Day 1: Bacon and Trust
Trip Start May 19, 2009
30Trip End Jun 16, 2009
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But here at Newark, reality is hitting home again. After a bacon burger (the last bacon I'll see for a while), we wait to be admitted to a special cordoned-off area just for our flight to Tel Aviv, above and beyond whatever security everyone else goes through (thank goodness, actually). All around us are religious Jews: men in black suits with yarmulkes (kippot) or wide-brimmed hats and unkempt beards (or even more incongruously, no beards), and women with long skirts and head coverings (or wigs, as is the custom among some observant married women)
Luckily the security check (which I hate, always wanting to simultaneously keep track of all my bags and valuables while they go through the x-ray machines) was low-tech and brief. Open the bags on a table, step aside, and be wanded by a young man. When he felt the distended right-hand pants pocket and asked if they were pens (so, I took a couple of highlighters... OK, three, but I didn't mean to bring that many!), I said yes, do you want to see them? "No, I trust ya," he replied in a low, conspiratorial voice, standing behind me with the wand. "'Cuz you're an Israeli dude, I trust ya... a little." Helps to wear the Magen David, I guess.
On the other hand, once we get to Tel Aviv, I'm going have to rely on the kindness of strangers, since I cannot for the life of me find the little keys to the TSA-approved lock on my checked bag. Someone is going to have to cut the thing off unless the keys turn up.