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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Greetings from Tel Aviv.

Despite the storm that was brewing on Wednesday afternoon in Chicago, I made it to Tel Aviv right on time. Some highlights.

1. A family of five didn’t buy five seats together and allowed the teenage daughters to rearrange themselves into my seat. They asked if I minded, I said I did, but I would make the change. That lasted three minutes after I realized how uncomfortable (no leg room) the seat they left for me was. I stood up for myself and got my seat back. Then the family rearranged again and the now very pissed mom sat next to me, back to me, filing her nails. Then the Dad realizes that the TV on the seat they had tried to make me sit in was broken and he started to complain about getting a refund. On the flight there were two empty seats the row behind us. In the end, the mom and dad rearranged for a third time and moved to that row. That left me ALONE IN MY ROW!!!! I had two seats to myself all the way to Zurich.

2. In Zurich, El Al decided once again that I’m special. This time I was taken into a room behind a very large door and was checked for explosives residue. Then I had to leave my carry-on in that room until the plane boarded. When I went to get my bag, I had to be checked again for explosives. “Do you carry another passport?”

3. The train from the Airport into Tel Aviv was very easy to manage. Hooray! The hostel is clean. My phone was there and it seems to work. I wandered all over Tel Aviv last night with a couple ROI120niks. We never got where we were going, but we tried to find something to do.

4. Today I walked from my hostel to Jaffa. A long, hot walk. Even wearing SPF45 I got tan. I’m more tan today than I have been in three years. You won’t recognize me CHicago, not if I keep this up.

5. People assume I’m Israeli. Which is nice, but really, I can’t speak hebrew. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten the crocs, cause they seem to be the cause of this confusion.

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