Jerusalem in August of 2001. I arrived the day before the Jerusalem Suicide Bombing, 08/09/2001, and was only 100 metres away just before it happened; I stayed for three weeks anyway, and loved every minute.

The warm wind during the day, the inexhaustible heat between 11 and 4 that bakes the back of your neck like a fresh pita bread. It felt so good, it reminded me of my childhood before I made the move to a much wetter climate.

The energy of the city seemed subdued, but the atmosphere was open, bright, and energetic. That which was not usual to me was quaint; that which was not quaint was magnificent, and that which was not magnificent was fascinating, and all of it was memorable.

Arriving as a cynical, sarcastic individual, I toured a different life in a different climate in a different part of the world. I became a different person, I fell in love, I found a new family to call my own, even if only in the quiet of my mind where such sappy sentiments won't be laughed at by others.

The cool nights, the moon in the sky, and the gentle, far-off pop-pop-pop of the fighting. I wonder if they would still fight, not so far away, if they could all feel the exhilaration of laying on the grass and staring up at the stars, and talking about the wonders of life with a woman you love. If they could feel this joy, this youthfulness that I felt by coming to a place that, for some, reminds them of nothing but strife and toil, death and tragedy, would they still be the same?

Aah, to be young and in the Middle East in the summer!