No diamonds this trip. But we did spend a small fortune on things to bring home, including a piece of Druze fabric big enough for a bedspread, about a dozen pillow covers in Bedouin and Druze styles, pastel wine glasses, silver and stone mezuzot, knitted kippot with American and Israeli flags on them, a large supply of Dead Sea products, and assorted ritual objects requested by friends who gave us THEIR money to spend here. We've also given tzedaka (charity, very loosely defined) and we've done our best to be good ambassadors of American tourism in general.
Yesterday, I went to a store on Rivlin Street, which is known for being in an area with a lot of great craft shops. This one, Gans, is spectacular. That was where I found a Druze kippah. I brought Karen back over there today, just to see if there was "one last thing" we could cram into our luggage. Well, many sheqlim later, we are figuring that a laundry bag makes dandy luggage, so we'll just cram some clothes in it and slap a label on it to make room for more stuff. Unlike a lot of Israeli stores, Gans is larger than it looks, and artistically arranged with hundreds of hand-made objects so pretty that you go from one display to another making crazy shopping sounds like "Ohhh!" and "Look at this!" and "Oooooh." Well, I can tell you, or I can show you a bit.
By the way, the reason I am putting links instead of just posting the picture visibly on the page is because people with slower computers take longer to load the page with pictures on it.
Gans was probably our next to last shopping visit for the trip. We will, after all, be going through the Duty-Free shop at the airport tonight. But it'll be so late, I am hoping we'll just breeze through security, get our VAT tax refund and fall asleep on the plane as soon as possible. My one other hope is that the number of people flying on Christmas Eve will be smaller than those who flew in with us, perhaps allowing us a little more space to stretch out. El Al has not followed the American Airlines direction of creating just a little more room in steerage - er, coach class.