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Dear Natalie, 
 
The most exciting vacation I've had in the last twenty-five years, was last year when I went to San Francisco for that training certificate for Selling Real Estate by Staging Homes.  I guess it was so great for two reasons.  The first reason was I was finally divorced and no longer being verbally abused.  The second reason was Chinatown in San Francisco.  There was something about the atmosphere there that freed me.  Walking those streets made me feel like I was really finally away from the bad stuff of my marriage.  Something about seeing the signs in Chinese and going into the stores and looking at all the beautiful ceramics and linens from China and eating the Chinese food just did it for me.  And I would look down the alleys and small streets and imagine all sorts of romantic adventures that people could have and maybe I would have.  One day I saw a beautiful Chinese woman in a short purple dress.  Maybe 30. Very stylish, with, I'm sure, Italian sandals, and lots of silver jewelry. 
 
Here is my secret: I followed her for a few blocks.  She finally went into the building that was between two restaurants. She looked around her before she went in.  I just walked on, my heart racing.  I assume she went upstairs to one of the apartments over a restaurant.  Was her lover up there waiting?  What mysteries were part of her life?  A husband somewhere else? Oh, Natalie, what am I craving? 
 
Of course, nothing at all actually happened except I learned how to stage an apartment in Manhattan for selling purposes.  But walking Chinatown was the best medicine I had after the divorce.  That is, until I met Gary.  But more on Gary when we are together.
 
Anyway, I was looking through my pictures and I don't think you ever saw this one.  I'm not in the picture, (I took it) but it captures the feel of Chinatown in San Francisco.
 
I wonder if Jerusalem will be as freeing emotionally as Chinatown was for me?  I can't wait to find out.  Your pictures of those great spices and the dark corridors in the Old City make me think it will be just as freeing.  I can't wait!
 
Love,
 
Maggie
 
Next Year in Jerusalem - San Francisco's China Town

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Dear Maggie,  
 
I think you are really ready for a decent relationship.  You know I had mixed feelings about your ex.  You didn't tell me everything in the beginning, but once I realized that he always put you down and belittled you, I begged you to leave.  You just weren't ready.  I understand.  But now you are free of him and you are ready for that perfect someone.  Maybe Gary is that person.  I like what you are telling me about him.  But just remember that you haven't been free all that long and just started to date.  Maybe there will be other men who interest you also.  Psychologists always recommend not committing to a new relationship for at least a year after divorcing.  Of course, I'll love you no matter what you do. 
 
I feel in some ways like I am living out Eat, Pray, Love here in Jerusalem.  I'm eating the most amazing food and exploring an unbelievable city at the same time.  And the lovemaking hasn't been bad either.  At least when David is around.  He is awfully busy.  That leaves me on my own to wander.  The old city is the most fascinating part of the city, I think.  Once you walk into the different sections you are in these endless alleyways that have to be hundreds of years old.  They are bazaar areas where goods of every kind are being sold.  I fell in love with the smells, the fabrics, the jewelry, the foods, even the bags of spices.  I can't wait to bring you adventuring with me.  Take a look at my pictures!  I'm so glad you will be here in a few days.  I can't stand to see all of this without you. 
 
Love,
Natalie
 
Jerusalem Alley
 
 
 
Jerusalem Bazaar - Next Year in Jerusalem
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jerusalem Bazaar - Next Year in Jerusalem

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