Yes, I know it has been a while. I have returned from my trip to Israel and Jordan on Monday this week. I had a GREAT time! The 18 days I spent was filled with fun, sights to see and activities to fulfilled. I had so much fun during the 3 weeks that I decided to extend for another 10 days. Well I stayed on at the request of my ever crazy Brazilian friend, Dede. She was scheduled to visit Israel for work. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. With the extra days, I could spend a little more time exploring and fulfill my appetite with more of the local culinary.
I don’t know where to start with sharing the fun I had. But what I can tell you is that I met new friends from around the globe. Each has a story to tell why they were visiting Israel – some was business related, some were students on international exchange program and others were holiday makers such as myself who wanted to see the Holy Land. By the end of this trip, I have lost count on the number of times I had to answer “Why did you come to Israel?”. At times, I deviated from the typical answer and just stop at “Why not, Israel?”
Each vacation I have taken in the last several years, I have come back with fresh perspective on life in general but also gentle reminders of how lucky we are and to continue to live regardless. Israel is one destination many of my family or friends wouldn’t necessarily consider visiting anytime soon. The immediate reaction when I mentioned that I was going to Israel “Is it safe to go there?”. Thanks to media broadcasters, Israel is painted as a dangerous place where bomb attacks is a daily activity. I have felt safe throughout my one month stay there. Tel Aviv is a city that never sleeps. Hence, I could walk the streets at midnight or early hours of the morning without any worries at all. The only time that I felt a little scared when I was in Jerusalem. I happened to be in the Arab quarters within the Old CIty of Jerusalem and saw the chaos on the TV screen. The shopkeeper translated on what happened – a bomb exploded at the Jerusalem central bus station where it was reported approximately 30 people were injured and one tourist died. As you can imagine I was in shock for a few minutes. Although the Old City and the bus station was some distance apart, it just send hit home the fragility of life. All I know is that it wasn’t my time just yet. I didn’t want this unfortunate event to deter me from continuing to enjoy the rest of my vacation.
On this note, I will wrap up my thoughts. I would love to share more but I have felt a little under the weather over the last few days and I should be getting some rest.
Layla tov from me! לַיְלָה טוֹב.