Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Globe Trotting

After a very long hiatus, I am reawakening this blog.

I am setting off on an around-the-globe trip. Starting from Tel Aviv to London (through Frankfurt) for a scientific meeting at Oxford. Then from London to Boston (again, through Frankfurt) for work at the Broad Institute and attending a scientific meeting. And then from Boston to Osaka (not through Frankfurt, thank god, but rather through San Francisco) to join the family on a two-and-half week long Japan trip. And finally from Tokyo, back to Tel Aviv (and you almost guessed right, not through Frankfurt but through Vienna).

Setting off early in the morning from Tel Aviv was a strange experience. In spite of the global recession and the awkward global position of Israel, the airport was full. While waiting for the pre-checkin security check, I was amidst a whole group of people flying via a charter airline to Milano. Many of them seemed by their chatter to be first time flier. By the time I got to the interview I was a bit short tempered and answered all the questions in advance "My name is Nir, I packed everything myself, I am not brining anything to anyone, the luggage was with me the whole time, I don't have anything that looks like a weapon". The security lady told me that their summer nightmare started this morning.

After checking in, I moved to the next queue for security screening. The hall was jammed with people. They recently enlarged it to contain more waiting people, but still it felt suffocating. Once past the this line everything became smooth. I managed to grab a bite at the lounge, and then to the plane. The rest of the flight was sleepy and long. Frankfurt was a short stop and then I was flying to London.

One of the amazing parts of this flight is that in a span of few minutes I saw four airplanes flying in the opposite direction from my window. I guess the European airspace is really packed full.