Friday, January 4, 2008

Israeli Thoughts

As my vacation/work trip to Israel draws (sadly) to a close, here are some random thoughts, travel tips and tidbits from the last 3 weeks:

  1. When staying at a hotel in Israel, you get different levels of service, based on the language you speak. My recommendation: stick to English (even if you're fluent in Hebrew). rolleyes
    Still, an unblocked view of the Mediterranean at sunrise/sunset is well worth it.

  2. The fact that you have a "Do not Disturb" sign on your door, does not automatically promise you won't be awakened by a housekeeper at 8:00am sharp.

  3. High speed internet isn't. And not just in hotels.

  4. If you intend to use a Blackberry in Israel, make sure you manually connect to the cellular provider Orange. For some reason, the other provider (Cellcom) has problems with data services (email, internet).
    Cellcom, however, has the better sound quality for your phone and is therefore selected by default, if you're Blackberry is on Automatic discovery mode.

  5. When driving in Israel, be aware:
    a) Signaling (apparently) is not mandatory in Israel. If a driver wants to change lanes - he does.
    b) If a car next to you looks like it's about to cut you unexpectedly - it would.
    c) If a pedestrian looks like he's about to jump into the road - he would.
    d) In general, it looks like every Israeli's life goal is to die on the road. rolleyes

  6. Office atmosphere and conversation is much warmer and opener than anywhere else.
    This is something I'm definitely going to miss. The ability to ask anyone anything, and disregard political correctness. I hope this trend can be exported smile.
I completely forgot how much I used to love just doing research: no customers to answer to, just diving into a new technology, writing sample code, finding the boundaries (on which no resources exist on the internet yet, due to the technology still being in beta) and overcoming them.

This last week reminded me why I like working with technology and computers so much. I hope I'll be able to do this more often in the future.


Anonymous said...

As a former Israeli you seem to me quite arrogant.
It's funny how American wannabes like you suddenly take so much pride in their new "home".
What a lame post.

Traveling Tech Guy said...

Dear Anonymous,
First, please leave at least a first name in your next comment so we can hae a civilized conversation next time you post a comment :).

Second, you got me wrong on all counts. I'm not a former Israeli - I still am - and proud to be - one.

I could write a similar post entitled "American Thoughts" (and may well do so one day) - although if you read some of my travel experiences in the US, you'll see it's not a bed of roses.

The fact of the matter is: everything described in my post DID happen. We, my friend (I can only assume you're an Israeli too) have an attitude problem. We drive like crazy and we tend to be brash in our interpersonal relationships. On the good side, we're extremely nice to tourists.

As a side note, I just got an apology letter from the hotel's manager - so I guess he also thinks something was amiss in their treatment.

Please feel free to write back and tell me what you found lame and how do you think it should be corrected - I value positive critisicm.