the amount of tourists, and the huge crowds looking for a miracle inside a hole in the Western Wall. Will God listen to my prayers and bring C.D. his health back? Will he be around us next year? Am I going to be here next week? Perhaps rich and famous (LOL)? Will Sjörn Plitko finally have the peace of mind, and happiness that he deserves and fought for it so much? Notes to God will be placed by me for the ones that really touched my heart this year.

A week from now I will be smelling the gelid scent of the snow in Ramat Hagolan (Golan Hights). I will be sliding, skiing and remembering good old times. The sound of children playing, Israelis fighting for a place in the sun. Sleeping vines all the way. Villagers. Hot coco. The smell of wars, the smell of freedom, the smell of uncertainty. White is the color of Peace. Golan, my beautiful white Golan.

A week from now I will be crossing the biblical lands of HaGalil (Galilee). Its rocky mountains, peonies, junipers, cedars, irises and hush puppies flowers... a lesson of natural perfumery. I will be climbing the Gilboa, I will enjoy the landscape of Tiveria (Tiberias) and smell the amazing waxy scent of Tzfat (Safed) candles. I will breath the Holy air of Kabbalah, and try to find out what the city has in commom with Lilly and Toledo, the sisters cities.
 A week from now I will be smelling the dry dusty scent coming from the desert. The arid, hot air of Eilat. I will think of Ambre Narguilé by Hermés and Ormonde Jayne's Ta'If and smile, because I have the real thing in front of me! Nargilas, dried fruits, Bedouin tents, camels, sand dunes and honey.

A week from now I will be diving to watch what nature has to share with us. Beautiful amazing fish and marine creatures. A week from now I will be smelling the crispy crunch and salt crystals of the Dead Sea, I will be touching its oily waters and laugh hard! Laugh just by thinking of the salty marine perfume reviews I wrote this year. I have the real thing my friends! I have the real thing!!!

A week from now I will have the ultimate milk & honey experience! I will be on Holi-days in Israel. I will be gone for a month or so, and I hope I will have no time at all to write articles for my blog. But if I will, stick around and get familiar with more scents & aromas of the Mediterranean region of the Middle East. 

David Broza singing Bedouin Love Song by clicking HERE.

Lehitraot! (Farewell)


Ol'Jones said...

que inveja!!!!!

JoanElaine said...

What beauty in your post. I hope you have a wonderful time when you visit your home.

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Ol' Jones: Vamos???? Na próxima viagem quero vc comigo!!!!!

Thank you Joan - Merry X-Mas darling!

Max Arbeitskleidung said...

beautifull pictures. thats right - its really the Land of milk and honey.

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