Tel Aviv: After being caught with some cannabis and spending close to a year in a Russian jail, Naama Issachar is now happily back in Eretz Yisrael thanks to a personal appeal from Prime Minister Netanyahu. Yet a lot has changed here in Israel since the early days of 2019, and Naama discussed her adjustment process to Israeli life with the Daily Freier.
“Wait, what’s up with Telegrass?” Naama asked us, slightly annoyed. “There’s a Nature Party in the Galil next week and I was hoping, I mean a friend was hoping to touch base with my weed guy, I mean a friend’s weed guy.” Naama paused for a moment and reflected. “The funny thing is that all of Tel Aviv basically smells like a giant spliff, but ‘everyone is out of weed‘. Like is that even scientifically possible?”
Naama continued describing the Big Adjustment. “I have so much to catch up on. Things like who won ‘The Voice’, and who we’re sending to Eurovision…. so is ‘Tudo Bom’ still a thing?”
Before ending the interview, we secured a promise from Ms. Issachar that she would update us with all the stories from her inevitable trip to MidBurn and/or Tzfat later this year.
EPILOGUE: While the Daily Freier has a rich history of shrewdly negotiating with Mr. Putin, nobody from the Government bothered to call us. Next time something like this happens, can someone have Bibi’s office send us a text?
Tel Aviv: The District Court of Tel Aviv has dismissed the lawsuit brought against El Al Airlines by Hatari, Iceland’s Eurovision Entry. You see, Hatari, a band of woke rich kids committed in their own special way to social justice, decided to wave the Palestinian flag because they couldn’t find Narnia’s flag during a live Eurovision broadcast. And Israelis, being Israelis, decided to throw some serious shade, culminating in El Al allegedly giving the band purposely poor seats and service on their flight home. Hatari then responded by filing a lawsuit, which was subsequently tossed out today. You see, El Al has this tiny, and let us just stress VERY UNDESERVED reputation for…. you may want to sit down for this….. poor customer service. We know… crazy, right? (Editor’s Note: Just to be fair, we called El Al’s Toll Free Number about this rumor, but the woman yelled at us and then hung up.) So the Court resolved that there was in fact no data set of “good El Al Customer Service” with which to compare Hatari’s accusation of crappy service. The Daily Freier walked down to the courthouse to get all the facts.
We spoke to Tamar C., a bailiff at the courthouse, who read from the Court’s decision. “It is the Court’s opinion that the Band Hatari, henceforth to be referred to as ‘the plaintiff’, did not adequately prove they were purposely and maliciously served poor food, because none of us in the Courthouse can remember receiving ‘a good meal’ from El Al…. not even Sarit from the cleaning staff, and her brother works in El Al’s catering office.”
When the Daily Freier noted that the plaintiff had accused El Al of purposely placing them near extra-rude passengers, Tamar continued: “It is the Court’s opinion that the ‘very rude’ Israeli passengers the plaintiff was seated next to would not even make the tryouts for Israel’s ‘Bad Travelers’ All-Star Team.”
Buenos Aires: When news broke last week that Argentine authorities had apprehended a pair of Iranians traveling on Israeli passports, the news at first focused on the fact that the Hebrew in the forgeries was so hilariously bad that they could be spotted by an Anglo Oleh. Yet according to published reports, the amateur quality of the passports was not the reason for their arrest. Rather, alert Argentine law enforcement officers became suspicious after the suspects displayed behaviors that did not add up to their cover story of being Israeli tourists. And when a subsequent drug test of the suspects proved negative for Ecstasy and cannabis, Argentine authorities detained the pair. The Daily Freier traveled to Buenos Aires to get all the facts.
“When they said they weren’t on their way to an illegal rave in a national park or archeological site, that was when I first became suspicious.” explained Lieutenant Esteban C., an officer with the Argentina Border and Customs Department. “Then I asked ‘Netanel’ where he worked and he mentioned a real job and not some sort of ridiculous start-up. Also, at no point did ‘Rivka’ try to get me to sublet her Tel Aviv apartment during Eurovision.”
