Shalom, Israel...
June 9, 2006

After dinner with my cousins, all I could think about was needing to get some shut-eye. The problem was that I was so tired
and was going to need to be awake by 2:30am. The
other problem is that I know myself and I know my alarm on my watch.
Both things are capable of failing when it’s most crucial. I made the decision to not chance it and to never let my head hit a
pillow. Instead, I headed over to The Coffee Bean for one last hoorah and a little dose of caffeine that would be necessary.

My very last interaction with an Israeli taxi driver was him trying to pull a fast one on me. I needed to go to the train station
and he told me there were no trains going to the airport yet I knew there were. He just wanted to make the money to drive me
all the way to the airport. When I told him I would take my chances and go to the train station anyway, he refused to take me.
The next cab driver was very sweet and assured me there were trains running. No cab driver can get one over on Jen Nathan!
Well...unless you're a cab driver in Egypt. Or a cab driver in Jordan. Or a cab driver in Lebanon. Okay, okay...I guess it
possible for a taxi driver to get one over on me. Anyway, I digress…

I got to the train station and then took the fifteen minute trip to the airport.

During the security questioning I had to explain the different passport stamps that I had accumulated. She had the most
puzzled look as to why I would have chosen to go to Lebanon and Syria. She then asked if I spoke another language. I told her I
knew a bit of Spanish. She asked 'Anything else?' I figured this was my time to tell her that I could read and write a bit of
Hebrew. Ding, ding, ding-- we have got a winning answer! She asked how I knew the language and I told her that I was bat
mitzvahed. She asked where I learned Hebrew and the name of my temple.  She then asked if I still go. She was not impressed
when I told her that I do not. So she asked if I
ever go (i.e. for holidays, etc.). I told her I go for Yom Kippur. She seemed even
less impressed that this was the only time every year that I go. If only she knew that it was one big lie and that I have actually
never attended one Yom Kippur service in my life. I was feeling a bit like a guilty Jew. I don't go to temple. I lie. And while
we're at it, I eat pork products. I'm beginning to think that I'm an embarrassment to 'my people'. In any case, I was sent on
my way to the airline gate...

I have never been at an airline gate so early. I was the first one in line. I repeat: I was the
first person in line. People who
worked for Turkish Air weren’t even there yet. This is very un-Jen Nathan-like airport behavior. There have been times I
have woken up after my flight has taken off. Other times that I'm dilly-dallying around the airport and have missed my flight.
And then the typical not-allowing-enough-time missing of a flight. But not this time. I was leading the Turkish Airlines pack. At
3:30am on the dot four Turkish Airlines employees walked on over, turned on their computers, issued me my boarding pass
and sent me on my way.

The lack of sleep was now really starting to affect me as I was falling asleep while standing in line. I was falling asleep while
trying to keep myself entertained with the free wi-fi that the airport offered. And then I literally fell asleep on the floor while
waiting for my plane to board. Did I mention I was tired???
Back to Israel
The McDonald's at the airport.