Day 1: Bacon and Trust

Trip Start May 19, 2009
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Trip End Jun 16, 2009


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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

(Day 1, Newark, NJ, 9:00pm)  When Kevin and I made our reservations a few months ago, it felt a bit unreal. After 22 years, I was finally going back to Israel, and it took a while to assimilate the fact. But over the last few months of preparation and anticipation, it's become background noise, a fact of life, albeit exciting.  

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). Hebrew is spoken. A group of men gathers to daven (pray). No longer should I be surprised, as I so often am in Scandinavian Seattle, to see "my people" or hear what is essentially my secret language, which, with the right people, I can converse and not be understood.

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.
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Comments

johndavid
johndavid on

Your Arrival
Hoping this isn't a repeat, mysteriously erased what I wrote minutes ago.

You certainly have a way of taking the usual mundane part of travel, the layover, and making it a great read!

I've already heard from you via my congratulatory arrival email and very pleased that you found the keys still in lock upon your arrival in Tel Aviv. (After your call from SEATAC and my run to your apt feverishly looking for them and then scouring your car) Thought I'd throw a bit of Jewish guilt your way :-) Kidding of course and was pleased I could take a look for you. I'm just hoping that not knowing where the keys were exactly didn't worry you much on your flight. :-)

Look forward to your next blog. Love you, mean it! johndavid

weekilter
weekilter on

Reading the N'erk post before your second post :)
Security is sort of weird in that Security overseas is quite different than what we experience here in the states. Only in the states do they make you remove your shoes. Also the 3 oz/100 ml thing is not strictly enforced (if at all) overseas. Glad you made it through N'erk. I read your arrival in Israel before I read this one :) You'll have much to tell when you return. Oh, and tell Kevin that he needs to just buck up and get used to the new time zone. Go to bed when everyone else does and get up when everyone else does too. It's not pleasant but it's the best way to adjust

hkcigar
hkcigar on

Re: Reading the N'erk post before your second post
Hey! Maybe you ... erm... shorter people can sleep on airplanes, but I cannot. I think I feel asleep after we passed Italy. Then they woke us for the breakfast service by the time we were over Greece. Nice long snooze. ha ha.

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