To South America and Back

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Did we land in Buenos Aires or Jerusalem?

We have moved on from Argentina (sadly) but, looking back, we have realized that we learned almost as much about Israeli culture as Argentinean! On the road we met more Israelis than any other nationality (including all the thousands of Argentineans roaming the country enjoying their summer holiday). So what the hell are they all doing down here? And how the hell can a country that small produce so many 20 to 25 year olds?? Well, after serving their mandatory time in the Israeli Army (males for three years and females for two) they embrace their freedom by venturing off to either Southeast Asia or South America (the latter being the more "dangerous adventure" according to one traveler). This time is used for reflection and to figure out what to pursue at University. It's not as though these travelers are really branching out though because you see them in hoards! It's as if they are attempting to travel together as an entire nation! You are not allowed to penetrate these tight-knit groups either. They trade goods amongst eachother, stay at specific Israeli-friendly hotels (they are even specified in the Lonely Planet), and all head towards the "Israeli farm" outside of El Bolson where they all chat, watch Israeli movies, play Shithead, and smoke pot. I must stop myself though, we met many wonderful Israelis so I don't mean this to reflect poorly on all Israelis. One particular traveler stood out for us. He traveled by himself and was willing to share his time with which ever nationality came about. He was an Arab Israeli (most you run into being Euro-Israeli) and he had a lot to teach us about the the differences between the two and some general characteristics that they share. Ah, who knew we had so much to learn...and that we'd learn it in Argentina.

Besides our traveling Israeli teachers, we also noticed that the only three times we went to the cinema we saw the following movies...

-Everything is Illuminated- a film about a boy who goes to Poland to find out about his Jewish ancestors

-Munich- a film about the Israeli kidnappings at the Winter Olympics in Germany and the life of an Israeli assassin.

-The Producers- a film about Broadway producers attempting to fail miserably with a show abot Hitler but all the while including Jewish humor.

We've now moved on to Bolivia, have left our Israeli teachings behind, and are gaining knowledge of entertaining British phrases...more to come


At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Chrissy said...

I remember being in a hostal once somewhere in Southeast Asia, and there was a sign that hung on the wall:
(let's just say it was thailand)
"10 baht for an answer,
100 baht for the right answer,
and 500 dollars for Israeli's." :)))
I know what you mean, as a whole, they really are something else!!! ;)
Love you!

At 1:15 AM, Anonymous guess said...

Isrealis are sexy


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