Follow my blog with Bloglovin Rita Wanderlust: Unlucky Travels: Israel Part II

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Unlucky Travels: Israel Part II

Bedouin Tents and Camels
Riding a camel! I had heat exhaustion at this point, you'll
read about that later.
To pick up where I left off from Part I: I was lucky enough to get onto a red eye flight to Israel from New York after my lost carry on, and passport found their way back to me. At around 10 pm, my fellow orphaned travelers, and I line up to check in for our flight. As I get to the podium, I hand over my passport to the gate attendant who looks at it and asks me the typical questions: Why are you travelling to Israel?  Who are you going with?  How long?  And then he says “so your passport says you’re from Russia.”  I knew in that instant that this was going to be rough. After I confirm that I am, he asks me to please wait there. Immediately, my heart drops. I’ve gotten some very unusual remarks about my nationality, but this was the first time I ever had it be this much of an issue. I look awkwardly back at my cohorts and they give me a very confused look. A few minutes later the gate attendant returns with a colleague and they start asking me some unusual questions such as my father’s nationality, which I am trying to answer as casually as possible. God forbid I raise any more red flags, after all. Once they are through with the interrogation, they ask me to hang out in the area until about an hour before the plane takes off at midnight. Needless to say, I didn’t have much of a choice but to oblige. Seeing how nervous this was making me, one of my new friends (who were kind enough to not abandon me) decides that he should find out what was going on. To make matters even more nerve-wracking the only answer we got was “this is just standard procedure.” 

11 pm rolls around, and I make my way up to the podium once again where I am escorted to a sectioned off area in which they already have my suitcase open and waiting for me. You would think they had found some explosives in my carry on given all the hoops I was jumping through. No one says anything to me, until one girl must notice the look of terror on my face, and, realizing that I am entirely clueless, explains the situation. As it happens, I was the randomly selected passenger to be thoroughly searched: my shoes were swabbed, my luggage was rifled through, and I was patted down. Shy of getting a cavity search, it was the whole shebang. 

After tormenting me for another 30 minutes, they escort all three of us (as my companions were, unbelievably, still waiting for me through the whole ordeal) past the security check point, and get us ahead of the line to board the plane, and everything was looking up…until I sit down, and the gentleman next to me takes off his pants. 

The more I write about this, the more I’m starting to wonder why I loved this trip so much because yes…it STILL gets worse, and you can read about it in Part III.

Once again, photo is not mine.  It has been linked back to the original owner.