I didn’t have to wait on line, I felt ike the man, a simple dangling badge reading “frum satire” and “Blogger” on it got me past the lines filled with screaming children and happy folks wheeling the highest loaded luggage carts I have ever seen. I wondered what was in all those taped up boxes. I wondered if people were carrying microwaves and precious sets of books which would be exorbitantly priced in Israel. Maybe they were carrying baby toys, it was like being told to leave everything behind, klind of like the exodus almost. Except there were no bags of unleavened bread, thank God, because I was kind of looking forward to the food offerings- I just love airplane meals- with their mini-everythings.
I met up with fellow bloggers Jewlicious, Esther kustanowitz and Muqata– it was kind of wierd to tell you the truth. You kind of feel some of these people are all top dawgs and then you realize they are just regular old people who blog when they have some free time. I also met Treppenwitz and Seraphic Secret as well.
Surprisingly I even knew someone wiating in the long line to check in luggage, us bisness class peeps bloggers included got to skip the whole mess of boxes and screaming little kids and were checked in within a couple minutes.
I met a buddy of mine from Detroit who’s sister was taking the aliyah plunge- and don’t mean that in a negative sense. In fact the general air of confusion that comes with airports was mixed with one of untold emotion and happiness and sadness all mixed to combine more emotion that a 16 year old girl in love for the first time.
I finally found the ELAL lounge and took some of the free magazines obviously reserved for people who paid for tickets allowing them to be in the lounge, magazines that sold cars and planes and yachts- all costing more then we could ever hope to be worth, unless we sold our kidneys and livers on an ebay auction.
I found Avishay Traeger by the wiating area, waiting with guitar case in hand to get on the flight to start his new life. Avishay was chosen as my interviewee for several reasons, mainly because he is a skater, snowboarder and experienced scuba diver. In fact, he doesn’t start his new job at IBM as a computer scientist until October so right after he makes aliyah he is going scuba diving in Australia for a month- that sounded like a plan to me.
Avishay is a real Brooklyn kid having gone to yeshiva of Flatbush and college in the area as well, and attending Stony Brook for graduate school. Avishay has a PhD and is a computer scientist. He seemed excited in his quiet way, he’s not all talkative like me, but hey who wouldn’t be pumped to make aliyah. His parents currently live in Israel and judging from the way he was shmoozing with one of the ELAL workers- would have issue integrating into a speaking Hebrew lifestyle- I do wisah him luck.
Once on the planbe, I settled into the biggest airplane seat I would ever have the opportunity to sit in and introduced myself to my seat neighbor for the next 10 hours. Sylvia, from Winthrop Massechusets was fullfiling a lifelong dream by making aliyah, and wound up in business class because she was in a wheelchair and the crew had an extra seat. Sylvia had a lot of trouble figuring out how things worked, as did I. The seats had so many controls as did the remote controls to operate the TV. I was kind of happy that she gave me an opportunity for some chesed on the flight, and although I was not very sociable with anyone, I was constantly helping this woman out.
A newlywed couple was on flight and there was a sheva brachos at row 25, it was super cool. I missed all the minyanim on flight- just because I was so sick- which kind of sucked.
As I stated above I was not very sociable on the flight, in the words of Jewlicious towards the end of the flight- I was comatose, and he’s right. I was coming off of a stomach virus, and had contracted this terrible head cold, I had a stash of tissues tucked into the side of my seat, and my eyes were so watery people couldn’t tell if I was crying or generally sick. When all is said and done, business class seats and 3 movies got me through the flight in one piece- but my fellow bloggers thought I was supposed to make them laugh and were disappointed at my non-sociable self.
I did marvel at how hard it was to open the airplane meals, it seriously took me 10 minutes to bust through the shrink wrap and another few minutes to cut through all the tape, I guess Israel is weird on hashgacha, so everything had a different hashgacha on there.
After the flight we got off onto this bus and went to the old Ben Gurion terminal for a welcome home ceremony, I admit that upon landing I have never before felt emotional- but this time I cried my brains out, the welcoming ceremony was cute with families carrying homemade signs- it was awesome, all this super cute Israeli soldiers were there too- handpicked for their hotness I assume
Then we went inside to hear Netanyahu and a bunch of other important dignitaries speak. I stocked up on bottled water which was for free and wondered when I would be able to try and go to sleep, my head was pounding and my nose was a flowing.
I finally got in a cab with some fellow bloggers and tried to keep my food down, I always hate the cab ride to Jerusalem after the flight I always feel sick no matter what. I finally got to my host and went to sleep on her porch- and then she came out and gave me a bed to sleep on for several hours. While I was hauling my stuff up her steps a car pulled up and my name was called. Coincidentally my friend Tamar whom I haven’t seen in over 5 years was driving up the street and saw me- that was weird, I especially enjoyed the traffic jam she crated by doing it.
Oh and with regards to pictures, I didn’t bring my USB cable so you will have to wait.
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