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Old 10-31-2005, 01:08 PM   #1
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Shalom haverim

I've found cabs are a great way to get around Israel, not to mention the cabbies can be pretty hilarious, but lately there's been a string of incidents where cabbies are scamming tourists. Each cab in Israel is--in my experience--often privately owned and operated by the driver, meaning they set their own rates, and it's common practice to set a flat rate from point A to point B instead of using a meter. A couple of cabs I've ridden in don't even have meters in the car.

The problem is I've gotten decent rates in and around Herzliya/Ra'anana, but when I've gone to say Jaffa or Tel Aviv (say NIS 70 or so, about $13-15), when I get a cab back I've gotten a couple of cabbies who tried to screw me (NIS 100 or more), most probably because I don't speak very much Hebrew so they think I'm a tourist. :greenguy:

I thought I was just being paranoid, but I read an article in the Jerusalem Post this morning confirming this sort of thing is widespread, especially in the touristy areas (i.e Tel Aviv and Jerusalem).

A rule of thumb I always use: if you find a good cabbie, get their card and call em again when you need a ride back! It seems that for every few good guys there's always a shady one in the bunch. Bargaining might be possible too upon arrival, but some of them are just downright hostile and it's just not worth it.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:05 PM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up! Im going to israel this summer (inshallah). Any other tips?

In morocco, I dont think any of the cabs I rode in were metered. There was a flat price (negotiable usually) and as long as you like roller coaster rides they were fine.
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:12 AM   #3
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Originally posted by bellelass@Nov 3 2005, 02:05 AM
Thanks for the heads up!* Im going to israel this summer (inshallah).* Any other tips?

In morocco, I dont think any of the cabs I rode in were metered.* There was a flat price (negotiable usually) and as long as you like roller coaster rides they were fine.
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Where are ya goin in Israel? Haha no kidding about the roller coaster rides! If you have any questions (about places to see, etc) let me know! There's a ton to do and nobody ever sleeps here Any idea on what airline you're flying? El Al is almost worth it for the fact that the moment you start the harrowing process of getting screened, you already feel like you're in Israel Plus the free wine they serve on board is great


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Old 11-03-2005, 02:58 PM   #4
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Well, I know we'll be based in Jerusalem, and spend a few days at least in Haifa, and take day trips into West Bank. Money and itinerary arent really an issue, its an entirely all expense paid research trip... I dont know for sure how much free time we'll have, perhaps the weekends. Any interesting spots (night clubs, some weird arcane site, etc?) that my profs might not take us to, but would still be worth checking out? Also, any tips on Cairo? We'll be there a few weeks too.
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:52 PM   #5
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dude, i love you saying inshallah to a jew (not meant to be derogatory in ANY way)! hilarious!
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:44 AM   #6
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Originally posted by bellelass@Nov 3 2005, 11:58 PM
Well, I know we'll be based in Jerusalem, and spend a few days at least in Haifa, and take day trips into West Bank.* Money and itinerary arent really an issue, its an entirely all expense paid research trip...* I dont know for sure how much free time we'll have, perhaps the weekends.* Any interesting spots (night clubs, some weird arcane site, etc?) that my profs might not take us to, but would still be worth checking out?* Also, any tips on Cairo?* We'll be there a few weeks too.
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Very cool! I'm assuming since it's a research trip, the prof will take you to most of the Jerusalem sites and to Caesarea in Haifa, giving you the whole schpiel about the different wars and everything on the way, but definitely watch for pickpockets in the Old City...that place is a freakin madhouse!

If you dig really ridiculously old archeological type things, about 50km south of Haifa in Herzliya is Apollonia National Archeological Preserve, where you'll find the ruins of this super old Crusader town named Arsour. It's definitely cool enough to see once, and most people who come to Israel never bother to see it, or even hear of it. It has this easy hiking trail with signs next to and explaining the various archeological findings there, some dating back to the Persian Empire. Nifty little waste of an hour, and Herzliya has some of the best beaches in Israel, so it's worth seeing.

