Finally, coming back to India is like, coming back down to earth. The Israel trip did keep me on my toes and found me wanting at lot of occasions, where I was not upto the mark in terms of my working capabilities. But it did allow me to look at the pros and cons of say Mumbai with respect to Tel Aviv. Taking nothing away from Mumbai, as it is the city I have been in for quiet some time and consider it to be truly my home.
Tel Aviv is a wonderful city, so clean. I have not seen many cities around in the world, but I consider this as really a awesome city with responsible citizens. I would like to underline the word responsible here. Got to say, it is the people who have kept the city so clean. There are separate dustbin's for plastic cans and normal rubbish. I was taken aback by the fact that these citizens are so meticulous in throwing away the waste. The plastic cans are sent for recycling and the normal rubbish is used for many useful things. This Dustbin, shown in the picture is the recycling bin. In India, the plastic is separated by the rag picker or the bin collector.
Thinking back at this trip, I did get in some rather interesting snaps like this one of the mug. I could never find a reason for such a bizarre object. All the mugs used in Israel have two handles. I could never find a reason for this.
Shifting our attention to traffic and rules. I did not see one person, breaking the signals. I don't know how the things work down there, I mean the fines and bribes. I think the fine for breaking a signal must be too high. I did see police catching and fining people for improper parking. And the Zebra crossings. If there is a pedestrian crossing traffic light, all the people crossing the road wait for it to turn green. If there is no traffic light, then the pedestrian gets the first preference. All the motorists and cars stop for them to cross the road. Unbelievable, I was in a taxi and it was at 60 km/hr. The taxi-driver sudden stopped with a screeching halt and allowed a person to cross the road. This I can never imagine in India!!
The cars and bikes I saw here is so advanced. They have all advanced features like GPS, leather seats, power windows, etc. I think for all this to come to India, it will take another 10 years. Not to forget the currency. It is shekel here. One shekel is almost 12.6 rupees. I did get some time to make a snap out of some typical notes. One US dollar is around 3.91 shekel, although it stays around 3.5 mark. The person on the 100 shekel note is Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel. The International airport in Tel Aviv is also named after him. "The Ben Gurion international Airport"
The food; being a vegetarian is not that tough. Got to say, spicy food is very difficult to get, but if you are on a non-spicy diet, it is aplenty. It does get quiet bland, after some days, but I did not have any problems with food. I used to eat a lot of salad and many fatty substances, still I did not increase my weight at all. It was the same when I got back to India. They have a special bread called Peta bread, which is the great specialty of Israel. Check my appetite for lunch.. :) :)
I will continue this blog as a two part series, with places I visited in my next blog.. Till then L'hitraot ( which means see you soon in hebrew, the local language of Israel) :) :)