The Taglit Birthright program provides you with airfare to and from NYC to Tel Aviv so it is on you to get yourself from your starting point to NYC and back. From my prior post you are aware that I was flying out on Sunday 9/11. I didn’t have any work set up for Friday or Saturday so I decided to head up to NYC early and enjoy the weekend. First off let me shout out all my family and friends in NYC. Every time I visit, I am treated like a king with amazing hospitality and appreciate all the love you always provide me. So much love in fact that it almost made me forget about my delta flight to NYC which had no A/C in my entire row. The plane was cool just not the row where I was seated. After I got situated at my buddy's apartment I grabbed some sushi ate some edibles with a friend of mine and we proceeded to wonder around the seated aimlessly, dropping by a house party and meeting friends in the east village for a round or two.
Because I consumed so many edibles I didn’t wake up until 2 pm the next day. I managed to still get to the gym in the apartment building I was staying at and I got a solid workout in. After that I met up with my friend Nolan, Monique and few other characters and we headed to Space NY to see Fehrplay spin. This was my first time at Space NY and I think I’ve been to every Space night club in the world besides Space Moscow. And no I am not proud of that at all. The crowd was perfect size for the rooftop area however Fehrplay started the party by himself too early and was passed out. He finally came on at 7 pm and played until 10.
After Space we headed back to Nolan’s place for a second pregame this time a pregame to go out for the evening. Monique and I decided to bail and eventually we split up. I met up with my buddy Marc and we grabbed a few slices of pizza. We caught up, talking extensively about my blog and about playing basketball the next morning.
At the basketball game the next day I’ll be honest I was a bit nervous. I hadn’t hooped for 3-4 months let alone really get some solid running in. Although I was very rusty I had a great time playing with Nolan and Marc.
I still had plenty of time in my flight so I proceeded to finish the prep for all the snacks I was looking to bring with me to Israel. This was the first time I had taken a serious account of bringing my own food for an extended trip. I stopped at a GNC to get a shaker and some quest bars. As well as Whole Foods for some cheese, sausage, nuts, and bone broth. Below is a picture of the things mentioned and other snacks I brought with me. You can buy all of these things in the product section of my blog. I also have a link provided below as well as a portal at the bottom of the page for Organifi Green Juice. Use promo code BUSDRIVER for a 15% discount off your order. A majority of these snacks are high fat and low carb. They came in handy whenever I was hungry or to provide a staple for my diet I may have not been able to acquire that day.
Being the 15th anniversary of 9/11 the city, or at least the part of Manhattan I was hanging out in didn't seem that tense or uptight. The people I ran into were out and about going about their usual Sunday. However there was a moment when I heard a more then one fire truck or ambulance I thought to myself, "Here we go again!"
I didn't really have much connection to the incident besides the attack being an attack on American and me being an American. Yet I still don't think I can recall the way things were before that day 15 years ago. I've lived in places like Kuwait and Israel where the threat of an incident is always prominent. It seems that the normal barriers, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, can't keep us isolated from the violence and confrontation that normally only effect a certain part of our planet. Jet fly overs, hightened security, cameras on every street corner all in the pursuit to keep us safe. Safe from what though? I don't think that question is examined enough and until then we will continue to be disconnected from who the people we see and call our enemies.
Now I had not met anyone on the trip before I got to the airport. I had spoken with Yoav, one of the coordinators but nothing else. Because this was a, “group tour” there were many waivers signed even one about not consuming alcohol. I even got to make my own name tag. I connected with a few members of the group at a Buffalo Wild Wings at the airport before the flights and watch Sunday Night Football.
I found my seat on the plane was bottle necked in the middle seat between Zoey and Dave. You can imagine not one second of sleep occurred on this flight. Yet I was hopeful for my third visit to the land of Israel.