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Holy Land: The Things You See When You Look Up

Matthew Harrison

Saturday, November 8, 2008

balloons.jpgBalloons seem to be big in Israel – or at least for people greeting their friends and relatives at the airport.
After an uneventful 11hour flight – which I found to go fairly fast – we landed safely at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.  As we exited into the arrivals area I was surprised to see the number of people who greeted family members with helium filled balloons – heart shaped, or circular with teddy bears and ‘Welcome Home’ written across the front. 
As I walked past them – I looked up and saw that not all balloons make it to their intended owner.  Lining the ceiling were a few dozen stray balloons that had floated to the top. 
When you consider the happy reuniting of family and friends, it’s easy to understand how one could loose their grip and let it float to the atmosphere.
That became obvious as a woman barreled past us and into the arms of a loved one exclaiming sounds of joy.
Our welcome – there’s five of us traveling together – didn’t include hugs and balloons but was just as warm. Our driver extended his hand and gave a hearty welcome and handshake to each of us; our guide was equally friendly as well.
I’m quite certain we’re in good hands – I would even trust them with my welcome balloons!

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