What to expect from Israel and the Palestinian territories

posted in: Israel, Middle East, Palestine | 0

I rarely write updates on the road, but this time I wanted to let you know on the spot what to expect when you are in this area.

1. Be as relaxed as possible when you are at the customs while the officers will ask you questions about the purpose of your visit, its duration and your itinerary. And know the address of your hotel or wherever you’re staying.

2. When entering malls, officers will look into your bags, so it would be best to open it and show him/her that you have nothing to hide.

3. Against all belief, people don’t speak fluent English. But if you know Russian you are a lucky person.

4. As woman DO NOT TRAVEL ALONE. And I cannot emphasise this enough. Even if you do not want to, you will attract unexpected attention from men.

5. Always ask for the receipt when purchasing something or eating in a restaurant.

6. During Sabbath the Jewish shops and restaurants will be closed. Also the trains and buses will not circulate so make plans which do not include public transportation.

7. People are not nice nor even polite. They are cold and may not say ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’. So, don’t have any expectations of this kind. (or at least, this is what I was confrunted with).

8. Always carry a bottle of water with you. Dehydration can ruin your trip.

9. Go to restaurants where you can see the menu with the prices up front. And when you can, go to restaurants which are not nearby tourist attractions.

10. Men and women have to complete their military service so if you see any of them in the bus, train, tram or even in the street do not feel awkward. They will also cary their riffles but the guns are not loaded (or at least I hope so).

11. Don’t count on the Tourist Information Centres. In my experience they are not well prepared and don’t offer the most accurate information.

And finally, if you are not familiar with this region’s history, prior to your trip read as much as you can on this subject. In this manner you will be able to have a better grip of the social, cultural and political scene.

This being said, enjoy Israel. I will post pictures soon

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