First Impressions

At the airport in the DT hall, the meeting people are amazed by the abundance of people of different nationalities and religions. Planes land every minute. Exclamations, cries, tears, etc. After all, many did not see each other for a very long time. For the convenience of visitors and greeters, the image of each newcomer appears on a huge screen. It is pleasantly surprising to be able to leave the luggage trolley at the bus stop.

Much is convenient in Israel. Ordinary street payphones provide international and return communication. The latter was unbelievable until the friends conducted an experiment by calling the beach payphone from the office. ATMs are always nearby, especially near shopping centers and recreational areas. No need for cash, no need to keep it in wallets, pockets, in books, under mattresses, behind images, etc. Everywhere, except for the market and public transport, you can pay with cards) in extreme cases, take the required amount in cash at any time.

Israel is a very picturesque country. Beautiful parks and flower gardens, some unprecedented flowering trees, palm groves, a rose garden, and much more, are pleasing to the eye and soul. What a surprise when you see everywhere inconspicuous pipes irrigating this magnificence. All land in Israel, including agricultural land, is irrigated most of the year. From March to November there is not a drop of rain, and the harvest is taken four times a year. The desert was turned by the labor of many generations into a garden. This inspires admiration and respect.

You experience the same feelings in the Israeli markets. Oriental Bazaar must be seen and heard. Known and unknown fruits in huge quantities. Colorful and at the same time imperturbable sellers. Large selection of dairy, fish, and meat products. Unusual in taste and very fresh cheeses, but our Altai ones are still better. Fish or chicken will be gutted before your eyes and cut into portions. Meat in Israel is eaten less frequently. And preferably kosher, although different things are sold.

It was hard to find out what it is. It turns out that there is a special way of slaughtering livestock and poultry, which is specially taught. According to Judaism, the soul of a living being is in the blood, so the carotid artery is cut in the animal, and when all the blood flows out, the meat can be eaten. By the way, Orthodox Jews are very negative about the violation of this tradition. For example, rallies were once held in Jerusalem against the opening of McDonald’s enterprises.

Despite all the protests, Israel has a huge number of catering establishments for all tastes. Moreover, most of these establishments work around the clock, even on Saturdays, on Shabbat, when life in Israel freezes for prayers. Even public transport does not run, but many cafes and restaurants are open and do not complain about the lack of visitors. In Israel, they joke “Food is the national sport.”

Oddly enough, most vegetables and even fruits are inferior in taste to ours, grown in more severe conditions. All products in Israel are a greenhouse, the scorching sun does not allow them to ripen in natural conditions. The same sun allows you to save on heating plants. In Israel, there is no central heating, as, indeed, there is no heating, so in winter, during the rainy season, it is very cold in the houses, given that the floors in the apartments are stone. Hot water in the summer is heated in large tanks on the roofs of houses, and in winter it is heated by electricity.

By the way, about electricity. Bills for its payment come regularly, and the amounts are considerable. Communal services/tug in Israel are quite expensive. Average Israelis cannot afford to burn light bulbs in apartments and even porches in vain. When you enter the entrance, turn on the light, it burns exactly as long as it takes to go up to the second floor and turn the key in the door. If the path is higher, you press the switch again, which is indicated by a red light, the light turns on to go up one more floor, etc.

Taking an English-Russian phrasebook with you and getting ready to use English “with a dictionary”, you understand that in Israel you can completely get by with Russian. In any more or less large store, in a decent office, even in an art gallery, and especially among public transport drivers and attendants, there is always someone who speaks Russian. On the streets, in the market, and on the beach, native speech is heard almost everywhere. But how could it be otherwise in a country where a fifth of the population is made up of immigrants from the former USSR?

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