The shuk is a huge outdoor market that covers several city blocks in the center of Jerusalem. To olim chadashim like us, it resonates with an authentic Middle Eastern vibe. The experience of walking around, taking in the various, um... fragrances, comparing merchandise, pushing through the crowds, trying to decipher the prices that are screamed into the air, pretending to feel like a local, is nothing, absolutely nothing, like shopping at Giant.
By the time we got there, many of the stalls were already closing down, but we bought some fruit, bread, apricot leather and eggs. We also managed to snag a great buy on onions, once I understood that the guy shouting "batzal - shekel v'chetzi!!" was selling them for about 17 cents a pound.
After rounding up our purchases, we happened upon a dairy bistro nearby. The name of the restaurant is Hayo Haya, which means, "Once Upon A Time". (Don't be too impressed. We were offered a menu in English :-)
We sat outside at one of a few small tables and had a light dinner. The food was good. The breezy weather was lovely. And we were sitting in Jerusalem. When the handwritten check came, my husband smiled at me and said, "I hope to never take this for granted."
At the bottom of the check, our server, who played American pop music during our meal and was wearing both a scruffy little beard and a black plastic headband to reign in his long hair, had written, "Thanks and Shabbat Shalom."