I am here at Tel-Aviv at the Floretine Hostel and it is AMAZING! Tel-Aviv is the perfect temperature with palm trees everywhere and every building has roof top balconies with just open windows into the inside, its beautiful. But I am ahead of myself, I only appreciate it here because of the epic journey i made to get here.
First, I flew to JFK in New York. I had to change terminals, go through security again and, in security, my sleeing bag unravelled infront of everyone so by the time I got there, I was not as excited as when I left Atlanta. But that all changed when I got to my gate to catch the plane to Kiev (my layover). THERE THEY WERE-my scowling, blue eyed, blonde haired slavic people . If you dont know, I love eastern europeans, especially ukrainians and russians, and this gate was full of them plus a few Israelis. So many good looking guys. So i just sat there and watched them in a foreign element, a place I had never seen them before, with their duty free bags full of cigarettes and wine.
I caught the flight to Kiev, slept most of the way becuase there were NO tvs, do you remember the last time who took an airplane with no tvs? Either do I. The food was good atleast. I met a girl on the way who lives in Israel and she was so nice, really reassured me about coming here. We caught the flight to Kiev together and customs would have moved completely quickly had it not been for my Mr. Bean experience. There were about 5 lines for foreign passports and I waited and waited, finally, I was next in line. For some reason i still do not understand, the two russians in front of me struggled with customs, they took FOREVER so I moved lines. Then THOSE people got stuck while the russians from before went through as soon as I left. Each time I moved lines this happened, it was a sick joke. I would try to move to an open line and some random russian would sprint out of nowhere and take my spot. They are still really good at gaming lines. It must be a Soviet Legacy. Anyway, this continued until I was pretty much the last one. Silver lining, I got through with no problems and my bag had already arrived.
Since it was Shabat, I had to take a taxi. It turns out more people here know Russian than English so I used that immediately. He was a nice guy and dropped me off right at my hostel which, at first, looked a little sketch. But immediately the people were so nice and everyone was out on the balcony. and it turns out the area is so cool with really artsy and different kind of bars around the corner. Also its really known for good graffiti which is so true, I saw some really cool art. I waited a bit to check in, and, when I did, guess who i was rooming with??? 5 RUSSIANS, YES!!!!!!! I was so excited. There they were, just waiting for me it seemed. They live in Moscow and they were so sweet and talked with me in Russian even though their English was better. I also met a girl from New York and 3 girls who were here on a "young judea" program so they knew the area and all 5 of us went out for dinner at an Ethopian restaurant and explored-such good food. It is such a cool city with random alleyways and beautiful old buildings which have been restored on the inside. There are a lot of Sudanese immigrants in beautiful white veils wraped around them, a lot of diversity here which is interesting because you would not necessarily expect that. When we got back, we hung out with the Russians- it was Sasha's birthday and there were some other French guys there too.
I can honestly say my first night here was SO much fun and part of me does not want to leave but that always happens at every place I go. It was kind of fate because the girl from New York left this morning and the Russians are leaving today to Haifa so it was everyone's last night. I am catching the Noon bus (or trying to if I can figure out what time it is with daylight savings time) and will hopefully be at the farm by the afternoon. I am so excited, I met a lot of people who have done it and say it was a great experience so thats good.
Dont worry, it feels so safe here, not at all what you hear about on the news! I miss you all, and, sorry I do not have a photo yet but it just wasn't possible so ill use a default one. Hopefully I can write from the farm!