This is still the introduction speech, with much advice
Most tour guides tell you to drink water. I will not do that, because I know that the buses come without bathrooms and you cannot find a public bathroom, anywhere, for less than a shekel. Israelis are fine peeing on the side of the road, as that is the tradition. However, I know that tourists are not used to urinating on ancient archaeological sites. Dehydration is allowed on my tour.
Here is some background for you on what you might see on your tour. Think of it as your own little Tour Book with David:
Each day, before the tour, I will take you to visit relatives and friends who are going to ask you, ‘Are you making Aliyah yet?’ This way you will feel as though you are not on vacation. You will enjoy the pure Israeli experience of being harassed by everybody for living in a country where you make a good living. You will talk about relatives who knew them, even though you have no idea who these people are. You will spend the rest of the day trying to figure out why your aunt told your mom to have you call them. Then you will let them down and tell them that you might have made Aliyah if they didn’t bother you about trying to vacation. We will then embark on our day’s tiyul/tour with a very frustrated you and a tour guide who will not have to speak much about the sites. Rather, I will explain the cultural intricacies and why Israel is important to Jewish people, because you are most probably a heretic who has no idea what it means to be Jewish.
Before we embark, you will be able to explain to all of your cousins that you are meeting for your first time, and how after being in Israel for only two days, it is not the terrorists that are keeping you from making Aliyah. Rather, it is relatives. I will explain everything to you. Now you will be going on your tour, knowing that you were just told you are a heretic who doesn’t give enough money to your relatives who are keeping the Jewish people alive in the Holy Land. Now we are ready to enjoy the tiyul.
To Note, you are partially entering into one of David’s Jerusalem Tours (which David charges a lot of money for). Keep in mind, this information is very valuable.
Now limit the amount of pictures you take, as you will not remember what they mean anyways.
Nobody wants to see your pictures on Facebook. ‘Look, me in Israel. Again.’ We can care less. You do not even know if that picture was taken in Israel or Yemen. Maybe it was on a bus in Holland, or in your hometown. There is no sign on the bus in any language.
I know what it is like. I got excited when I went to Russia and took pictures of the subway. 2 years later, I was reminiscing about a trip I took to New York and wondering why the New York subways had statues of the czars.
I understand you believe yourself to not be a tourist. You are a professional photographer. You have the Cannon 580 zoom lens, which zooms with a 2 foot scope you need your children to carry for you. However, National Geographic is not making money off the ‘falafel ordering with the family in group Tshirt’ wildlife footage.
National Lampoons might like your film, as you all look like fools.
A fun game to play if you have a camera is to take pictures of as many low cut jeans you see without underwear. That is a site to remember and at least that way you will know it is in Israel.
If you are taking family pictures, make sure to lean. It gives you more of a smile. Try it, you will see. Try it before moving on, to the next paragraph.
You see, your eyebrows went up and you smiled.
Now that you have just smiled and feel like you are back in youth group, turn off your cellphones. I had an 800nis phone bill, as I did not know that when my pants are tight, my phone makes calls for me.
I repeat, do not drink a lot, as there are no public bathrooms. I repeat. That is why all the people are bathrooming on the streets. Yet another thing to take pictures of. That is a site that National Geographic might be interested in. A sophisticated animal peeing on a bus stop.
Take it easy on the children.
Kids have a very hard time keeping up with their parents on trips in Israel. ‘We have to wake up 6am because we are in Israel for 3 days and we have to visit the cousins we never met, see Eilat and the Golan in the same day, dunk in Ein Gedi, float in the Dead Sea if it is still there and see the machtesh, while eating on the boardwalk in Tel Aviv, touring all of Jerusalem and not enjoying ourselves….Hell, why did we skip school for this?!!!!’ That is why, on my tour, you will see very little. There will be nothing of any educational significance; such as history or knowledge.
After our trip to the relatives, you will all be too depressed to want to see any sites. That will make it easier on the children.
Many men visit for Israeli women and many women visit for the soldiers. Hence, on my live walking tour, I will point out all decent looking people. I will be sure to not offend any of the people on the tour. The only people who will be offended are the people we pass.
Wave at all the people. It is fun to see how friendly they are. Most people will think you want Tzedakah (charity), as the natural response to ‘Hello’ is ‘How much do you want?’ So either carry around agurot (the smallest Israeli change), or you might want to skip out on the being friendly part of David’s tour. You can also carry big bills, but never let the poor people know you have them. They will want more. So never pull out a 20 and ask for change. They give a very bad rate on the dollar.
If you are brave, you do not have to skip out on being friendly. You should keep in mind that being friendly is very fun, especially when they get mad at you for not giving charity. It all depends on how much physical risk you are willing to take, on the tour.
Israelis do understand English. When you say ‘they smell’ or ‘they are so rude,’ you are the one being rude. If they didn’t understand it, then it would not be offensive. That is why, if you are saying something offensive, you should say it right to them. And then give Tzedakah.
The real experiences are what you will enjoy on David’s tour. None of that Masada stuff. You will enjoy the Israel experience of going to bed at 4am.
If you are paying, we will eat out at the finest restaurants. Your average Tiyul consists of Halva and some kind of unrefrigerated pastrami-salami coming out of Shmulik’s back pocket. On David’s tour, you will not skimp out on the finer dining experiences of Israel, as you will be treating David.
To see Americans in Israel, visit Efrat, Modiin, Bet Shemesh, Rechovot, Chashmonaim, Raanana and any other town where you do not need to speak Hebrew to get by. To see Israelis, you can join me on David’s tour of New York and Florida, with an optional trip to LA.
First we will tour Jerusalem and then the rest of the country. Or the rest of the country and then Jerusalem. You can chose.
Come prepared for you tour. In Jerusalem, be sure to always have shorts and your winter apparel. You must carry them around at all times, as there is a certain time of day, sometime between 9am and 7pm, where the sunny warm weather becomes sunny freezing weather.
Every tour of Jerusalem is different. However, all tours are a military operation. That is why there is always somebody who maps out the route. On many tours, there are people carrying guns. For your safety, you will not be carrying guns on my tour. However, be ready when the security guard asks you if you have a gun. Your answer must always be, ‘Yes.’ If you say ‘yes’ they let you through, to all of the malls and Holy sites. You should always be ready to deal with aggression, as you never know when an Ahava salesman will attack.
Come, join me on David’s tour.