Traveling to Tel Aviv

Trip Start Nov 10, 2006
Trip End Nov 17, 2006

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

WOW! That was one long flight! I started out in Lake Worth, FL this morning. I woke up at 7:00AM EST, November 11th. I got dressed and drove down to Fort Lauderdale International Airport and waited for my flight. At 11:30AM EST I departed for Newark, NJ. After arriving ~3hr later I had a pint of Guinness with my work mates, Ruth Barra, Bill Kebrdle and Laurent Geyer, and set off for Tel Aviv, Israel. Eleven hours later at 9:15AM IST, November 12th we were in the "cradle of civilization", a "war zone", the "holy land", the "promised land", the "middle east"; we were in Israel.

I hopped off the plane a little dizzy and sleep deprived awaiting the comfort of my beach front hotel and a hot shower only to be met by the Israeli Police when attempting to pass through customs. They detained me for almost three hours. I was asked all kinds of questions relating to my family and their whereabouts as well as my business life and purpose for being in Israel. I was denied the use of my laptop or cell phone. Due to my lack of access I could not call my colleagues or produce cell phone numbers for the locals I know in country. To top it all off nobody would tell me why I was being detained and would start speaking Hebrew to me when I started to ask questions. (Note: Everyone on the police force is fluent in English.) After approximately three hours of sitting around and answering questions I was released without any explanation and was told to enjoy my trip in Israel. Creepy! One of my colleagues, Laurent, was kind enough to stick around and waited for me with our chauffeur.

We arrived at the hotel in our bright white Mercedes taxi cab within ~20min. I cleaned up, met the crew at the hotel lounge, got hassled about being a terrorist by my friends and planned our afternoon. We start work on Sunday, 11/12 and we had some free time. (Note: Sunday's are working days in Israel. Shabbat is on Saturday and Israelis have Fri-Sat as their weekends.) One of the people we are doing business with, JY Lee, met up with us and took us to a place called Jaffe. This is an older city just outside of Tel Aviv and very close to our hotel. Jaffe has a lot of jewelry and arts & craft stores and looks like it would be a very cool place to shop. Unfortunately most places of business are closed on Shabbat and we did not have a great selection of establishments to browse through.
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