‘Oh Beautiful for Toiletries….’

Shalom from 36,008 feet above ground! No, I’m not at Coffee Anan on Har Ben-Tal, I’m on Delta flight #87 en route to JFK. (For those of you who don’t know, there’s a café in the Golan whose name is remarkably similar to the former Secretary General of the UN. The name means “Coffee of the Cloud” (due to its presence on top of a mountain) and once again, I just placed parentheses inside of parentheses (ech omrim “go off on a tangent”?)))

Next Sunday, as part of their Yom Ha’atzmaut festival, I’ll be doing stand-up at the New Jersey Metrowest Federation. This week, I’ll be spending time in New York, having some meetings, working on some projects, and spending what little free time I have doing what any Israeli would do in the United States: TARGET!!! Here’s a question: when the founding fathers were laying out the Articles of Confederation, do you think knew that the aspect of America viewed most favorably by the world would be shopping? Target or Duane Reade, you can bet I’ll be buying lots of sunscreen on this trip. Because when the number on the price tag is higher than the number on the bottle, it’s time to find alternative sources of toiletries. I mean, seriously-why is Israel so up in arms about the tunnels going into Gaza. They’re not smuggling in weapons, people-THEY NEED CHEAP CONTACT LENS SOLUTION!!!

“I pledge allegiance…to the sale….”

As always, there’s nothing more fun than blogging from Ben-Gurion. Here we go:

  • I swear on chumus, I’m not lying. The Nesher picked me up at 8:45 PM to take me to the airport. We proceed to drive around into neighborhoods I’ve never seen or even heard of (Undsdorf?), wind up in Romema, come out next to the gas station at the exit to the city, turn BACK under the bridge of strings, turn left at Ima, pass the shuk, and end up RIGHT OUTSIDE MY APARTMENT at 9:15 en route to the next pick-up place. Are you KIDDING me??? Thanks for wasting half an hour of my life. Do we fight our wars like this? “General Dayan! We have liberated the Jewish Quarter and are making our way towards the Egyptian border! After defeating their enemy forces, we will come back to Jerusalem to take the Kotel.” By the way, does Nesher advertise? I think I have their new marketing slogan: “Nesher: We Get You There. After Taking You Back Home First.”
  • While waiting to be interrogated, one Israeli surveys the situation, realizes there’s a gap of .000000083 centimeters in between two luggage carts next to him, and sneaks under the velvet rope thingy to fill the space when the absent-minded victim isn’t paying attention. An American nearby makes eye contact with me and we just smile. When it’s not happening to you, it’s kind of funny.
  • The check-in is crazy. One word…..geometric figure….one syllable….sounds like “mine”. I’ll give you a few minutes. No guesses? Them neither. You know how it works, you take your place, pay attention, move up, and it usually works out ok, except for the entire line that’s formed behind a counter which may or may not be taking people. When I get to the front, nobody’s left the requisite buffer zone in between the person checking in and everyone else which means there’s no exit for ten lines worth of people and, more troublingly, their luggage carts. IT’S ANARCHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By now, I’m used to the individuals cutting in line (flat out lie) but it’s another story when you can see from ten miles away that the system is designed to fail. Let’s go, airlines-fix that, please. I know I’m kvetching here but does anyone else really lament the lack of mall maps? I’m tempted to create one for Dizengoff Center, I’m just not sure if it would be a pro bono thing or if I could actually make money from this thing. (By the way, I think I’ve figured out the eternal question of when your status changes from “oleh chadash” to simply “oleh”. It’s when you go from having people shrug their shoulders, half smile, and say “welcome to Israel” to your being the one who says it.)
  • Sometimes I have to remind myself that sometimes the annoying stuff I experience is universal. I know it’s not just Israelis who do this but if you can’t follow the “stand right, walk left” rule on escalators and moving sidewalks, you really do deserve a kick in the tuchus.As always, nobody explains it better than Brian Regan. Watch the whole thing or fast forward to 6:25.
  • Daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!Look at Delta’s in-flight entertainment!The best I can even remember.Tons of TV shows, lots of good movies. Actual Oscar nominees even, not just the worst and most recent romantic comedy they could come up with. I’m curious to watch “Weeds” which I’ve never seen and “Breaking Bad” if only because I’ve heard it’s good, but don’t really want to start in the middle. And does anyone else feel weird about watching stuff with some level of adult content while on a plane? I was watching “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” on my laptop during a recent flight. Without warning: BOOM! Jason Segal’s junk (and I’m not talking about the Chiriya. Yuk yuk yuk…..let’s move on). A little embarrassing, no? Especially when the two people sitting next to you are speaking Yiddish (and I hate to break it to them but I have a feeling they won’t be showing “Yentl” on this flight.)
  • I settle on “Precious” followed by “The Blind Side.” Whew, heavy stuff. Kind of reminds me of my childhood as a poor black teenager.

  • Sadly, I suspect that I won’t be partaking in as much delicious, unhealthy foods as I used to. Something about aging and not being able to put anything in my mouth that I want with no ramifications (get your minds out of the gutter, people.)

That’s all for now. Just a few days closer to my Yom Ha’atzmaut post….

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