In some minor respects my three months in Jerusalem were quite trying - it was very cold, I had no money most of the time and my work entailed reading in detail about some of the worst news the region has to offer. However, if I was ever feeling particularly dour, there was one place sure to cheer me up and remind me there was nowhere I'd have rather been - the sprawling, chaotic Jewish market, known as the Mahane Yehuda or simply the Shuk.
With everything from tourist wares, to pita breads, olives and hummus, to a whole street of cleaning products, the Mahane Yehuda could provide endless hours of entertainment and people watching. And, even if I only had a few dollars, I could find something to make me feel a bit spoilt.
Above: where I bought a kippah for my friend Top. Below: a kippah store actually not in the market, but I wanted to give an idea of the range and amount around.
Yes, yes, all very nice things, but below we find what I primarily lived off for during my poor weeks - those pita breads which you buy in those plastic bags for 5 shekel (about $1.50nz). I would buy a bag and put it in the freezer to take a pita out, at whim, snap it in half and toast it. Delicious with tahini, boiled egg and salad.