Shalom Israel!

After many hours of travelling, I finally arrived in Tel Aviv this morning.

Yesterday I left my family behind to embark on this hopefully productive journey that will be my trip to Israel. I flew to Zurich Airport where I waited for about 4 hours before getting on their intra-airport underground train after they finally announced my terminal. The airport is just that big. So after that train ride I get to the end of terminal E where I undergo the El Al security questioning which went quite well, far better and shorter than last year. Maybe I look better.
Then of course I get taken to a room where I empty my entire cabin luggage and it gets checked for trace of [explosives? I really have no clue]. Then my shoes. And my passport. Then I am released from the room where my bag has to stay until boarding, in case I was planning to go get that bomb I'd hidden in the toilets. FAIL.
On board are a large group school kids going back home after a cultural exchange in Switzerland (from what I gathered). And of course when I got of the plane one of the teacher almost mistook me for one of his pupils, I look that young...

We arrive in Tel Aviv, we land, the children take hours to get out, delaying my getting out of the plane.

Then I get to the funniest part of travelling to Israel. Passport control. Passport control is really fun, you arrive at the agent's cubicle, the agent never smiles and almost never replies when you say a shy "shalom" or "boker tov". Why am I here? Where am I going? What is your father's first name? What is your father's father's first name? Okay, your passport stays here and you go over in that room and wait for them to call your name.
The room in question has two security guards at the door and one inside watching the chosen people. I too was chosen. I sit opposite two girls, one of them crying on the other's shoulder. A bit further, a girl called Anna trying to call someone before one of the female door guard tells her in a very condescending tone "Anna, we talked about your phone". Anna puts the phone away. On my right, a weirdo sleeping. On my left a tired couple. Khadija, the cried on girl gets called out. After a while she comes back in and goes back out.
I pretend I don't give a shit, I read nonchalantly but on the inside I'm pissed because it's 2.30am and I really want to get some sleep and I don't think this is justified. So I read and get called out. A nice security man holding my passport asks me why I'm here (I'm here to visit friends and family by the way *cough*) and what my father's first name is. I don't get this obsession with fathers' and grandfathers' first names but yeah... He goes somewhere, comes back and gives me my passport and freedom back.

After a short night's sleep in the nice Old Jaffa Hostel I bought a phone and made way to my really amazing host family in Holon where I will be staying for the following two weeks.

Tomorrow I will start arranging my interview in Efrat and when I'll be on my way there transferring in Jerusalem I will pay a visit to Ziad who will hopefully agree to be part of my project. I still need to find a fluent Arabic/English speaker because Ziad's Englishis as good as my Arabic. For the record, this is nod very good.

Kol tuv!



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