A Pilgrim in a Strange Land
May 10, 2016
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A Pilgrim in a Holy Land
Many immigrants come to this country searching for a new experience without knowing even the slightest comprehension of English. I had a similar experience myself: when I went to Israel for my Bar Mitzvah.
Despite the distance of the flight, eleven-and-a-half hours there, twelve-and-a-half back, it was pleasant. The food was good, there was minimal turbulence, and everyone onboard, staff and passenger alike, was so friendly.
When I arrived, I felt the clean, open desert air around me. I heard multiple languages around me: Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, French, and of course English. Despite English being one of the most frequently spoken language spoken in Israel besides Hebrew and Arabic, I still felt uncomfortable at first, approaching someone wondering if they’ll understand what I would say. It was actually quite frustrating at the beginning.
Besides that, everything was great. The food was incredible, the sights were beautiful, and the people were tremendously nice (except on the road, Israeli drivers are psychotic, more so than New York drivers).
As well as the good things about being in a foreign country, there are also a few bad too. For one, if you don’t know the language, you can get into some sticky situations, like the time I thought I was being arrested when a security guard at the capital building in Jerusalem (holding quite a large gun might I add). It turned out, he just asked me if I was Swedish. Also, when in a new environments, you need to know the rules and what’s okay and not okay, like the time my mother and sister were cussed out for not covering their shoulders in certain neighborhoods.
Despite all that, going to a forging country, regardless of the fact I could not speak the language, was one of the best experiences of my life. I would recommend going to a foreign country for anyone willing to have an adventure.