I have now had the best cup of tea in the world, according to the everyone who comes in the oldest coffee/tea shop there is. During my excursion in Bethlehem, we stopped into this tiny whole in the wall (literally, it was just that) to get a cup of tea from this little old man who runs it. At this point in my journey I was up to anything, so I just went with the flow. As I entered the “hole” I see in front of me 4 plastic chairs, 3 of which only have 3 legs and a mattress on the floor. To the right on a small shelf was the old water jug, kettle, and bunsen burner looking like thing to heat the water. Hmmm, I don’t know about the level of purification of this water, but I pray that the fire boils it enough.
I am immediately offered the best chair (the one with all the legs still in tact) and the old man begins making my tea. About a minute after I sit down a police officer enters with a smile on his face when he sees me. I’m not sure what thats all about, but he starts talking to me in English. “Are you afraid to be here?” he asks me. (Remembering the fact that I am this little foreign white girl in the middle of the Muslim quarter) I think a second before I answer and say, “Not really. I feel a bit strange when everyone keeps staring at me, but not scared.” He replies back, “Now you have me for protection so you don’t ever have to worry.” A smile emerges on my face.
Now my tea is ready. He puts a bunch of leaves inside the tea, and I’m told they are mint. I take a sip of the burning hot liquid and besides scorching my tongue a bit, I thoroughly enjoy my drink. And yes, to agree with all the hype of the tea… it is the best cup of tea EVER!