The Problem Is Not How to Get In, But How to Get Out

I woke up on Sunday, October 7, 2007 at 9:15 in the morning.  I was excited and could only think about getting dressed, loading my car with all my things, and making my quick stop at PKD (Pico Kosher Deli) for a Turkey Club to take with me on the plane.  For those who know me well, I love the Turkey Club from PKD, and there just isn’t anything to compare it with in Israel.  So on my last morning in America, all I could think of was my last Turkey Club.  I got my sandwich wrapped and set off the pick up my mom.  My dad and my brother had taken a separate car.  I got my mom and we headed off to the airport.  No goodbye to my bed, my bathroom, my room or my house – just my Turkey Club and me.

I pulled up to the curb, unloaded all my baggage and my mom to watch my baggage while I went to park my car.  Meanwhile, my dad and brother had already parked and were on their way to wait with my luggage as well.  I parked the car and came back to my family and bags where my brother had already rented a cart.  I loaded the bags on and we strolled in to the International terminal of LAX.  We made it to the line for the ELAL check-in counter and after some waiting and a few security questions, we got to the front of the line.  I was allowed to check 3 bags that could weigh 23 kilograms each.  I had 3 duffle bags, each one weighing well over the 23-kilogram limit.  The fee would be $215 total for all of my bags (they even checked in my guitar as a 4th bag at no extra charge!).  My parents and I looked at each other, but it was no time to start going through all my things.  So after putting down $215 in cash, the man working the counter came back with $145 saying that we get some money back!  I think it was because I was making Aliyah, but I didn’t ask.  So for $70 I was going to get my bags on the plane.

Saying goodbye to my family was hard.  I don’t know when I’ll see them again – I don’t have plans to come back and visit and they don’t have plans yet to come to Israel either.  It was especially hard to say goodbye to my brother, Meir.  After our quick goodbyeselal-plane.gif and handing my car-keys over to my mom, I started my way through security and then to the gate. elal-plane.gifelal-plane.gifelal-plane.gifelal-plane.gif Handing my ticket to the lady at the gate, walking out onto the tarmac and then taking the bus to the plane, boarding the plane itself, all these simple actions that I do whenever I fly took on new meaning with this flight.  I was leaving America, saying goodbye to the place where I was born and raised, and going to Israel, the place where I belong.  It was a very surreal experience, but if ever I was ready to make this move, this was the time.

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