With Lieutenant Esteban’s suspicions raised, authorities contacted the hostel the pair had stayed at, and learned of even more strange behavior. The hostel manager, a British expat named Richard, explained his suspicions. “So the bloke claimed to be a certified scuba instructor.” explained Richard. “Yet when these two really pretty Norwegian birds asked him to teach them how to dive, he refused and claimed that he was really busy. But that’s not all. After they checked out, we searched their room and none of the towels were missing.”
Argentine authorities then forced the pair to take a drug test, with both testing negative for Ecstasy, Cannabis, and Bamba. Subsequent calls to the Iranian Mission to the United Nations in New York asking them if they planned to keep writing Daily Freier stories for us went unanswered.
Yet for those savvy travelers who are “In the Know”, today’s news was about as controversial and groundbreaking as “Jerusalem Shuk will be very crowded on Friday morning” or “Soldier on your Birthright trip is going to get lucky“. In fact, our friend in dire need of a cigarette failed to even break the Top Ten list of “Worst Behaved Israeli Travelers in 2017.” The Daily Freier caught up with some of last year’s winners in Ben Gurion’s Departure Lounge to find out just what it takes to join the Dream Team of Israel’s worst travelers.
The Daily Freier first spoke to 7th Place Winner Yoav and listened to him tell the story of the time he personally used up all the drugs in his Goa hostel and walked around telling people that he wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. Later, he described how he hit a Holy Man crossing the street in Kathmandu with his motorbike “because the guy was walking too slow“.
Yoav then introduced us to his cousin and second place winner Alon, who had just returned to Israel after getting deported from Australia for feeding bamba and coffee hafuch to a koala. “This guy on the Russian flight is off to an impressive start but if he wants to be a part of this elite team, he really needs to step up his game. I mean, talk to me when you’ve been detained by park rangers for giving bong hits to a llama in Machu Picchu.”
The Daily Freier was then allowed to observe the boarding of a New York-bound El Al flight to see some of last year’s winners in action. And the results were A-MA-ZING. We were able to observe 8th Place winner Nachum, a Haredi man who found a chance to bridge the religious-secular divide by refusing to sit next to a woman on the flight and thereby delayed takeoff by several hours. Meanwhile, another man had taken his bag out of the overhead bin and rushed to the front in order to be first off the plane…. BEFORE THE PLANE HAD EVEN TAKEN OFF.
We then had the opportunity to witness 4th Place Winner Smadar K. as she yelled at a flight attendant while attempting to board with her carry-on consisting of 2 suitcases, 6 huge bags from duty-free, a backpack, and a tuba. Once she placed all of her items in the overhead compartment and got settled, Smadar described the time in Cyprus when she stuffed an entire table from the hotel’s breakfast buffet into her pocketbook.
Next, we met Eytan. While some people refuse to close their iPhones during takeoff, Eytan took it to another level and decided to publish documents from his printer as the plane ascended.
Finally, the Daily Freier was able to get testimony from the field as Israel’s worst travelers crisscrossed the Globe. Yoni was 2016’s Sixth Place winner, and he Skyped in from Amsterdam while attempting to fit the hotel room’s flat screen television into his suitcase. “Hair dryers and bathrobes? That’s for beginners. Welcome to the Big Leagues.”
Then there was 3rd Place Winner Dalit. “This life is not for everyone. Our standards are high.” Dalit explained as she continued setting up the sound system for a midnight ecstasy rave in Cambodia’s Angkor Wat historical site.
Entries for the 2017 Worst Israeli Traveler competition will be accepted through the end of December. Winners will be announced in late January, with the awards ceremony to be held early February in Eilat. The Master of Ceremonies will be the “Ani Rotza Shokolad” woman.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.