Two sides

Tel Aviv, Israel

Rather than taking the same way back we came to keep the stamp out of my passport (Bernhard didn’t care anymore), we took the risk and crossed from Aqaba, Jordan to Eilat, Israel.  Despite having no entry stamp into Jordan and no form with the stamp either, they let us through – it just took some explanation and a big smile.  Israel, as usual, offered the option to stamp on a piece of paper; this time I got the form, which certainly makes leaving the country easier.  (I wonder what Israelis think of this whole security thing.  We were told, “You look nervous!” when we approached, despite being far from it – intimidation factor?  We were questioned at length about how we knew each other, what exactly we were doing in Singapore, and a ton of personal details unrelated to the trip.  Yet going through the bag check, I had an agent who was cracking jokes.  But again, going through it all with a smile always works.)

Realising that in all of Israel, we had only seen the ethnically and religiously divided Jerusalem, Bernhard and I decided to head to Tel Aviv to catch a better glimpse of Israeli life.  We admittedly had low expectations at first – Tel Aviv has an international reputation of being a hard-partying city, with its big beach and nightlife – but came away pleasantly surprised and extremely positive. Continue reading