Lingering thoughts about Israel (before I forget)!
1.Food: Vegetarian food is lovely, especially if you like Hummus, Pita, Babaganoush et al. Too many chickpeas consumed for all meals may have repercussions on a non iron-clad stomach.
2. Black Jerusalem: The color black hits your eye the moment you step onto the streets, be it near the Walled city or even a modern Mamilla Mall or distant Masada.
3. India: Always knew that Gandhi had a greater following in the world outside India, but Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachan are almost as big as Gandhi! Have heard 'Dil to Pagal Hai' being whistled, 'Eechak Dana' being sung and was even asked to visit a shopkeeper's old dorm in Aligarh University! Announcing that you are Indian also brings many curious questions about availability of Bhole baba's prasad and sly questions about how to source it...as if I'd tell even if I knew. Huh.
4. Politics: All Israelis LOVE to talk about politics... it is almost comical to see the heated discussions, the angry gestures and the strong points of view.
5. Surroundings: Some parts of Israel, especially parts of West Jerusalem and Dead Sea public beach area, reminds one of India. Not very clean, people spitting on the roads and arguing loudly. Whereas other parts of Israel - more modern areas of Jerusalem, parts of Nablus and the touristy Masada were spic and span, an example of how we could showcase our rich history. Israel is a bit like the western counties, a bit like Middle East, a bit like India, a bit like nowhere else....overall very hospitable, very travel-friendly and extremely memorable.
8. Pride in Nation:
To sum it up, the tagline for travel to Israel said it all.... "Visit Israel, you'll never be the same".
ps: The end of my Israel account. :)