We covered a lot of ground today. Lars and I were guests of the Israeli government. It was a televised panel addressing the perception of Israel around the world. It was interesting to hear what the different people from Israel say about how the world media covers their country. They want to see the government do more to better their image. They also had me speak to the panel. I told them it was my first time in the country and what I had expected to see compared to what is really here. Jerusalem is a city of 800,000 people. It has buses and cars and even light rail. After the hearing, I was surrounded by journalists and PR people and others handing me their cards and offering to take me on a separate tours.
Later in the day, we toured the ancient City of David. I talk more about that in my story on FMNEWS 101 so I won't go into it much here. Let's just say it is a beautiful place and it's amazing to walk on stairs and in buildings that are thousands of years old.
It seems every day I feel really out of place. It's not just the language but the culture. Example: I order my coffee black. Every time I do, the person raises his or her eyebrows or smirks or throws a knowing glance to another person in the room. Finally, I asked a young man: "Is it wrong that I order black coffee?" He said: "No, but black coffee is associated with Israeli soldiers...so it is funny that I order it."
So, don't mess with me Portland. :)
PS. The security screening building is 100 yards away from the Government building in Jerusalem and across a courtyard. An added protection for lawmakers, I guess.
Tags: Israel; City of David