Since I’m not having much luck typing up the order of events of the last few days, I thought I’d do a little informational post about the things I noticed in Israel.
So… Breakfast in Israel was interesting. There was always cucumber and tomato salad and usually eggs (always hard-boiled, sometimes scrambled). Bread, but not toast, just open loaves. And often a few kinds of soft cheeses like different varieties of feta. The yogurt was thin and sour and so was the cottage cheese. I actually found this particularly delicious and ate the cottage cheese whenever I had the chance. Oh, and the oranges were bitter and provided a juice that tasted thin and powdery, like Tang.
You always hear about toilets flushing in different directions depending which side of the equator you are one. Well Israeli toilets mostly just flushed down. Nearly every toilet had a big flusher and a little flusher to conserve water and the way they flushed seemed to spare the seats from getting covered in droplets of water like they sometimes do in America. I found that most toilets there were surprisingly clean and this was a pleasant discovery for me.
I don’t think I made any major observations about the people of Israel because they seem quite diverse… Most were friendly to us but I would believe the description that one of the soldiers mentioned. Most Israelis are a little tough and mean at first but warm up a lot when they know you, like their symbol of a cactus. This makes sense with the state of their country. I’m sure it’s hard to be trusting. They also work 5 1/2 days a week, only resting on Shabbat so the youth at least has an appreciation for bars and partying, to blow of steam from the tedium of the army or the fear of attack. To me they seem intelligent, overall, and goodhearted, and in a difficult situation.
I got particularly close with a few people on the trip. Korin was a female soldier that was my roommate for a night. I wouldn’t say we became too close but she was very nice and we sang to VH1 when we got dressed in the morning and she let me use her make-up.
Yoni and Guy were the two soldiers I really connected with. Yoni and I talked by the fire outside the Bedouin tents for a while about how he wants to be an engineer and how he is traveling to Australia when he finishes with the army in 3 months. We only talked a little the rest of the trip but we did spend a fair amount of time together. He, Guy, a few other girls, and I hung out in Tel Aviv while many of the others on our trip continued going to bars. He convinced a couple of drunk Israeli girls in the hotel that he only spoke English and they taught us all how to say things like, “Your mother is a prostitute.” I can’t really explain why I feel like we meshed so well, but we just did, even though I didn’t have a lot to say.
Guy was another story, more outgoing and crazy. He got drunk at the Bedouin tents and propositioned every girl he saw for sex (jokingly; he has a girlfriend). He also has a very good heart and on the bus ride back from the bars in Tel Aviv, we talked about our relationships and his troubles in the army. He is really a good “Guy,” as ridiculously cheesy as that is.
I think that is enough posting for now. It may seem a little funny that I felt like I came out of this trip with a few really true friends in different parts of the world. Its unusual for me to think that someone I knew for only 5 (or 10) days is someone I will remain close with. I don’t think I’m foolish. It just made me feel really good to find people I could connect with. I find that hard right here in my own town sometimes, so it’s nice to be reassured that people that suit me are out there somewhere and I don’t want to lose that connection when I find it.