Saturday, December 30, 2006

"I'm so worried about what's happening today, in the Middle East, you know." --Monty Python song, "I'm so worried"

Very soon, I will be bli machshev, bli (working) pelephone, and bli gvinah tsarfatit, the mainstays of my life here in the States. Although I do periodically threaten to move to Israel--whenever I read an especially convincing passage in something by Herzl or Hertzberg, whenever I'm expected to take an astrophysics exam, etc.-- this will only be for ten days. I'll be back, studying Zionism from afar, in no time.

I'm excited to go to Israel. As everyone who knows me knows, this trip is a long time coming. However, I'm also scared as hell, mainly because it's a while since I've gone anywhere further away than Montreal, and that many hours on a plane, yikes! Other concerns:

1) I will forget to pack something crucial: A trip to Duane Reade, a stop at Bobst to pick up the requisite Zionistic literature, and a very brief moment in Radio Shack or similar for an adapter should do the trick. Passport: crucial. American pelephone: also crucial, for when I return and want to call people at 5:20 am and let them know I'm back.

2) I will have to go into some kind of underground tunnel: There are photos of this from previous Birthright trips, some kind of adventure that looks a bit too much like how I picture the mines from Germinal. Just as Ladies' Paradise made me fear department stores, Zola's book on miners made me fear narrow enclosed spaces.

3) Given the amount of time I spend on NYC public transportation, I am not especially worried about terrorism for this trip as opposed to on any normal day. Although Saddam Hussein was just killed, which could lead to who knows what, retaliation-wise. Not that Israel killed him, but my sense of how these things work is that Israel, Jews, French Jews, and so forth tend to be held responsible for all actions taken by America specifically or the West in general. So add terrorism to my list of concerns as well.

I know the trip will be amazing. But as a Jew of the Diaspora, forgive me for approaching things a bit more like Woody Allen or George Costanza than would be ideal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful and safe trip. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll bring everything you need, and if you don't you can either borrow from someone else or buy it there. And do the tunnels. Seriously. They're awesome.

I would, however, recommend a Lunesta or Ambien (and a neck pillow) for the flight. I love El Al, but that's a long friggin' flight!

Looking forward to the post-trip posts!