Traveling to Israel has always been on my list but I never thought that I would actually get a personal invite by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. Last night we had an event where we met many of the people involved that brought together the Once In A Lifetime Project. There was a moment where we were taking pictures that made me realize the one phrase that describes Israel, Sababa! Similar to the context of Pura Vida in Costa Rica, it means “no worries” or “cool”.
I personally use this phrase to pretend I know Hebrew
First, let me tell you that the Ministry of Tourism sure does know how to treat their guests. We were treated to an intricate dinner with people that are doing great things in the world. There was a group of Israeli bloggers with the following credentials:
- An award winning independent film maker that has been to more award ceremonies than popcorn
- A musician that has the Arab world jamming to his song making fun of Gadafi
- One blogger representing a team that is working sending the smallest robot to the moon with a Google contest
And then you have the five bloggers that were invited wearing shorts and drinking enough beer to kill a Guinness brewery. Only one of us wore shorts and only one was a beer brewery killer. One thing to know about Israel is that everything is super laid back. When I was talking with some business CEO’s in Tel Aviv, they had t-shirts and jeans on.
They told me that if you go to an interview in a suit or tie you would be considered a baba ganoush! That actually means egg plant but its my favorite word in Hebrew. Say it three times fast… Baba Ganoush!
Everyone was getting together to take pictures and we finally arrived to the group picture. The Queen of England was even invited to take pictures as well but she couldn’t make it, it was everyone except the queen. After we were all done, I of course asked if we could all point and do that silly pose that is plastered all over this site.
If I am going to point in mud at the dead sea I am not going to be afraid to ask a group of well known and respected government officials and a general manager of a 5 start hotel to point for a picture. What surprised me is without hesitation their arms were all up in the air!
It was one small step for WanderingTrader.. But a giant step for man kind
I started to think back about some of my experiences trying to get everyone to pose with me (soon I will have a contest to name the pose). I remembered that I met two Israeli superstarts, Ivry Leader & Mosh Ben Ari, who both pointed with me in pictures. How many government officials, general managers wearing a suit and tie, and American superstars do you think would do the same?
It speaks volumes to the culture in Israel. You can’t only say sababa when you have no clue what someone is saying in Hebrew, you can also use it to describe the culture in the country. Its not just a word to describe something that’s cool, it’s a lifestyle.
I’m going to be heading to Eilat tomorrow which is a city based in the southern part of the country. We are going to be scuba diving with dolphins, meeting with the mayor of the city, and hopefully posing with dolphins (and the mayor.. should I press my luck?).