This was the question that many of my friends, some my family members, and the immigration officer at the Ben Gurion airport asked me.
The first answer that would come to my head was: “Why not?” (it would by no means be sufficient at the immigration office, I’m sure). The second one would be the cheapness of the flights I found. Though the third one, albeit very general, was still the best: I wanted to see something new, to travel a bit, and, well, I haven’t been to Israel! I mean, what is this question: “why do you want to travel to …?” ???
Yes, the shelling of Gaza (don’t know how to call the whole thing correctly; the words I’m using, though, represent a big part of the action for sure) happened not such a long time ago. However, Israel, let’s admit, is never a completely safe place – well, I guess no place is completely safe to start with – so if I do want to visit this country, I should…visit it.
Leaving my official explanations/whatever it was I was saying, behind, there were in fact two other important factors in my choice of such a non-wintery winter travel. One was very basic: I hadn’t had my backpack on for some months then. I went to Bratislava for a weekend in October but it didn’t really feel like a big trip, coz it wasn’t. This leads to the second factor that made me book my flights.
You see, Asia has spoiled me. A weekend trip in Thailand felt like a trip. A trip to a neighbouring country could mean the direction of traffic would change and you would find a different colonial (don’t think I’m praising this fact, by the way) heritage there. Without moving much, it was so easy to feel like travelling. Not to mention the whole India trip which was…well, which showed me the difference between South East Asia and South Asia.
In other words, I badly wanted to escape Europe. Israel, out of all the countries in the region, I reckon, wasn’t the “least European” one but it wasn’t Europe nonetheless. What it was, was an amazing week of which I’ll tell all the interested people (and the ones forced to read my blog out of some incredibly strong sense of…politeness/being a relative) in my next entries. Hmmm I feel the need to apologise to the readers I’ve tricked with the title of this post: I don’t think it told you a great deal about Israel. “Why this deceiving title?” could be an alternative title, indeed.