6'5", 220 pound quarterback, laser-rocket arm... I know exactly how Peyton Manning feels, well except for the part about being a quarterback, and maybe I just have a modest arm. But, I do know how he feels when taking a trip by plane.
After leaving Columbus Ohio on February 21, I am now writing to you from Tel Aviv, Israel. I cannot complain about the long plane ride, everything went smoothly, my luggage is not lost and I made it to a bed. I even slept for a few minutes, my internal clock has not had a chance to catch up. It is currently 4:30am, I am just killing time waiting to meet up with the rest of the group later this morning.
My first half day in Israel has been comfortable. To my extreem joy, just about everyone I have had to converse with will speak to me in English. I hope this is the trend as I trek accross the country, but I am not holding my breath. The keys on this keyboard have the Hebrew alphabet, as well as Latin. Today we will be making the trip to Jaffa, another city on the shore of the Mediterranean. I hope to have some pictures and stories to add while I have internet access.
Just a quick story on internation travel to give you a laugh. When arriving in Frankfurt Germany to make a connection to Tel Aviv, I got off the plane in search of my connecting gate and some food. The Frankfurt airport is somewhat different than those you might expect in the USA. Among other things, signs are in German (some have English subtitles) and I found that the representing pictures -- for the baggage claim area, connections, etc. -- didn't represent their intentions in my mind. If you haven't already figured, my foreign language skills are sketchy at best, my biggest cultural dilema is communication. So, in search for some food, I over heard some people speaking english who were also looking to eat. I discretely followed them to a McDonalds. In an international terminal, you can hear all sorts of languages. In this case, German, Hebrew, French, some Indian Dialects, and English among other. It is also not always quickly obvious what language someone is speaking, especially from any distance. So as I approach the counter to get food, I am trying to figure out first, if I can pay with Dollars or must I use Euros, and secondly how I am going to communicate my order? I wanted to just give a number of a meal as you can often do at home. I know about 10 german words, and three of them are the numbers one through three and was prepared to settle for whatever those choices were. So I reach the counter, expecting to find a struggle, and my waiter speaks perfect English! I was not expecting this at all, on previous trips abroad, I have either been in an english speaking country or had to use my survival spanish. I enjoyed a warm bacon egg and cheese mcmuffin and orange juice all while being relieved and hoping that this was a good sign for my future travels.