Thursday, December 9, 2010

Meet Me at the Shuk

Mahane Yehuda Market is also known affectionately as "The Shuk" (pronounced "shook"), because it's the largest shuk in Jerusalem. You can easily get lost inside here! It takes up an entire small neighborhood, between Yafo and Aggripas, and is at the heart of a large shopping complex which stretches up on one side from Yafo towards the Old City and on the other side from busy Aggripas, over King George and into the Ben Yehuda triangle. Mahane Yehuda is as much a place to be as a place to shop. While the prices are about as reasonable as you can find in Jerusalem, it depends on the time of day and week, not to mention the season for produce. Prices are marked with chalk on blackboards stuck in amongst the produce, and what sells for 6 IS (Israeli Shekels) a kilo on Monday morning may be down to 2 IS before the trumpet sounds Friday afternoon for Shabbat. The traditional merchants in Mahane Yehuda yell out their prices and other enticements, like "You can't believe it" or "Only a friar (sucker) wouldn't buy." The frenetic atmosphere probably leads to a lot of tourists buying stuff they don't have a clue how or where to cook, just for the fun of it. Here's a look into what you might see on a visit to "The Shuk":

Welcome to the Shuk

I'm not exactly sure what these are, but they looked pretty!

Fresh pastries anywhere and everywhere you look

Entrance sign to the Shuk, "Mahane Yehuda Market"

Buy some beautiful flowers at the Shuk

Get yourself a fresh sandwich made from scratch

Menorah, it must be Chanukah!

Pastries, anyone?

Herbs and spices, a great photo-op!

Fruits and veggies, fresh from the source

That's me in the Shuk
It gets a little stressful after a while, as you can see, with every other vendor trying to sell you something. There are about 250 vendors in total. If you know exactly what you want, though, you can get in and out of there quickly. My favorites? Fresh flowers, pastries, and the freshest fruits and veggies you'll ever find. It's also a fun place to go to sample items, people watch and see the colors and foods of Israel. It's much like visiting a local farmer's market in the US, just a whole lot bigger! Remember: bargain, bargain, bargain!

4 comments:

  1. Hey honey :)
    the stones you didn't knew what is it... so i will tell you :) lol
    This things are crystals :) and everyone is for something else - money, helth, luck, birth stones etc. :)
    kiss :)

    p.s. mine is the light almost clear pink - august :)

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  2. Ahhhh, I see!! Maybe I will have to buy myself some crystals next time since I now know what they are! :)

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  3. My roommate and I used to shop at the shuk in Haifa all the time. Not only that you get fresh produce for cheap, but also a boost to your confidence from being harassed by the merchants.

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  4. Haha, well I guess that means a trip to Haifa is due! We are actually planning to go to a wedding and Bar Mitzvah there on Christmas weekend. I SO wish you were here in Israel!! When are you coming to visit?

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