Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sleep Deprivation

I'm nearing the end of a ten hour flight to Israel. Being on a plane for that length of time is brutal!

It actually started about two hours earlier than that when the boarding process began. It turns out that even though we had already gone through the security check, when you go to Israel, you have to go through another one at the gate. And it's the full meal deal. The shoes come off. The water bottle has to be empty. They scan your stuff. Everything.

What makes it fun is that you get your first taste of Jewish culture. As you might expect, the majority of folks going to Israel are Jews. And lots of them seem to be Orthodox. Men with curled locks of hair, long beards, wearing dark suits and the doofiest hats you've ever seen.

When we get on the plane passengers are more aggressive about getting to their seats than I'm used to. ("Maybe she could move aside so I could get by?") elderly people are quicker to ask for help as well. I think I was asked to heft suitcases at least three times.

I know I don't sound very respectful, but I am. I think. I'm fascinated with the culture and can't wait to learn more!

Sleeping on a plane is trouble for me. In spite of the fact that I had been up for almost 24 hours, I have a hard time drifting off to sleep. My right leg feels cramped, so I get up and walk around. I read. I stare at the flight information on the monitor. ( Only six more hours!) And then when I do fall asleep, it's just in time to have my seat mates politely tug on my sleeve so they can get up and go to the lavatory.

In the end I got maybe three hours of sleep. Hopefully that will be enough to get me through customs and to the hotel. And to bed for some real sleep.

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