a different side of Israel

The Joys of Air Travel… Part One

The Joys of Air Travel - Debbie Gold Hadar
by Debbie Gold Hadar

You know, I love traveling abroad. Particularly by air. Something about the whole shebang continues to excite me, although I have flown more often than you, gentle reader, have had hot dinners. It’s just cool. Being 39,000 feet aloft, encased in a steel tube, no safety net… sheesh. Coo-el.

Of course, the surrounding hustle and bustle is less than thrilling. I know I’m not alone in finding some of it fun, and some of it less so. In “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” (essential reading: those of you who haven’t, I insist you do) Douglas Adams – may his name and memory forever be blessed – made much of his amusement at the “actual traveling through space part of space travel”. I have less issue with the actual traveling bit. I see each part of air travel in its own encapsulated section.

For the sake of my ever-failing memory, I will address these chronologically. And in separately posted parts. (Hey, if Jill can do it, i can do it. ) And mostly because I sit here, writing, on the plane, next to Seymour on our way home from the business trip that has kept me gainfully employed and occupied over the past few days, I’m addressing the first one from an “Overseas => Israel” perspective.

Arrival and Check-In

When you enter Terminal One, you might be forgiven for thinking that El Al bought shares in its construction. El Al has its own check-in area and its own fast-track to the subsequent security check. The check-in area, aka Area P, is a place dear to my heart. * Rose-coloured, nostalgic, momentary sigh*. Ahh… sweet memories…

Countless holidays with the parents as a young lass. Unparalleled excitement as I queued up with my friends prior to Israel Summer Camp at age 16. The many short trips I took to the Holy Land as an ardent Zionist student. [You know the sort. Just to reassure myself that the country still existed, and to feel that heart-lifting rush of fervour that I did each time I looked out over the wing and saw the Tel Avivian lights twinkling at me from below.]

By the way, if I may digress for a moment here, can anyone tell me what buggered up law of the universe states that, no matter what day or time or destination; whenever I fly and I get a window seat, I’m positioned over the wing? Every single bloody time. I shit you not. It’s enough to make a girl spit.


Stuck out in Otzundpotz, at the far, far end of the Terminal One departure hall, right in the corner, out of sight… but never out of mind. A haven of Israeli normalcy in a sea of British (in)efficiency. Mind you, no Brit would never acknowledge that their airport is anything but uber-efficient, and no Israeli would ever acknowledge their own normality. Or their immortality, come to that.

But I digress. Again. Bad Debbie.

It is here that the realization settles on you like a soft, if slightly dampened, eiderdown, that you are returning to the Land of Our Forefathers and Those Who Would Deny You Personal Space. It is here that without fail one of your Israeli co-passengers or crew will somehow remind you, that the time of being surrounded by the polite English people is over, and the return to the brash, in your face, call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel Israeli attitude and mentality is nigh.

It is here that you know for sure that your sojourn abroad is over.

Moment of silence for Area P anyone? Nah, didn’t think so.

Note: I do not complain. After all, I live here by choice. I like the fact that Israeli culture promotes a more direct approach to life. The less bullshit, the better, in my humble opinion.

More to follow soon. Watch this space.


  1. Hey, I always end up sitting over the wing as well! How the hell do they do that? Every single time! Sounds like we had similar Israel experiences growing up, only you had yours with a British accent. 🙂

  2. I also enjoy that special feeling of traveling
    by air, the way to the airport,the time one spends at the terminal,and then boarding the
    plane,and yes you’re right, getting a window
    seat over the wing.but at least I feel safer
    should we ditch in the sea,

  3. Excellent, as always. I think I may be reading the work of the next big Israeli columnist-blogger.

    Maintain the high standards, and the great sense of humor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2023

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