The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Israel Trip - Ten Highlights
1. El Al cancelled my departing flight.
2. El Al cancelled my return flight.
3. At JFK, El Al claims there is no ticket for my 3 1/2 year old son and that he cannot fly. The e-ticket I show them does not persuade them otherwise. The female supervisor agrees that there is no way he can fly - it would be a major security breach, she explains.
This continues for more than an hour.
Who am I to question El Al's famed security system?
Finally, shortly before boarding, a man appears and agrees to type some codes into a computer that will allow us to fly.
4. After leaving the gate, the departing flight is delayed on the ground for four hours because of a malfunction on the airplane just ahead of us.
5. I had purchased a voucher for dinner at Cup 'O Joe, a nice cafe at the intersection of King David, Keren Hayesod, and Jabotinsky Streets - the location of the recent bulldozer attack.
Around halfway through our enjoyable meal, we were advised that the cafe would not honor the voucher.
Since I was not going to pay twice for the same meal, I had no choice but to leave in a fairly embarrassing fashion with much of my meal on the table.
Subsequently, I was told that the restaurant apologized and that a check would be sent to me to refund the voucher.
Alas, the check will be in shekels.
6. I suddenly got extremely sick last Thursday night. Shigella, salmonella - something like that. Since I paid a lot of money to go to Israel, I didn't really take care of myself since and am using my remaining energy on this post.
7. I stepped on a rusty nail on Sunday night, which penetrated deep into my right foot. Last night, I got a tetnus shot. My right shoulder is killing me today.
8. Our taxi driver showed up 30 minutes late yesterday morning. Then at Ben Gurion Airport, for the second straight year, our babysitter's suitcases are closely examined with all of their contents spread all over the place.
Finally, she is given security clearance by El Al and we head to the check-in counter.
There, I am informed that there is no ticket for my 1 1/2 year old son.
Just 15 minutes later we are given boarding passes and sent to security.
9. The woman at security looks at our passports and looks at us. She asks me if our babysitter was with us at all times in Israel. When I respond that she did go out on her own a bit, the security woman starts frantically screaming into her walkie-talkie, "chamushim, chamushim."
Yep, our babysitter was once again identified as a likely terrorist.
Around five minutes later, the "chamushim" come, ask us a few questions, and thank us for our time.
The security woman was not done. She ordered my wife to remove her hat.
Since even Tel Aviv is not Rockland County prison, my wife declined and we somehow made it to the gate for a relatively uneventful return flight.
10. At JFK, my second suitcase arrived. I walked over to put it on the cart, and slipped on the floor, which was full of water. I broke the fall with my right elbow and my knees.
Fortunately (at least for today), I am a lefty.