No matter where I roam, it is predetermined that there will be WTDGAP (When Things Don’t Go as Planned) moments, and Israel was no exception. This subject has continued to be one of my favorites as it so accurately portrays what happens during travel. Life isn’t perfect and no amount of pre-planning, checklists, ocd (or newly labeled just OC after some long discussions with a fellow Manitoba traveler who not only is a doctor but has many of the same tendencies as I) – and wishful thinking is going to prevent things going awry. And when that inevitably happens – it is fodder for some memorable stories.
Here are the moments during my Israel journey that didn’t go quite as expected:
OC LADY (ME) BRINGS WRONG MEMORY CARD READER
When I first started to travel with a digital camera I was often frustrated at not being able to download my photos using the hotel’s WiFi so that I could share my adventures with others. These systems are simply not strong enough for anything beyond email and internet surfing. I finally wised up and figured out a memory card reader like those shown above, would solve my problem. And they do, but you have to bring the right connection to the appliance you are using. These are called USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface cables and there are quite a few varieties and NOT ONE is compatible with the others:
USB A & B & C
At home I work on an iPad Pro with a keyboard which has a USB C port, but for travel I like to bring something as lightweight as possible so I bring a basic iPad which has a lightning port. Despite careful (obviously not) packing, I brought the wrong reader. Now this is not a catastrophe – I could easily wait until I return home to download my photos and use my iPhone to send teaser photos in the meantime. But that is not how I roll. Like many, I am a creature of habit.
So I decided to take an adventure and see if I could find a compatible reader in Tel Aviv. After getting some ideas from the hotel’s concierge, I set off to find a mall that might have a store that might have the gadget I needed. But the directions the concierge gave me included roads that had been blocked off by a bus accident. And Google Maps will not work if you can’t get a signal. But I was determined (stubborn). It was a beautiful day and so I walked along in what I thought was the correct direction, enjoying the neighborhood scenes, and after an hour I did reach the mall, which did have an electronics store which did have the correct reader. Mission Accomplished.
SOMETIMES OVERTHINKING GETS YOU IN HOT WATER – OR IN TOO MANY BEDS
When researching details of a trip I try to make sure that accommodations fit the needs of my friends and myself. I am a very light sleeper and prefer complete darkness to get my solid zzzz’s. My fellow Israel traveler, however sleeps intermittently and can often be found in the middle of the night wandering around, so I try to make sure that beds are either two doubles or at least a queen size. I guess my many admonitions on this topic went a little over board for the hosts at our hotel in Tiberius took me a little too literally. Upon arrival, we found we could barely get into our room as another bed had been installed in addition to a queen bed and a sofa. A bit of overkill – we did remove the additional bed and all was in balance once more.
BILL GETS LOST
This last WTDGAP moment could have ended very badly and it did create quite a bit of consternation for our fantastic guide Moody as well as the entire group. As I mentioned previously, when we got to the Western or Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, the men and women needed to go to separate areas in order to approach the wall. Moody let us know that after we had finished our visit we were to move to a particular area near the exit gate, and once all together we would return to our bus. We all gathered together, except one gentleman. We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally Moody and a few helpful men started to reconnoiter the area beginning to end, but found no Bill. We even looked through this city train that took people in and out of the area:
But no Bill.
Finally after quite a bit of time, we found Bill at a nearby bus stop that he thought was the rendezvous point Although a bit worn by the wait we were nonetheless happy to see Bill and know he was ok. And we also were happy to know that we were headed for some much needed cocktails.
All’s well that ends well.