Hannah and Je together

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Thirty First Day – Back to Israel

So, I got on the bus at Cairo to Dahab.  And all my plan and schedule was with enough buffer, I thought.

Typical Muslim Lady

Typical Muslim Lady

I took a picture of Muslim lady who literally covers top to toe.  If I include her glasses in her covering, she covered almost all of herself.  It is not difficult to find such lady in Egypt, which is one of the most open country in Arab world.

Daewoo Bus

Daewoo Bus

This is the bus, and it is made by DAEWOO.  How many decades ago that company disappeared?

Even though I had more than enough buffer in my schedule going back, there was two big problems.  The first is from Egypt.  Even though McCormick travel group complained a lot about Israeli checkpoint, we need to admit that there is no checkpoint inside Israel territory or inside Palestine territory.  But in Egypt, there are so many checkpoints within Egyptian territory.  From Cairo to Dahab, dozens.  And from Dahab to Taba, also dozens.  I think I crossed almost 40 or 50 checkpoints from Cairo to Taba.  Half of them just stopped the bus, and check easily.  The other half checked the IDs and passports of all the passengers in the bus.  This delayed more than three hours than the schedule.  I thought I would be in Taba around 10am, but I was there at 2:30pm.

The other problem was at Israel border.  I understand the situation of war, but they checked me and many other passengers so badly.  They asked me tons of questions.

Officer: Why do you have soaps?
Je: Because I wash everyday.
Officer: What is this?
Je: It says shampoo.
Officer: Why do you have shampoos?
Je: You don’t know what the shampoo is for?
Officer: Why do you have music CD?
Je: Because I listen to music.

Then they opened my bag and suitcase, and checked every single item, even my unwashed underwear.  I warned them but they touched.  So I advised them to wash their hands before eat anything.  The Israeli border took slightly more than two hours for me.  But I met a guy from Texas who spent four hours.  This guy is actually quite annoying, and he made some racism joke to a Singapore American.

Israel side of the border

Israel side of the border

Israel side of the border is better in many ways.  First, people line up.  Yes, the exactly same people who made chaos in Egyptian side line up.  And there are many convenient facilities including water fountain (which is very precious in this hot weather), restroom, money exchange, and so on.

Anyway when I went to the central bus station in Eilat, it was about 5:10pm.  And the last bus to Jerusalem already left long time ago.  But I could not stay in Eilat.  If I depart Eilat tomorrow morning, I would be in Bethlehem in the afternoon around 3 or 4pm.  So I got on the bus to Tel Aviv.

SunCity Hotel, Tel Aviv

SunCity Hotel, Tel Aviv

When I was in Egypt, it was almost impossible to find a free WIFI.  Even the most expensive hotel in Luxor does not provide free WIFI.  The bad hotel in Cairo has free WIFI in the lobby (not in the room), but it is only ten minutes.  But in Israel it is much easier to find free WIFI.  And I realise even the inter-city bus (EGGED bus) has free WIFI!

I hit Tel Aviv at midnight.  And I went to a nearby hotel – SunCity hotel.  And the very first thing at the check-in was their instruction what to do when I hear siren because they have sirens and alarms minimum twice everyday anytime.  SunCity hotel is good one with nice staff who tries to help me as much as possible.  But the facility itself is quite old.  But I prefer this one rather than Le Meridien Hotel in Cairo where they have shiny facility with bad employees.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Israel Trip Seventeenth and Last Day: Flight Back

We couldn’t even stay one night at the very good hotel because we got up at 12:30am, ate 1am and left there 1:30am for Ben Gurion airport at Tel Aviv.

Beginning of annoying and paranoid Israeli security

Beginning of annoying and paranoid Israeli security

When we were entering to the airport area, we passed the initial security. The guy on the picture has a machine gun. It was just the beginning of very annoying Israeli security. They are paranoid because they know what they’ve been doing.

Not like other airport security, we had to go through the security with our check-in baggage. They scanned everything, and many of us, including me, had to go through another manual check by opening the baggage. They found four mud packs from my bag, and asked me:

“WHY DO YOU HAVE MUD PACKS?” – “Because I bought them.”

“WHERE DID YOU BUY THEM?” – “Qumran gift shop.”

