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.