Happy new year everyone!
So I ended last year by traveling to Israel. It was amazing, and I feel I should tell you all about it.
Like most Americans, my familiarity with Israel before visiting, consisted of biblical stories and the occasional news story. Not only has A LOT happened between those two markers, but neither religion nor news falls within the “frivolous” category of topics.
And I’m resolute in keeping this blog untaxing, emotionally and intellectually.
Therefore, here is a list of random observations that I made while on my trip that are of no religious or political importance.
-The temperature in the winter is not unlike California, but the angle of the light is sharper and brighter.
-The yellow light at traffic signals indicate that the light is about to change, so it turns yellow before a green light as well as a red one.
-People stop at the yellow light. I did not see any red light runners. However…
-I was not impressed with the general populations’ ability to park.
-Roundabouts are more frequently used in traffic than they are in California.
-Signs are written in Hebrew, English, and Arabic
-Because Hebrew and Arabic are read right to left, anything that is numbered, is numbered right to left. The first time I saw a calendar in Israel, I had trouble figuring out what day it was.
-People work six days a week, although some take a half day on Fridays.
-Everything is scaled smaller. Doorways, lamp posts, electricity towers. I felt tall!
-A particular shade of blue is used a lot. Bus stops, railings, lamp posts, public garbage cans.
-There are mezuzahs on every doorframe so that the Orthodox Jews can enter freely.
-The pita bread is fluffy and delicious; not the unpleasant flat, dry, “eat this instead of chips because you’re dieting” stuff that we get here.
-Yemeni food is deceptively heavy. It is the Tardis of cuisines; bigger on the inside.
-Israeli food is not the same thing as Jewish food (as understood by most Americans)
-Italian food is apparently popular everywhere in the world.
-There is a prominent café culture.
-There are stray cats in every city, just hanging out. It is fun to imagine the lives of these cats.
-American culture is very pervasive. I went to a bar that was designated as an “American style” bar, and they weren’t kidding, I could have been in SF. The music, the hipsters, and the food, were identical. The only thing different was that people spoke Hebrew.
-I was informed that it is not illegal to piss in public in Israel. I did not test this.
-Even dry cuticles, much less any kind of scratch or cut, BURNS when floating in Dead Sea water.
-They have wild ibex!
And my non-Israel based observation regarding my flight to Israel:
-Turkish Airlines keeps their flights unpleasantly warm. Also, I think it would have been more comfortable had I been a double amputee.