Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Great Flight on Turkish Air!
As you may or may not know, although I had tickets booked for a flight to Israel Sept. 9th, I'd been deliberating about it since August...with the horrific news about Syria, and the looming debate in Congress about what the US response should be, I didn't know whether I wanted to be in that part of the world. My hesitation was partly out of a sense I'd be putting myself in danger and worrying my family, but it also felt heavy to be going toward a vacation, and celebrating a wedding, so close to the scene of great suffering. Would it even be right? Then, I thought of how our globe is shrinking, and how, unfortunately, suffering goes on all over the world, all the time. We're all living on this small planet together, wherever we are on it at any given time. Should we all hold off on vacations, or on celebrations, until there's peace and harmony everywhere? We're all in this together, and until we begin to be part of the solution, in whatever part of the globe we are, we're all part of the problem.
Still, Joe and I looked at a map and saw how very close Tivon, where I'd mostly be staying, is to the Syrian border. I was asking friends (many of YOU! thanks for listening & your feedback), talking it over with Joe, reading up on the news, ignoring the news and listening to my heart etc., etc., until I was really tired of the question. It was at that point that a friend emailed me to ask "why ever would you NOT go?". For some reason, it felt like the question that tipped me toward saying "right!" and I went (Thanks, Robin!!!).
Joe dropped me at the Rennselaer train station at 6:45 AM on Monday, and by 11:30 AM Tel Aviv time on Tuesday (4:30 AM Tuesday back home), I was in Israel. (Thank you, sweet Joe, for allowing me the freedom to make the decision myself and for supporting it, too. Love you!!)
My cousin Amit had booked the tickets for me, saying "you'll love Turkish Air!" and he was right. It was a smooth ride, right on time, with excellent cabin staff, and all the movies you could want (Thanks, Amit!) Some details: along with crew members, the chef greeted us as we filed onto the plane, in his crisp apron and chef's toque (good sign that they are proud of the food they serve- and it turns out they have a right to be!). There were gifts for us on each seat- along with the standard blanket & pillow were slippers and a handy zipper pouch with socks, ear phones, ear plugs, eyeshades, toothbrush and a very teeny tiny tube of toothpaste. (The zipper pouch turned out to be a great place to stash my glasses later on when I wanted to sleep.)
One of my favorite touches: as we got underway with the flight, we were each brought a folded, HOT wet washcloth to clean up from our previous travel and refresh. (I could have used one at the end of the flight as well, but hey...).
The airport in Istanbul was another, not so pleasant, story; but luckily I was only there for a few hours, until the under-2- hour- flight to Ben Gurion Airport.
Thanks for reading- more next time!