“WHY DID YOU BUY THEM?” – “For my wife.”

“WHY DO YOU GO TO AMERICA?” – “Because I live there!”

What stupid questions, and why do they care? Because I did not have US passport, I was checked my green card three times. Once they took my green card and went somewhere and came back in ten minutes.

The security opened a bag of a girl in our group and checked all the books and literatures and read to see what was written.

Many people go to Israel once and no more. I see why. Basically the Israel government is saying to all the tourists, “Don’t you dare come back again!”

Airport Synagogue

Airport Synagogue

There is a synagogue in the airport. I thought it is interesting. Are the religious Jews supposed to be in the airport on Sabbath? Why do they need a synagogue in the airport? Secular Jews don’t care, and religious Jews don’t come to the airport on Sabbath day.



This is of course Germany that we can see huge BAYER sign. Frankfurt airport is so huge, ridiculously huge. We rode an airport bus, and walked thousand miles after that. I do not mind walking a lot, but I do mind the timing. I walked fast and I reached the gate first in our group, and already people were boarding into the plane! Even a flight attendant in the first plane advised us that we may make it to the connecting air plane but we need to move fast.

Smoking Zone

Smoking Zone

This looks quite interesting to me. There are many smoking zones in Frankfurt airport, I could not take photos because there were always many people inside the box.



If I remember right, Frankfurt is the home airport of Lufthansa. I don’t like long flight, but I am quite satisfied with Lufthansa.

Not like on the way to Israel in Frankfurt, there was no security check this time on the way to Chicago. In Chicago, there were three different immigration gates: one for US Citizen, one for Green card holders, and the other was for everyone else.

After long flight, I landed on Chicago O’Hare airport. While the plane was landing, at the right moment that the landing gear began to touch the runway pavement, my wife Hannah called me that she is waiting at the airport terminal 5. She was not supposed to come and pick me up, but she skipped her work.

I’ve always driven to Chicago, never landed on Chicago. Chicago. This is what home feels like. During this trip, I saw many things, I felt many things, I learned many things, and I realised many things. But the biggest thing is this: I realised that I truly love my wife, Hannah.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


중학교 때 영어 선생님이 했던 말 중에, 가장 쉬운 단어가 사실은 가장 어려운 단어라는 말이 기억이 난다. make도 그런 단어 가운데 하나가 아닐까 한다.

예전에 캐나다에 있을 때, 알고 지냈던 한국인 가정 중에, 현지에서 태어나서 자란 딸이 있었는데, 한국어를 거의 하지 못하고 영어만 하는 학생이었다. 한 번은 부모가 서툰 영어로 남자친구 만들라고 make a boyfriend라는 말을 했는데, 나도 경악하고 다른 백인 캐나다 사람들도 경악을 했는데, 그 딸은 무엇이 잘못된 것인지 이해를 하지 못했다.

캐나다에서 태어나 자랐어도 한국인 환경에 있다 보니 make라는 동사도 한국어 식으로 이해를 하는 것이었다. 물론 본인이 말을 할 때는 그렇게 안하지만, 들었을 때 이상한 것을 눈치채지 못하는 것이다.

make a boyfriend라는 말은, 남자친구를 (무에서) 창조한다는 의미가 된다. 곧이 곧대로 ‘제작’ 또는 ‘생성’의 의미가 된다. 아니면 조각가가 근사한 남자 모양의 조각을 만든 후에 이를 자신의 남친으로 삼던가.

또한 한국어에서는 여권을 만든다는 말을 쓰는데, 영어에서 I made my passport라고 하면 스스로 본인의 여권을 (집에서) 제작했다는 의미가 된다. 결국 캐나다 또는 미국 사람들은 이를 여권을 직접 위조했다는 말로 이해할  가능성이 매우 크다.

영어에서 make는 일반적으로 무언가를 제작, 생성, 창조하는 의미를 많이 지니고 있기 때문에 한국어를 그대로 직역할 경우 오해를 일으킬 상황이 생길 수 있다. 물론 “We made it!”과 같이 해냈다는 의미로 제작과는 상관 없이 관용적으로 쓰이는 경우도 있지만, 관용어구가 아닌 이상은 제작의 의미와 관련이 깊다.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.