Friday, 22 July 2011

Home is where your heart is, missing planes and security checks.

I left my heart behind I think.
I'm back in Belgium. Back in rainy Belgium. It feels so weird and depressing.

I nearly missed my plane yesterday, big stress. I never stress, but there I was in the taxi, crying on the phone with my mother telling me I would probably miss it but it was no big deal if I did.
At 9.30 am I asked the receptionist  if she could book a taxi for 11.30 and she told me I had to be 3 hours in advance, it was thus waaaaay too early for me to go when my plane was at 2.50pm and I should take it at 1.30. I got really confused "wait, are you sure?" of course she was sure. at 12.30 pm I go back to see her see if she could call a taxi since my plane was at 2.50 pm "oh you need to go, now, now, arshav! I told you three hours before!!!"
The stress is slowly coming.
The taxi arrives at 12.47pm. "Is it far?" I ask. "huh? Ma?" "Is it far?" I try again, "What?", "Ze Karov?" (Is it close? - because I'd forgotten how to say far...) "Lo, ze lo karov, ze, 140 shekelim".
Right, I'm sorry but I don't work out distances with amounts of money, especially in foreign currencies in a country when I've only taken a taxi like once.
My mom calls. I cry. I stress.
1.12pm I arrive at the airport. I give the taxi driver 150 shekels "Ze besseder?" he asks. "Ken ken ze besseder" but please don't keep me waiting!!
I arrive in front of the doors. I obviously look like I'm not Israeli. I get stopped by the security lady who starts asking me tons of questions. I finally get into the airport after a bag opening "besseder, you can go".
I find the El Al queue. It looks like hours and hours of waiting. Then I find there is one advantage to not having an Israeli passport; the queue for non Israelis was empty. I get questioned by a red haired woman who looks determined to make me feel very bad."How long have you been here?" "Six weeks" I say, she looks at my bag and says "and that's all for six weeks?" looking at me like I'm some dirty bum. "erm, well, yes" (I wanted to add that you know, it is possible that I did the laundry and that it is better to travel light - even though my bag wasn't that light... but I didn't want to make her angry).
My passport changes hands, I get the same questions from other people, they take my passport away, they come back. "Come to the machine, you're late" "Yes, I'm very sorry".
They scan my luggage. "Go there" "okay okay".

I queue for about 5 minutes. "Come here". Time to open my luggage. Shit, I'd done such a good job closing it. The guy was very nice though, chit chatting, checking the bag. He forgot to see I packed a bullet in my bag and a snake moult which is illegal to have so the guy in Mitzpe Ramon told me. (FAIL).
After a very good check, *cough*, he takes me in front of everyone to the check-in counter and then to deposit my luggage and then to the hand luggage check where he leaves me. I would have kissed him. it was 1.55pm and boarding was at 2.10pm.
Fifteen minutes to scan a bag in a machine that looks like a rocket and is about 3 meters long. And a regular metal detector for people which takes about 2 seconds to pass through. But seriously, 15 minutes to scan a bag.
I got to the gate when they were just calling the passengers for boarding.

*Relief*

texting parents mode on: "Ani ba-matos" (I'm in the plane).

What an adventure.

Friday, 15 July 2011

So where was I?

Hello hello hello my beloved readers.

Wow, I haven't written in a long time! I am still not dead though.

In the past two weeks I have done so many things and so little at the same time! I am really enjoying myself here and I wish I could stay forever. A few days ago, I went to Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev. I stayed in an eco-friendly campsite that has no electricity and that is in the middle of the desert! My tent had little windows at the level of my bed so every day I woke up to see the desert in the morning sunlight. No sounds around (the campsite is called the silent arrow), just rocks. I met incredible people there. I am proud to say I hiked to Makhtesh Ramon (the crater) for a few hours before going back(no I wasn't on my own, I went with Rene, a guy from Switzerland I met at the campsite). We met two coyotes or at least to animals that looked a lot like coyotes and one guy who was going down there while we were climbing back up. I am glad we didn't find snakes or scorpions though.
Anyway, I would go back anytime without hesitation!

Yesterday I went all the way back to Haifa, where I still am. It is incredible how you are in the middle of the desert and you drive just four hours to arrive in the greenest environment. Israel has so much to offer, so many different places, different climates, ... I love it!

Today I will go surfing because I am worth it. I hope I won't get attacked by I bunch of jellyfish.

Iom tov!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Modern censorship.

Although I am far from home and on holidays, I still read the news (if I didn't I would have to reconsider my choice of studies)

Yesterday in the english version of Haaretz, they were talking about the rights on Enyd Blyton's "The Famous Five" and "The Secret Seven" that are being translated in Hebrew at the moment and to be published soon in Israel although another publisher has been publishing a translated version for many years without the rights. Fine, nothing interesting much until the end of the article when I read the books written for children, are considered sexist, racist and so on and that they were banned from the radio in England on grounds of lack of artistic talent or something, basically hey were unworthy of being read on the BBC.

The books are being rerwritten for publication in the United Kingdom to reach today's political correctness standards. And there we reach the whole debate we had with "TinTin in Congo" in Belgium a few years ago.
Do we have to alter and censor these books when in the original context and at the time they were written it was considered "alright"? In my humble opinion, the answer is no. I read these books when I was 8 or 9 and I turned out a fine citizen who treats everyone with the same respect (when it's mutual). I really don't see why we have to be all shocked all of a sudden.
Why deny what we once did? It seems we have an urge to deny everything bad we ever did as a society. A bit like in Belgium when they don't really tell you about what happened in Congo or same in France with Algeria.

So I'm thinking, doesn't the society trust the parents to teach their children good values so we have to make sure everything they read does not take them on the wrong path?
I guess it would make sense, no one is raising their children anymore ^^" but on the other hand, let's censor tv as it is more likely to teach bad values to children.

(And then we have the audacity of criticising China and arab countries that censor everything. We are no better in the end)

Enough.
I wish you all a wonderful Shabbat.