I did not get groped!

September 1, 2023 • 8:15 am

Even at 6 a.m., O’Hare Airport is hellishly busy today; I had forgotten that it’s Labor Day weekend and people are off to celebrate the end of summer.  I’m glad I’m leaving now, as the Chicago weather is predicted to be in the nineties next week. Our Dorm Ducks, however, have surely found a nice home in a nearby pond or lake, and, as I try to drift off to sleep each night, I soothe myself by thinking what a treat it would be for a duckling reared entirely on a plaza, with only very limited bathing facilities, to suddenly find itself in a large body of water, able to dunk, dabble, dive, and do the zoomies.

But I digress. Having both TSA Precheck and Global Entry, I got through security in a matter of minutes (NO GROPING AT ALL), and now I’m relaxing and waiting for my flight with coffee, a bagel and cream cheese.  I have several hours in Newark to cool my heels, and then it’s off to Tel Aviv on a long flight.  Thanks to the seatguru site (h/t Simon), I looked up my flight in advance, found that the aircraft on which I was flying had seatback entertainment, and so I can watch movies en route. (That site is a mitzvah.)

On the way to Newark, though, there’s only “device” entertainment: you’re supposed to download an app on your phone, use “air” earphones (there’s no plug in earphones with my newer iPhone), and watch movies on your phone!  This is the way airlines are saving money these days, and it was my situation on American Airlines all the way to Ecuador and back.  My advice to airlines, which of course they won’t heed, is to stop the madness!  Seatback screens with earphones are the best way to go. Imagine watching movies for nine hours on the tiny screen of an iPhone.

So I also have a novel: Middlemarch, which I’ll read for the third time, as well as the Lonely Planet guide to Israel and the Palestinian Territories (I won’t be allowed to enter Palestine, and it’s not safe there for an American Jew).

Tomorrow morning I’ll be in Tel Aviv, and will hie myself to Jerusalem to crash and recover from jet lag.  For the first two weeks I’ll be seeing Anna Krylov and her partner Jay, who lived in Israel, for some sporadic tours and activities, but I also have other cool people lines up to meet, thanks to invitations on this website and the advice of my surrogate mother Malgorzata. I’ll do my best to document my travels here (with photos), but I won’t wail at the Western Wall.

My food goal is to find the best hummus in Israel, though I won’t have time to try every place. But I’m told by everyone that Israel’s hummus is qualitatively better than hummus in America, and I love hummus, even in America.

So it’s hasta la vista, baby, and, I hope, my next post will have a picture of hummus in it.

11 thoughts on “I did not get groped!

  1. Have a great trip! There are adapter plugs to go between the banana plug on earphones and the port on an iPhone. If ever you get an iPad, even the iPad mini, you will wonder how you ever got by without one.

  2. Bon voyage!

    Yes, I dislike the “use your own” device entertainment service. Delta is way better. But books are the best or movies downloaded to your laptop.

  3. “That site is a mitzvah.”

    Seems like you’re getting into the Israeli spirit! Have a great, albeit …….long……. Flight.

  4. Envious of your Tel Aviv hummus-to-be. Still recall tasting some there for the first time, while a teen doing his kibbutz thing. Absolutely bliss. It then took a lifetime to find a recipe back home that got close to it. (Tip: heavy on tahini and lots more olive oil than the usual recipes say.)

  5. You’ll be 8 hours ahead of CT…an hour off Poland’s TZ, so the lag will probably be similar to when you visit Poland. (I’m sure you already know this, sorry if I’m being a pedant.)

    Have a safe trip, looking forward to your hummus critiques and photos. I’m sure you’ll also have falafel and maybe shawarma (my favorite)…and don’t forget hummus’s tasty cousin baba ghanoush.

  6. Have a great trip…and enjoy Middlemarch (again). Looking forward to your pics and experiences, and especially your take on the political situation in Israel, which looks pretty frightening in some aspects.

    O/T: whenever I click on the ‘Comments’ for a post, I get a pop-up inviting me to subscribe to a newsletter and get full access to your archive. What’s that all about, then?

    1. I’m getting the same pop-up despite having been subscribed for years. It seems to pop up a few seconds after loading every page.

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