7:30 AM US Central Time
Austin Bergstrom International Airport
Two rows over from the main walkway, near a large trash can, across the aisle from a weird-looking guy who is asleep. And snoring. I wish he would stop.
I was alerted by the sign pictured at left that today's terrorism alert level is Orange.
I awoke at dark:00 this morning. My Dad shuffled in, obviously unhappy about this early twist to his regular morning routine, as was I. I showered, ate pop tarts, almost forgot to pack my toiletries, and discovered that, somehow, I had packed lighter luggage for these upcoming four months than I had for three and a half weeks I spent at camp this summer. Mom dropped by at slightly-less-dark:00 AM to take me to the airport. Sophie (the dog) did not seem to understand the gravity of this particular goodbye. Mom and I harldy spoke in the car. We were tired.
At the airport I checked in and discovered that, to my surprise, we here in Austin no longer have to check in and then take our bags to the TSA guys ourselves. The people behind the counter have acutally resumed their use of the conveyor belts.
I had breakfast tacos at the Waterloo Ice House in the airport . For those of you who do not live in Austin, our airport is better than yours. It is the best. There is no McDonald's and no Pizza Hut Express. We have branches of locally-owned restaurants in this airport. At Waterloo I pruchased two breakfast tacos and, in a moment of weakness, broke my Shabbat-only Coke rule and had a Coke . While drink it, I was struck by how dangerous it looked and took a moment to thank God nobody can bring these on planes anymore! One of of the tacos had egg, cheese, and potato and the other had refried beans, potato and bacon. Anybody says anything about the bacon, this blog is rigged to explode your computer. I'm about to spend four months in a country with no bacon and, by God, I'm gonna have some before I leave.
I have just been informed that my flight is delayed. Oh boy. Flying sure is fun.
When we finally get on the plane, some shmuck waltzes right onto the plane with a coffee.
11:59 AM US Central Time
American Airlines Flight (insert four random numbers here) to JFK
Row 35, Seat H
Next to a guy who is sleeping and hoggin the arm rest, behind Hannah, a girl who is also going on EIE who I alread know from NFTY.
We interrupt this blog to bring you the latest headline. David A. M. Wilensky has scientificially determined that Dallas-Fort Worth International Aiport is the stupidest airport ever. We take you back now to his blog, "live from Israel: DAVID SAYS THINGS" where he will expain this not-paticularly-surprising conclusion.
That's right folks. DFW is the stupidest airport ever. Nine out of ten halachic scholars agree. "What happened to the tenth one?" you might ask. The tragic truth, folks, is that he got lost in DFW, never to be seen or heard from again.
My flight departed Austin a full fifty minutes late. Drat. Curses. Etc. On the plane I was cleverly seated next to a really incredibly hairy fellow and right in front of a small, loud, kicking child. The child's mother, rather than engage in the exhausting work of trying to figure out why her child was upset, just turned into the bitchy type of mother we all see in public and love to hate for their incompetency and their cruelty to their own child and to us.
Had my flight gotten to DFW on time, I could have taken the chance to grab some lunch, which as of now, I have still not had even though my stomach is making obscene noises. Instead of having lunch, I had to rush from gat A39 to gate D33. For thoses of you not familiar with DFW, it is stupid. It consists of two rows of horseshoe-shaped terminals which face eachother, a highway running between the two rows. I always arrive at DFW late and in terminal A and then have to rush to terminal D, which is long dman walk and a slightly less long SkyLink ride.
I have just been informed that a snack box including La Petite Formage cheese spread, crackers, dried fruit, Lorna Doone cookies, a summer sausage stick, and some other proccessed crap is available for purchase from the flight attendants. It clocks in at a whopping four dollars and eighty-five million calories. Oh boy. I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. I guess I'll have to settle for a snack box.
I'm still waiting on the damn snackbox and I've just discovered that the alleged electrical outlets require some ridiculous adapter. Isn't flying fun.
Never mind. Here it is. Ewww.
9:30 AM Israeli Time
Israir flight 102
Row 34, Seat A
Next to Amy, a fellow EIE student and the first pleasant chat I've had with the person next to me on any leg of this trip so far.
Israir is quite entertaining. Traditionally, it is a rite of passage for American Jewish teenagers to be introduced to Israel by the national airline, El Al, whose staff has reputation for having, shall we say, colorful ideas about what service means. Israir, however has just begun to have flights from the US and as far as I can tell, this is the only flight they have today. The plane seems to have been purchased used from Icelandair, as indicated by the displays in the cabin. The Israir check-in line was ridiculously long, but it moved quickly and efficiently. I recall Paul Reichenbach (a.k.a. PJR a.k.a. The Voice Of God), the director of NFTY's Israel programs complimenting the manager of the Israir desk, Tammy, on how efficient and quick it was. She responded, "I know what you mean to say. It's like you mean, 'We are not like El Al.' All you need is a little bit oforganization." She looked disdainfully towards the El Al ticket counter.
Shortly after we took off, we ate something that was sort of similar to chicken in several ways for dinner. Breakfast is claiming to be an omlette. I beg to differ.
One of the in-flight movies was what looked like a disastrous romatic comedy called "Failure to Launch." The irony of title was not lost on me. I actually kind of liked it. The first pleasant surprise of the trip!
I suppose I should have expected this, but I am surprised by the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews aboard. They have begun to indivudually daven about the cabin as we fly into the sunrise. As far as I can tell, east, the direction they ought to be facing is straight ahead of us. We are flying eastward, after all. However, half of the praying men seem to be facing north, while the other half has firmly decided on south. I am mystified.
They gave us free slippers when we got on. Mine are too small.
Kibbutz Tzuba Hotel
Suite 122, the Kitchen Table
Near two of the three Erics here on EIE.
So. This is Israel, then.
Dinner didn't agree with me.
If I can get all these damn pcitures to work, I'm gonna post this and go to bed.
On the other hand, the pictures won't work. It'll have to wait till tomorrow.
Kibbutz Tzuba Hotel
Suite 122, Back Bedroom
In the bed next to Mac.
There is in fact a rooster outside doing what the stereotypical rooster does in the morning.
Kibbutz Tzuba Hotel
Suite 122, Back Bedroom
Near Mac who is cursing (loudly) the loss of hi composition notebook.
I have attempted to add more pictures to this post, but blogger just isn't working properly today. I took a lot more pictures on the plane. I'll try to add them later.
For those of you who were Jewies with me at Kutz, I had the KB this morning. Damn, that's good.
More pictures added as of 1:40 PM on the 30th.
As always, let me know if you'd like to recieve email updates about posts to this blog by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.