After I wrote that last blog post, we waited around for a few hours until they kicked us out of the United lounge. We then split up: my dad and I went to the Lufthansa lounge while my mom and sister explored the airport shops and restaurants. Later, we ate a nice, relaxing dinner, and then walked over to our gate. Flights departing for Israel out of Frankfurt have their own secluded terminal with extra security (I was patted down for only the second time in my entire life). The flight itself was uneventful; we slept for the most part, except for a pretty bad meal in the middle.
After we disembarked, we breezed through Passport Control and grabbed our bags easily. That’s when I started to wonder if things could possibly go this smoothly. So of course, things started going wrong. First, the currency exchange machine ripped us off. We put in a credit card to draw funds and exchange them into Israeli shekels, and the first transaction went fine. However, when we decided to do it again, the machine didn’t give us the shekels. We are of the opinion that the machine still charged the credit card for the money it didn’t give us. We then went to the taxi area to get a ride to our hotel.
That’s when the second problem occurred. We had been told that the taxi ride would be a flat fee of a certain amount, but when we had loaded up all the bags and gotten in the car, the driver told us it would be more expensive. We would have left and waited for another one, but for two reasons: 1) our bags were loaded, and 2) the driver said all cab drivers would give us the same rate. We didn’t fully believe him, but we were in a foreign country and didn’t want to push our luck. So we took the ride to the hotel, jumped in bed, and feel asleep.
As I finish writing this, we just returned from a day excursion: a guided private tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. More on that in my next update.