Friday, September 18, 2009

Israel: Part 1

I went to Israel last week for 9 days for Naama and Itamar’s wedding, to spend time with the family, my grandfather and cousins, and to work the land for 2 days with Ayalim. I’ve also included various new “rules” along the way. As always, I’ll try to keep the “I did this, I did that” to a minimum, and HERE ARE THE PICTURES.

It's been almost a month since I left for Israel, and that's just way too long to wait for posting purposes. I'm half way done with finishing up, but its really long, and so I'm just going to start posting parts of it daily, in the hope that I'll finish the end before I need to post the end. Also, this will make all my readers have to read upwards, to stay in the right order, which is annoying and thus fun.

Part 1:

I can’t stand EL AL:

Security: “Tell me something else. Tell me something else.” This is what Roni, my security checker kept saying to me over and over again before asking me obscure questions. What is my grandfather’s name? Do I go to a Temple in NY? What are the names of the parents of the bride? How can you visit your cousin at school in Beersheba if school isn’t in session? These questions went on for 15 minutes, literally. Of course, I got my grandfathers name wrong, oops! Coming home was so much easier. You’re def less of a suspect when you’re traveling w/6 people and 2 kids vs going alone.

Kids: Once through security, I emailed my BIL to tell him A) stay left at security, B) there’s no good food after security, C) There’s no shoe shine guy either and D) ask if I should I buy the Time Traveler’s Wife. Both My DJ and BIL have the book, so I didn’t buy it. I got on the plane and prayed for no kids in my row. If you’re flying a religious airline, you may as well try praying. Going to Israel, I ended up next to two 18 year olds, a boy and girl w/weird names. I drugged the girl w/Ambien but it didn’t work, she said she didn’t sleep. Coming home, it was my siblings, but the plane was packed with kids. Kicking, screaming, coughing . . . it was a jungle out there.

Food service: We left at 9pm but somehow dinner wasn’t served to my area until nearly midnight. Like most airlines, EL AL serves the “special” meals first. I prefer to call these the difficult meals, because the people who order them are just being difficult. This is especially true on EL AL, where most of the “difficult” meals are getting Glatt Kosher meals. EL AL already serves kosher food, but these people want extra kosher food. Do you know the difference between kosher and glatt kosher in Israel? The answer is who paid off the right Rabbi. It’s all mafia and politics. Anyway, these people, who are being difficult, get their food first. They’re done eating, and b/c they are difficult people, they are bringing up their trays to the stewards while those stewards are still trying to serve the non difficult people their food. Do you know how frustrating it is to sit and wait for food when other people are done eating? EL AL needs to serve the “Glatt Kosheries” second. I wonder how many would switch to the normal “kosher” meal.

Movies: Just a terrible selection. The one movie I actually wanted to see was Wolverine, and the flight landed during the 2nd half of the movie! 22 hours on planes, I only watched 1.5 movies.

Jewish People in General (this is a generalization): We’re needy. We ask questions. We’re antsy. We stand around on the plane for no reason and barely move out the way when someone is passing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people squeeze past a food cart before. When there’s food service, sit down! When people are sleeping, don’t talk! And when everyone else is asking questions, why are you asking a stupid question too? I feel like this frustration translates into my family’s culture as well sometimes. We board full flights and ask for an upgrade.
Religious People in General: They have 2 parents and 6 kids. They have kids pushing other kids in strollers. They are bumping into people. They think they are better than everyone else. They have no idea that every time they ask a question to a stewardess, while its only 30 seconds, its 30 more seconds that I have to wait for my food! When 20 of them do it, that’s 10 minutes.

Rules for flying on an overnight flight: Take AMBIEN. Why stay up or toss and turn for an 11 hour flight when you can guarantee 4 hours will pass by with the snap of a finger? You don’t sleep with Ambien, you are unconscious. You blink, and you’re there. Of course, this isn’t recommended if you cant’ guarantee yourself 4 hours of time to sleep. Additionally, for the 30min to 1 hour after you wake, you will function perfectly normally, but you won’t really remember much of it. Do you think I remember what was in the breakfast meal they woke me up for? Not a chance!

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