Donnerstag, April 13, 2006

Hamburg through Israeli eyes

Walking alone in a strange city is almost never a pleasent experience, especially if you're two teenage girls... But it's even more frightening to be two Israeli teenage girls... About a week before we came here we were taken for a security brief-instructions how to behave, what to do and say, but mostly - what not to do; don't wear T-Shirts with Hebrew on them, don't speak Hebrew in a public place. Basically - don't let anyone know you're an Israeli and a Jew.
For about an hour we had to listen to various horror stories of kids who got into trouble because they "didn't follow the rules".
So it happened that when we were finally here, we found ourselves two girls, who aren't even used to the Israeli cities, in Hamburg.
Every little thing looks suddenly like a dangerous threat, the stories that from back home looked like a funny historical exageration became very possible.
The European countries in general are very weird for us. We come from a country in which a small trip to the market will require you to go through at least two security guards. Here even the malls don't have security guards, no one cares about these things like people do in Israel.
You cannot even start to imagine the amount of security we have in Israel, and we find it ordinary and acceptable to go through so many security checks when we want to go out to a café or a restaurant.

It's like millions of light years separate the Israeli mentality concerning the subject of security from the European one. When we got an explanation yesterday about the NATO army base it was said that the army is very strong inside Germany. In Israel it's not only strong, it's one of our main industries and it's one of the main things in our life. If you live in Israel you are most likely to have a connection to the army, it may be strong or weak, but it's there.

The point is - it's better in Europe.


Anonymous Margaret Baron said...

I´m really proud of you girls coming here and participating in this youth camp. You are really great peacemakers!I´m sorry that you were left alone to explore Hamburg, I would happily have gone with you... But you can be proud of youselves too, right?

10:57 nachm.  
Blogger Internationales Workcamp said...

Dear Mrs Baron,

as a leader of the youth meeting I can assure you that the girls weren't left alone to explore Hamburg. Part of the day we visited some attractions. For about 1.5 hrs the group members had the chance to explore the city centre (i.e. Mönckebergstraße) in small groups. They had a phone number of the leaders so that they couldn't get lost.

Nonetheless: We appreciate volunteers helping us to organize workcamps. Perhaps you'd like to give me a call?

Best regards,

12:59 vorm.  

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