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Being Honest is Scary

In Ramallah, my default was to avoiding talking about heading to Israel. In Israel, I’ve noticed my default state has been to avoid mentioning I was just in Palestine. When it does come up, I continue the conversation very cautiously.

I don’t know how people will respond. Will they be upset? Interested? Offended? Jealous? So far, I’ve seen a range of reactions.

Reactions of individuals in Palestine, on traveling to Israel:In general, no one get upset. At least on the surface.

Overall I’d say there was definitely curiosity, but some people definitely had an undertone of disappointment and jealousy because they could never go there. A few times I started talking about the rest of my trip (travel through Israel for a week, China for two weeks immediately after), and I think that undertone may have gotten stronger.

Missed... something

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Went to the Forbidden City today in Beijing. Spent a few hours there.

Magnificent place. The gardens were my favorite, the craftwork was incredible, and the whole place just had this huge expansive majesty about it.

I had a nice time. I enjoyed seeing the architecture, the craftsmanship, and the aesthetics of the place.

Then I left, and I thought to myself - "I missed something here. There's probably an important lesson in there, I'm damn sure there is, it's nearby somehow on my mind, but I just missed it. I'm missing something important."

...I still haven't figured out what that is. Aggravating. I feel pretty strongly that there was something very useful to learn and take away from there, and instead I just had a nice aesthetic experience without anything deeper.

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