Wow what a day. Or should I say two days, since I’ve slept approximately 90 minutes in the last 36 hours. It started off with the train ride. Just outside of Philadelphia on my way to Newark Airport, one of the guys that worked on the train sprinted down the aisle and into the next car. Needless to say, it was frightening. A minute later, the train stopped and he was swiftly walking past me in the other direction. Everyone working on the train was outside, looking at God only knows what and telling us there were “technical problems” and they were sorry for the inconvenience. Luckily, the train was only an hour late, which gave me plenty of time to get to the gate on time, but it was so much unnecessary anxiety and stress!
So 2 hours go by and there’s about 75 minutes before the plane is supposed to leave the gate, and I get a text from Conor saying that Kate, fellow Badger, couldn’t get her carry on bag from their plane from Milwaukee because the hatch holding the bags underneath the plane was frozen shut…so we’re about to board and Kate is still not there. But about 10 minutes later she pops up next to Conor, Stephanie, and myself (we sat next to each other on the flight), so all was good. Coincidentally, all six Badgers going to Haifa were on this flight! So that was pretty cool. Just when we thought all was good, it turned out that OUR plane was frozen too! So they had to de-ice the entire 777 aircraft (not as big as a 747, but still pretty damn big). We were sitting on the plane for 2 hours before leaving. I watched The Hangover Part 2 though, so that combined with good company kept my mind occupied. Then there was the 10 hour flight…awesome stuff.
We get to Tel Aviv and get our bags and meet some others traveling to Haifa, and we’re off in our Sheirut (large taxi). This guy drove like a freakin maniac. Not to mention it was pouring, which was incredible in it of itself since rain is hard to come by in Israel, let alone a downpour. Seriously, 90 mph on the highway while sheets of rain were coming down. I thought I was going to die. But just as we started ascending Mount Carmel, the sun came out. We got a clear view, for about 10 minutes, of the neighborhoods along this enormous mountain as well as the rest of the city below us. As soon as we got inside the Moadon, םועדון, (clubhouse) it started raining again and hasn’t stopped yet.
I’ve met a ton of cool people so far, and I’m basically completely unpacked. We’re about to head out to check out the city of Haifa, in the rain, but we’re bound to hit some bars and I sure as hell could use a cold beer or 3 to finish off this day of travel. That’s all I got for now. More to come soon when life in Haifa gets more exciting!