Monday, August 31, 2009

When in Israel...

That’s what they say right? Right?! Alright, they don’t, but when in Israel, you’re supposed to embrace being Jewish, that’s what they say, but apparently I just realize that I can’t get along with most people. It was a new world record of people put on auto-hate, what was the previous world record? I don’t know, but I’m sure I beat it. You all will soon match my world record, but we’ll get to that later.

For several days I spent time on a bus going through Israel with a bunch of other Northeastern students, most just ending their freshman years at college. Oh boy oh boy, these kids were so adorable. Aside from the fact that they were BORN DURING THE YEAR OF 1990, Holy Cow!, they all still listened and liked Dave Matthews Band, so cute, I know. Some little critters even called him by first name! Oh, to be young again.

Leaving on the 19th of August, I arrived at JFK, (RIP TK BTW), and met with the group. So far so good, everyone on this trip was super nice to be honest, but so far good on my part; my heavy sigh count was at zero. We got on a plane and headed to Zurich, I drank a few nips of whiskey I got some JW Red label. I realized I hate decent whiskey; I can only drink Jim Beam or Old Thompson. Does anyone else have that problem? Really tired at 10am Zurich time, we played an ice breaker, that name game picnic thing, although once we got to the letter C, it was changed to the Sex and Drugs version. I had the misfortune of being B, so what did I bring to the Sex and Drugs party? Beans. Why beans, I don’t know, but for the first few days I was known as the kid who brought beans. Wonderful. Nothing says party like beans.

We arrived in Tel Aviv, which was pretty cool, got on a bus, which we would travel on throughout the trip, then met our driver, guide and medic/guard who carried a rifle the entire trip. We were told we weren’t allowed to touch the gun or sleep with the gun or kiss the gun, but I’m pretty sure you were allowed to take it out to dinner and never call it back. The landscape on the ride to Jerusalem was breathtaking, a lot of hills and mountains in Israel, although they don’t got shit on that hill leading to the Space Machine.

This was the part of the trip that I realized I would be looking at a Jewish Timeshare. They never said it exactly, actually they did; they wanted us to fall in love with the country, marry Israeli’s and have Jewish children. If I want to, I could get Israeli citizenship whenever. The trip was littered with sessions where we’d tackle some tough subjects about religion and politics; I just sat around and let other people talk. This wasn’t enough during the last session when 12 small “flags” were placed on the floor and you had to choose the flag that best described your Jewish Culture. Woot.

A lot of the historical sites were interesting, the Western Wall was pretty intense, and we went during Shabbat. The entire city shuts down and a lot of Orthodox Jews and others are praying there for hours. A man with his family saw I was out of place and asked if I needed a place to spend Shabbat dinner. I said no thanks, but it would have been interesting if I was able to. Which brings me to the another part of the trip, everyone was on a short leash. I got in trouble because I walked two blocks back from the beach and their count was off one day. We weren’t allowed to leave the hotel and I got yelled at for looking hungover one morning. I felt like a child and everyone else on the trip acted like one for the most part.

The food was amazing, I ate too much falafel, hommus, lentil, rice and kebabs. I farted throughout the entire country, literally everywhere, here’s an abridged version of locations:

-Where Jesus was reportedly crucified (lol)

-The Jordan/Israel border

-The mountains bordering Egypt

-The Dead Sea (Which fucking hurt, oh my god. Never fart in a body of water that consists of over 30% salt)

-The Red Sea

-The Mediterranean Sea (Which you would think would be pristine, but it was littered with garbage. I probably cleansed it a tiny bit)

-On a camel

Also, speaking of the camel, camels are assholes.

In fact, I covertly farted so well, that no one even knew, until the plane landed back at JFK this most recent Sunday. The girl sitting in front of me while getting her bag from overhead storage exclaimed, “It all of a sudden smells like old cheese, probably that damn kosher food”. Damn kosher food indeed, honey!

So we drove a bus all around the country, through mountainous terrain, old holy cities, some Muslim towns, flat areas, etc etc. On one instance we were almost in the middle of a terrible head on collision. The two cars involved went on fire and the entire road closes with people running out with fire extinguishers or bottles of water, our bus driver included. Something like that I don’t plan to ever see in the US, 2 Palestinian cars pulled over as well and helped. No one died, on the scene at least, was pretty crazy. A lot of people were stunned and all totally ‘oh my god ahh, im in tears’. Grow up kids, shitty shit happens, you're traumatized for attention (which they got later, when we talked about it).

This brings me back to another habit I maintained during those 10 days, I sighed personally towards any annoyance I could. Some people started a clique in the back of the bus; they sang group songs whenever they could. Someone acquired a bongo, I died a little inside. Then someone acquired a guitar, I died a little more inside. There’s nothing worse than hearing these words; “I just learning guitar, but I can play Wish You Were Here!” Your father would be ashamed that you were knowingly tainting classic music. I was also lucky enough to hear renditions of Coldplay, Jason Mraz, “Dave”, Gun’s N’ Roses and Dispatch. I actually have a video of one of those songs. A lot of people danced to songs in the aisle of the bus as it drove too, also to shitty songs. Oh by the way, here is that moment I was talking about earlier:

All in all, I enjoyed myself, met a handful of people who I hope to keep in touch with and at nights smoked hookah, cigarettes and one night hash. Drank beers and embraced my Judaism long enough to make sure the trip was free of charge.


melbo said...

logan, this post made me go into womanly hysterics at work. omg! DAVE! THE VIDEOS! you didn't mention third eye blind ANYWHERE in that post, i was not prepared. and who yelled at you for looking hung over? just like a jew, am i right or am i right. but seriously, i'm glad you're home safe. and i want to see your pictures!

KDHL said...

I wish you would step back from that ledge, Logan.

robert said...

why werent they wearing shirts? spring break israel!