Kinder Sculpture


Mar 2007 Journal

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Letter from Israel

Only in Israel

Sometimes events in Israel annoy or amuse one. Sometimes one is left speechless. And sometimes all one can do is shake one's head and say 'Only in Israel!'

A trip to Eilat in winter is always a delight. If the occasion is a music festival with the Kirov Orchestra and choir and their conductor, Valery Gergeyev, how can one resist? Since the package included the hotel, the concerts and the flights there and back, we decided to leave our car at the airport. The flight takes only half an hour. It would make a refreshing change, cut travelling time, and enable us to reach our destination without enduring the four-hour car journey. Or so we thought.

Poor signposting meant that we missed the turning and spent half an hour touring the huge new airport till we reached our terminal. The airport was crowded with passengers eager to be the first to board the plane, but that's par for the course in Israel.

Once everyone was on the plane and strapped in, crying children included, the plane sat on the runway for almost an hour. Finally our departure was announced, accompanied by an explanation - not an apology - for the delay. The pilot's wife had just given birth and a replacement had had to be found.

If the pilot herself had been pregnant we would have understood. Most women of my generation gave birth without a husband beside us anyway, and to leave a plane full of passengers on a runway for an hour, when the whole flight takes just half an hour, seemed an exaggerated instance of the 'Only in Israel!' syndrome. Needless to say, by the time we reached our destination we were more exhausted than ever.
Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

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