( Estimated reading time: 4 min )
Back in 2016, I’ve been travelling to Israel for business. I knew that the country would impress me but I hadn’t expected such a big impression.
Tel Aviv is such a sunny and lively city that you need some hours after arrival to realise that this incredible place is a destination of your business trip. Especially, if you have a hotel located directly on the shore.
Only after travelling to Israel I understood the fascination by the air conditioning of my Israeli colleagues. The humidity and heat, particularly in a hotel with a close view of the sea, don’t let you sit in your hotel room without running AC. That’s why it’s time to leave your suite and go for a walk. You’ll sweat like a pig but when looking at people running along the beach, you’ll start hoping for getting used to these weather conditions over your one week stay.
Israel has really well-maintained roads and only nice cars driving on them. Sounds pretty much like a perfect place to drive? Not quite. According to witnesses’ stories and my own observation, the Isreali drivers haven’t developed a very good driving culture. The distance between the hotel and our company is 18 km but the journey lasts over 1 hour. It might seem quite frustrating but on the other hand, thanks to that I could have very nice conversations with the taxi drivers. After one hour drive, they provide as much information as a 3-hour lasting documentary. And how are people in Israel? They’re open, relaxed, smart, and cool. It was a big pleasure to talk to everyone and I’m happy to have Israeli colleagues at work.
After coming from the office to Tel Aviv, I used to go for a walk and take pictures. Unfortunately, despite good camera, the photos can’t fully show the beauty of the place. It’s really worth visiting Israel and seeing it live. When your accommodation is close to the sea, you can just walk along the beach. And you can keep going like this for long, long time. This is because Israel is situated very nicely towards the sea. You come across palm trees everywhere, it feels like paradise. The seaside is extremely long. There’s enough space for everyone on the beach. Or rather, on the beaches. As there are plenty of them. Beaches for families, beaches for dogs, beaches for nudists, beaches for religious people, and perhaps many others that I haven’t reached. Maybe there are beaches for running, surfing, and grilling. Who knows? Isreal has got very creative inhabitants.
During my first walk in Tel Aviv I was lead by one thing – hunger! This is how I landed in “The Old Man and The Sea” in Jaffa Port. Israeli food is something unique. Hummus is a must have. The Israelis know that they have great cuisine and they’re proud of it. This is this kind of culinary adventure that makes you cook those dishes after your return home. I make good hummus but I haven’t nailed the falafel yet. Maybe instead of struggling in the kitchen I should just go back to Israel and let the local chefs make my taste buds dancing.
When we went to Krakow several weeks ago, we found a hole in the wall in the Jewish quarter. It felt like Tel Aviv with the pictures on the walls, music in the background, and great hummus. This authentical place, called “Hamsa”, hasn’t nailed the falafel either but it was great to have the memories from Israel back in a place not so far away from home.
If someone asked me to describe my stay in Israel with only one word, I would say: sababa!