As Firefox likes to say: Well, this is embarrassing!
But this really is.
At the beginning of the scavenger hunt that I described in my previous post, Tali, who runs Israel ScaVentures, held up some cards with words on them and asked us to think of associations. Words like DANGER and OPPORTUNITY.
I’m not good at these excercises. My mind tends to go blank when it’s expected to be spontaneous. Fortunately I didn’t have to say anything; the others all come up with associated words.
Then Tali held up a card with the word
All the words were connected to our activities for the rest of the morning. WALLS was no exception.
Moses Montefiore, the British philanthropist, decided to build the neighbourhood of Yemin Moshe in an attempt to alleviate the poverty and overcrowding within the old city walls. 15,000 people lived there at the time (mid-19th century).
Montefiore also used money bequeathed by the American, Judah Touro, to set up the adjacent neighbourhood of Mishkenot She’ananim. Its high walls and barred windows were designed to give people the confidence to move into it.
Attacks by Arabs during the 1930s prompted the destruction of internal walls so that fighters could move around Yemin Moshe without detection. The five iron gates were also built at that time, effectively walling in the neighbourhood.
But before we learned all that, when Tali held out that card with the word WALLS, I thought of an association immediately. But I didn’t say it. I was too embarrassed. What I thought of was social anxiety and the way it builds an imaginary wall around a person, keeping that person separate from the rest of society. It’s the reason for the title of this blog. It’ll come up in the interview I’m posting on Thursday.
But it didn’t come out of my mouth on Sunday.
As I might have written in a story about me, “She sighed, slowly shaking her head from side to side.”
The Almond Bakery Café that replenished us with cakes after the hunt.