Hey readers! It’s me, Mo, again. I’m actually sticking to my self-imposed deadline this week! Hooray for me. I hope no one was too bored by my last long blog. I never really heard any feedback on it and nobody left any comments, so let’s just say I hope it wasn’t shit.
My most recent big adventure was the trip that my boyfriend Zac and I took to Israel last summer, just over a year ago now. In fact, this day a year ago was our first full day back in LA after a month. We took the trip with Taglit Birthright, an organization that hosts trips to Israel for Jewish youth. They believe that as a young Jew it is your birthright to visit the land of Israel, so all you have to do to go with them is be Jewish and 18-26. And it’s FREE. When something like that is free, it doesn’t matter that you are herded around in a group of 30 on a bus, that the meals are lackluster and repetitive, and that the real point of the trip is to feed you Zionist ideology so you ultimately move to Israel and increase Jewish numbers. It’s a free trip. And to get the most out of your experience, you can extend your plane ticket home and stay longer in Israel or travel around. We spent another 2 1/2 weeks there, and could have easily stayed longer. It’s such a tiny country but has so much to see and experience!
To properly talk about the Israel trip will take many blogs which I’m sure I will do in the future, but what prompted this entry is that Taglit Birthright is doing a photo contest! If your photo ends up winning you could win a round trip ticket back to Israel on El Al airlines! I’m don’t know if I’d win, but I am pretty proud of my photos from the trip and am definitely going to enter.
As a side note, many airlines charter flights to Israel. El Al, being Israel’s own airline, is supposed to be the best. We were not so lucky. We were on Delta. This is the trip that taught me to hate Delta with a fiery passion. Every element of the flight, from getting tickets in the terminal to touchdown, was chaotic. Not to mention that our flight was kept getting delayed, and was finally canceled and rescheduled for the next day. Imagine canceling an airbus full of Jewish New Yorkers (we were flying out of JFK). I thought there was going to be a riot. We escaped and managed to get a kind but flustered Delta employee to get us accommodations for the night. He seemed really happy to be helping us since it meant he didn’t have to help the murderous line at the ticket window! The next day we successfully boarded but it took forever to take off. The flights Delta books to Israel are on huge, double decker party planes, and nobody wanted to shut up or sit down long enough to get in the air. It’s a long flight, 11 hours, during which the kids behind me couldn’t stop fighting or kicking my seat. And the best surprise was when the meals were served. We were near the back of the plane and they had lost record of our request for vegetarian meals when the flight was rescheduled. For a moment we were trapped on an 11 hour party bus to the middle east with no food. But the flight attendant fixed us up a little plate of fruit and cheese from first class provisions, and we made it to Israel unscathed.
A trip back to Israel would be incredible. But what photos should I submit? This is where you come in dear reader! Select your favorite photo below and let me know in a comment which I should submit to the photo contest. All of these pictures were shot on film on the Olympus Stylus 60 “point and shoot” camera that I’ve had since high school when I first started taking photos on family vacations and at summer camp. I love that little camera to pieces. You can’t control very much on it manually, but it’s compact and takes great pictures. The photos in last week’s blog, Life and Death in the City of Lights, were taken on the same camera. So take a look at the gallery and tell me what you think!