Shalom! [Welcome!]

Before I begin writing about my travel to Israel, and how the first day went, I should let everyone know how auditions went. I felt really good about my work, proud of what I did, and it definitely paid off! I’ve been cast in the company of Antigone – my dream play. Final roles won’t be decided until after the first rehearsal the Monday we get back, so I’ll keep everyone updated. It should fantastic though!

Okay! So Israel. Well I can’t say that airports freak me out. Even heightened security doesn’t perturb me. I can do airports like a business man who lives our of his suitcase. Shoes off, laptop out, boarding pass and I.D. ready. Go.

Unfortunately, this was the most difficult time I’ve ever had. There is something suspicious about a non-Jewish student traveling on a Jewish airline, to Israel when she has no family or connections there. They questioned Malka and I, then separated us to interrogate us further. “How long have you known her?” “Do you know her well?” “Why are you going?” “How long?” “Where?” “Will you be traveling anywhere alone?” On and on, until finally they told us to continue on through but to show up at the gate an hour early. We got to the gate only to be ushered to a back room, asked a couple more questions then have our bags taken and shoes swiped. Little taxing on the nerves, I have to admit. But at least they were being thorough and I tried to stay polite, honest, and in good humor.

We made it through, got onto the plane and settled in for our four hour flight. We arrived in Israel this morning at 4 am, sleepily got our passports stamped (my second stamp – look at me world traveler!) , and climbed into a communal taxi, and headed to Jerusalem.

Sunrise in Israel

Finally it's light out!

Arriving at Malka’s apartment at 7 am, we we completely exhausted by this point and fell into bed and slept until noon. From there we walked into Ben Yahuda which is a shopping square sort of area in the city. Saw some beautiful ceramic stores. I had my very first Israeli meal – Shwarma! Think of a falafel – thick bread wrap, French fries, baby chicken meat, cucumbers, tomatoes, fried onions, and probably some other things I’m forgetting. It was – so good. And huge!

Here’s something that has been throwing me off – the currency (shekel). It’s weak compared to the American dollar so I find myself paying “a lot” for things like shwarma will be 25 shekel. Which throws you off until you realize that translated to American dollars it’s only 4 dollars.

The other thing I’m going to find difficult is that everything and everyone is in and speaks Hebrew. Not exactly a language I know anything about. Luckily Malka’s Hebrew is decent enough and she’ll be able to get us around. It’s beautiful here though, and I’m looking forward to this week to really explore a city that not many people say they have been too. I will do tons of updating this week – promise! Now to celebrate Halloween (for the horror movie buff I am, Halloween is the best holiday. I must celebrate it – even in Israel), Malka and I will watch the most fantastic movie – Dead Alive. Zombies, here I come! (And I bought some Israeli chocolate that contains popping candy. Different, but intriguing.)

Malka and her brother Noam, who is studying in Israel for the year.

Malka and her brother Noam, who is studying in Israel for the year.

Wandering around the city

CANDY

Spices!

Inside the Sheq...Not sure on the spelling. Malka can correct me later.

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Published in: on October 31, 2010 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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