So I realized this morning that one week ago we were headed here with no idea of really what to expect from this crazy trip to Israel. I think that almost a week later we have learned quite a few things and are feeling more and more settled everyday. Here’s a list of things that I’ve learned Michael’s may be different but here’s mine.
Make sure you look before crossing the road and often you have to look again at the halfway point. For one large intersection there may be up to five pedestrian cross walks. You definitely want to keep an eye on that, and if it’s red don’t go cars seem to come out of nowhere.
Ask for the bill at a restaurant. It seems like the servers don’t automatically bring it towards the end of the meal.
Don’t be afraid to push people out of the way, they will push you so I figure I better stand my ground too.
Women don’t have to dress as conservatively as I was hearing and reading online. The culture here for women is very different and the dress is considerably more conservative than the US but today I wore a knee length skirt and tank top so shoulders were bare and I didn’t get any bad looks or comments. I had a sweater covering my arms but it got way too hot to wear.
If today was any indication of what it will be like, it’s going to get HOT here. Today it was pushing 80 and I was roasting on one of my many walks.
6.Public urination is not big deal, we’ve seen a couple guys taking a leak next to a tree, bush, or whatever.
You only want to tip servers about 10% at restaurants, but you typically can’t tip on a credit card. We’ve got an ATM at the hotel that will give us shekels which helps.
The scariest thing is coming across a huge hill that you weren’t expecting. The hills can be brutal here and when you are already tired coming to one of those is pretty rough.
They take their national holidays seriously like everything shuts down, not just the banks, but shops, restaurants, everything. We have another holiday coming up on Sunday. Michael and I aren’t quite sure what we will do for food, we can’t cook since we are living at the hotel. We are thinking the hotel restaurant will still be functioning. But on days of rest or holidays everyone gets those days off. I can definitely respect that. After working retail for a while it would have been nice if we got some of those days off that everyone else did, and here is Jerusalem they do.
I guess those are the big things I can think of now. Overall it is pretty easy to adjust to the culture here. Kathy compares to New York City. I can’t really compare it to anything, but so far it’s going well.