jewin' the fat

Thought for the Day
December 4, 2009, 12:34 AM
Filed under: Israel, Zionism | Tags: , , , , , ,

When flying El Al into Israel, it seems an obligation to not only stare apprehensively out of the windows upon descent into Israeli airspace (no matter what seat you happen to be in, that is), but to engage in two thoroughly unsafe behaviours, most unusual for those well versed in proper travel etiquette.

1) Disregarding flight attendants’ (repeated) instructions to remain seated until the seatbelt sign is turned off. Manifests in passengers being forcefully sat back down by frustrated attendants, only for the passenger to get back up and continue to stretch/remove bags from overhead locker/kibbitz to their husband friend or significant other.

2) Rapturous clapping upon touchdown. It reminds me of what a potential So You Think You Can Fly style reality TV show. In the event of such behaviour, common courtesy dictates joining in is not only encouraged, but demanded by the psyche of the masses. Sure, you don’t know if they are clapping the ability of the pilot to land the plane (superfluous much?) or his ability to land it in the right spot (er, even the ticket said Tel Aviv … it shouldn’t be so hard), but do not underestimate the vivacity of cabin-fevered Israelis.

I have travelled El Al a total of three times into Israel, and if they didn’t say that the third time was the charm, I would be seriously concerned by the oddity of it all. But it seems this is a naturally occurring phenomenon, and until such time as passengers get over the excitement of  the simple act of landing a plane, and that plane landing in Israel, it won’t be dying down any time soon.


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