Part 1: Gas Station Camels:
Some enterprising gas station owners in the West Bank region tether camels in the parking lots, as the animals formerly known as Ships of the Desert are now demoted to photo ops. For the equivalent of $5, you can mount one of these wretched flea-ridden creatures and have the attendant take your picture. The camels reminded me of very large stray cats, albeit adorned with colorful blankets and bells.
Part 2: Truth in Advertising:
First, a case of misrepresentation, as it turns out that the so-called Sea of Galilee is actually the Fresh Water Lake of Galilee. Who knew?
We started with a boat ride of The Misnamed Body of Water, which was pleasant, but nothing earth-shattering. It was far more interesting to watch the fisherman haul in a huge load of fish with their seines, to learn that Israel gets most of their drinking water from the lake, and to finally have a real talk with our guide about our respective countries. As with most Israelis, I suspect, he is extremely knowledgeable about America’s political, social, and economic issues – and good with a joke. Example: Apparently, the cows that graze in the area can’t read, and so occasionally one steps on a mine and gets blown up. The people nearby rejoice, saying “Shawarma from the sky!”