October 25: Survival Bag, Book Club and International Television

I decided last night that I would pack my book bag with a survival kit in case something happens. I packed it with maps of Israel, an Israeli cell phone that JD's co-worker gave him, a first aid kit, a flashlight, Iodine tablets, my passport, a few hundred shekels and Cliff bars. I'm going to carry it everywhere I go from now on.

Travel Tip: You may be thinking to yourself, "Paranoia, much?" But let's get serious here. If you're a woman in her twenties walking around in a different country by herself, wouldn't you want to be prepared for the worst? Let's not forget to mention that my sweet husband {and our parents} fully supported my survival book bag idea!!

JD enjoys working here. I'm glad that he has a co-worker here with him. It makes me feel more at ease. His co-worker, Adam, was here a few weeks earlier in the year so he's pretty comfortable with the area. Adam will only be here for two of the three weeks that JD is here. However, when he leaves, another co-worker will be flying in. The team always tries to have at least two people on site for projects in areas like this.

The day was fairly uneventful since I didn't wake up until 14:00. I walked up to the Executive Lounge and began reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda during the afternoon tea hours.

JD and Adam met me up there when they got back from work around 18:00 tonight. The food is delicious and we eat / drink whatever we want for free! They have very healthy options - lots of fish, veggies, olives, salads, etc. All kosher foods. All Mediterranean style cooking. During the afternoon tea hours they serve crumpets, macaroons, tasty cookies, coffee and tea.

It's somewhat frustrating here because of all the different languages spoken. I hate not knowing what people are saying! Rather than facing future frustrations, I decided that I may take up a hobby of learning new languages. Hebrew, Arabic, French, Italian, English, and a few other languages that I've never heard are spoken here.

The TV stations are not exactly targeted towards the English-speaking population. I spend a few hours a day watching National Geographic (because it gets dark around 17:00 / 5:00 p.m.) pending on what they're broadcasting. I watched a documentary today about lions. We also get Fox Sports, CNN and Fox News. Comedy Central and the Family channel are broadcasted here but you have to hit the channel at particular hours of the day or else the shows will be in Spanish or Hebrew.

I was constantly keeping up with CNN and Fox News until the stories became monotonous. To name a few, the Family channel played Dr. Phil, Oprah, Ellen, and the Real Housewives of OC. No wonder other countries have such a terrible view of Americans (granted, I am a fan of the Ellen Show). I am embarrassed to admit that JD walked in on me watching the Real Housewives on a few occasions. When you're sitting in a hotel room during most of the hours your awake, you have to find more ways to be entertained than by reading non-stop. {Have I mentioned that I didn't have Internet access about 80% of the time we were in Tel Aviv?}

We'd love to hear your opinions! 

Do you think the survival book bag was too much? What precautions would you take if you were in that scenario? 

What would you do if you stayed in a hotel room for about 8-10 hours alone, without Internet and a TV that only partially broadcasted English-speaking shows (besides reading)? Also keep in mind that JD left for work when there was only about two or three hours of daylight - surely you wouldn't walk around the city alone during the nighttime, right?

Have you read Secret Daughter? What did you think of it? [My review to come.]