My plane too off the runway and as I watched the land of Israel from my window growing smaller and smaller, I inadvertently found saying to myself:
“येतो मी…” (yeto mee) – An informal ‘good bye’ in Marathi which roughly translates to ‘I shall return.’
Sounds melodramatic to me too 😀 but if my 20+ blog posts on different travel experiences in Israel were any indicators of how thoroughly I enjoyed that country, the actual feeling was many times more.
Israel is heavily Americanised (obviously) but their style of working is wayy more Eastern. I claim this after having worked with an Israeli company for five months and ofcourse you are welcome with insights. They have about the lowest city crime rates but extremely sensitive borders. The people appear to be rude but infact are simply straightforward. With Jewish immigrants from all over the world, one can never tell what an Israeli looks like. A traveler in Israel is often confused about what the country really is. The more time I spent, the more confused and curious I got 😛
Exiting Israel is tedious. All
non Jewish non Israelis are subject to questioning at the time of departure. I was interviewed for forty minutes straight. Repetitive questions are asked and someone had advised me to lie and not disclose details of my backpacking – esp going to West Bank. Thankfully I replied honestly because it is simply impossible to lie and lie again for that long! It is natural to have so much security given how much problems the country is subject to. Once the interrogation was done, they assigned a guy who bypassed all standard airport barriers and took me straight to the immigration. That was cool. The Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv is wi-fi enabled and okay comfortable.
An average Israeli is extremely aware about India. But then don’t forget – there are more Israelis in India than in Israel itself. hahaha, I’m kidding ofcourse. There are very few travelers who travel to Israel on an Indian passport and time and again the security guards simply let me pass without checking, ‘Oh you are from India?’. They added a comment like ‘I am going to India next year’ or ‘Goa is very beautiful’ or ‘Namaste’ etc.
So much still to do in Israel:
– Golan heights: See Syria from the forested mountain top
– Negev Desert: Camp in the beautiful sand and natural formations
– Eilat: It’s more of a romantic place so I won’t go alone
– West Bank: Explore more cities
– Gaza: Whenever possible…
I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing this travel series. Your comments/critique is solicited and greatly appreciated. I am sure there will be bits and pieces that I will keep writing about. 🙂