Skip to content

How not to end up surrouded by irate Israelis in Spain at 3 a.m.

August 3, 2011

Last week we traveled to Barcelona for a quick holiday. Everything was lovely, until it was time to head back to Israel.

I never knew directions could be necessary to avoid this unpleasant fate, but just in case, here they are:

How not to end up surrounded by irate Israelis in Spain at 3 a.m.

  1. Avoid red eye flights, even though they seem to be the most popular form of international travel to and from Israel. According to sources, there are two reasons for the wild popularity of flying late at night to or from Israel: first, it’s a lot cheaper, both for airlines looking to save on paying airports for valuable time slots and for passengers who appreciate the savings that are passed on to them. Second, Israelis love to feel like they’re wringing every last drop of value from a purchase, and it’s worth being exhausted if it means you get a full day at your destination before paying for a hotel (or a full day before leaving to come home).
  2. When the red eye flight is delayed eight hours until morning because you and your fellow passengers are the last people in the entire airport and no one is around to fix what’s wrong with the plane, remember that there are 300 other people in the same sad boat, many of them less healthy than you, older than you, or with little kids to think about, so there’s no reason to push to the front of any attempt at a line. In fact, sit down. Relax. Nothing will happen until everyone is taken care of anyway.
  3. When someone wearing a uniform and carrying a weapon says stop, it means stop, not inch forward like a puppy who knows he’s being bad but can’t control himself. It’s your own fault when the uniformed person points out your ridiculous behavior. Do not call him an idiot.
  4. Demanding to be compensated with a hotel room for the night is not wise. By the time the few remaining staff get organized and manage to sift through the clawing, panicked, destructive crowd of people who refuse to cooperate or form anything other than an angry mob, it will already be 2:30 a.m. You must then go through the border patrol so passports can be marked, leading to more chaos and extremely violent crowding and pushing, followed by being escorted to chartered buses with sleepy drivers.
  5. Shouting “Nahag! Nahag! Leat, leat!” (“Driver! Driver! Slower, slower!”) at a Spanish driver and then continuing to criticize his driving in Hebrew will not help you get to the hotel. In fact, it will inspire him to drive you to a hotel 45 minutes away from the airport. Outside Israel, buses move quickly. It’s a good thing. Don’t complain.
  6. Calling an elderly couple from Ramat Aviv horrible names because they’re in front of you in line when checking in at the hotel and “must be rich” and “must think the world bends over backwards” for them is childish and embarrassing. Especially when you already yelled at the same couple during check in at the airport the evening before.
  7. When the bus comes to pick everyone up three and a half hours later, if you are ready promptly at the indicated time, you’ll be first on the bus and on your way back to the airport while everyone else is still complaining about the really awful hotel breakfast while eating way too much of it.
  8. Everyone will then be so exhausted by the entire ordeal that it will be the quietest flight to Israel you’ve ever experienced.

It’s almost worth it.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Annie permalink
    August 3, 2011 3:56 am


    • August 4, 2011 8:25 am

      Only in hindsight! I was quite upset with people pushing children and the elderly and being so disrespectful to the airport and hotel staff, and overall painfully embarrassed for everyone to behave so poorly in front of people who probably believe all Israelis act like that.

  2. Taly permalink
    August 3, 2011 11:50 pm

    Oh, dear, Katie — that doesn’t sound like a highlight at all. I suppose your trip must mean that Shlomi actually finished his exams and is a full-fledged university graduate? I suppose I should check FB more often… Love to all.

  3. August 6, 2011 10:21 am

    A quiet plane full of Israelis – what a price you had to pay for such a miracle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: