“Cafe, B’vakasha? Coffee, please?”

Let’s review some famous questions in history:
1) Why did the chicken cross the road?
2) Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
3) Shalom, Benji….ehhhhhhhh, do you want to go to an El Al party with lots of flight attendants?

I was asked one of these three Thursday night (here’s a clue: it didn’t involve winged animals.) My first thought was “is this a radio station prank? No no, this sounds too much like my friend Noga who is in fact a flight attendant. This must be real.” (Editor’s note: “ehhhhhh” added for dramatic effect)

What was the last thing I wrote? About the need to always have my camera for blogging purposes? As it were, I was able to scribble down a few random thoughts on paper.

The price of admission was 70 shekels (I’m not doing the math for you anymore) and it was held on some kibbutz north of Tel Aviv. That’s how parties are done here. In the States, you get married at Congregation Beth Jew. Here? Down the road from chickens. Ok, so it’s not exactly like that, with scruffy field workers walking down the aisle or anything. These kibbutzim often have large halls for this exact business reason, I suppose; you wouldn’t even know you were down the road from chickens (calm down, my Israeli friends). There were a ton of people walking around the area with a DJ playing music in the hall. Aside from the occasional English song (Kanye West, Shakira, etc.), it was all the stuff that I can’t stand: techno, electronic, trance…I’m not sure which it was. Just that they could have played the same song on repeat and I wouldn’t have noticed. I did get a kick out of them playing the extended theme song to “Beverly Hills 90210” as I looked around to see if I was the only incredulous one. Turn right, look around, turn left, try to make eye contact with someone…nope, apparently no one finds this surreal but me.

Other random thoughts…

Throughout the night, I resisted the strong urge to ask a complete stranger for a cup of coffee, suspecting the humor might be lost on them.

At one point, some kind of El Al promotional video played on a large screen. I asked my friend Rani if I needed headphones to watch the movie. He laughed.

Breaking news: Israelis, um…look different from American Jews. And Americans are always complaining about Israel’s poor PR. Why doesn’t the Ministry of Foreign Affairs just videotape one of these parties, duplicate it in mass amounts, and ship it off to the heads of the BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera? Tourism would skyrocket. Of course, everyone around the world would be clamoring for their right of return. Or at least the right to return to the Tel Aviv beach on a Saturday afternoon.

By the way, they also use the term “meat market” in Hebrew. They call it “shuk basar”. That’s funny.

No raging party would be complete without the Druze woman making pita next to the Bedouin-style tent. I told you I should have had my camera.

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