You might also wanna see Jaffa since that's the other really old port, although that place can be a little rough As far as nightclubs, all the best ones are on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv...I'm not sure how to drive there but I remember you can walk there by going through the Carmel Market, which is also something worth seeing if you wanna get some trinkets and cheap eats.

As for Cairo, I haven't been there yet I'm going go to on a tour one of these days...but right now I'm just too broke. It doesn't help that Israel is almost as expensive as Seattle. Let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:49 AM   #7
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Originally posted by joanofarc@Nov 4 2005, 01:52 AM
dude, i love you saying inshallah to a jew (not meant to be derogatory in ANY way)!* hilarious!
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HA! Actually, arabic slang is SUPER common in Hebrew, and people say inshallah all the time. :P The Hebrew equivalent is bezrat hashem but I've only heard religious jews say that very often.

And anyway I'm not jewish (I'm goya! gentile! unclean american pig-dog! ) so I don't care either way :D

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Old 11-04-2005, 10:34 AM   #8
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i was thinking that it's much more ironic than hilarious anyway. it has lost some effect now knowing you're gentile though! hha!
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:56 AM   #9
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Originally posted by joanofarc@Nov 4 2005, 07:34 PM
i was thinking that it's much more ironic than hilarious anyway.* it has lost some effect now knowing you're gentile though!* hha!
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Speaking of irony, whenever you wanna say "seriously?!" in Hebrew the slang is "wallah?" It's a sin to swear to hashem (God), so they say wallah which means "I swear to Allah!"

Such a funny language
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:29 PM   #10
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inshallah.. hehe.. when I get back to uni and my mid east studies friends I use more arabic phrases.. hehe.

Thank you for the suggestions! Arsour sounds amazing, wouldn't you know, I am very into archaeological sort of things.. One of my favorite memories of Morocco was tramping about all day in Volubilis, listening to what the prof had to say and then wandering around by myself and putting the buildings back to rights in my head...

I definitely want to try to hit up Tel Aviv if some of my student friends are down, and Jaffa sounds interesting. I like rough port cities. There's something about the raw and viseral that greatly appeals to me... I had a question but Ive completely forgotten it, I'll ask it when it occurs to me agian.


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Old 11-08-2005, 05:47 AM   #11
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Originally posted by bellelass@Nov 8 2005, 06:29 AM
inshallah.. hehe..* when I get back to uni and my mid east studies friends I use more arabic phrases.. hehe.*

Thank you for the suggestions!* Arsour sounds amazing, wouldn't you know, I am very into archaeological sort of things.. One of my favorite memories of Morocco was tramping about all day in Volubilis, listening to what the prof had* to say and then wandering around by myself and putting the buildings back to rights in my head...

I definitely want to try to hit up Tel Aviv if some of my student friends are down, and Jaffa sounds interesting. I like rough port cities.* There's something about the raw and viseral that greatly appeals to me...* I had a question but Ive completely forgotten it, I'll ask it when it occurs to me agian.


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afwan afwan habibi! Hmm...intaraf arabi walla? You'll like Jaffa then - it's primarily Israeli Arab and the language spoken at street level is like maybe 95% Arabic with Hebrew slang tossed in..but you can get around with either cause everyone in Jaffa speaks both fluently Or English of course haha, but if you can speak a little Arabic it goes a long way there!

You should pick up some Hebrew in your spare time between now and the time you get here; you'll find it stupidly easy if you know Arabic, since the two are surprisingly similar and Hebrew has like 1/5th the grammar rules of Arabic

Anywho Jaffa's been dominated by Arab organized crime families since 1948, so it certainly has a lot of, uh, character Jaffa is actually like another world compared to Tel Aviv which is adjacent to it...the strong Arab Christian community and the mafia presence gives it a totally different vibe and look. It's definitely one of the roughest parts of the country But great if you like that sorta thing (which I do, as well! )

Anyway chalas, I'll let you know any other cool stuff I run across in-country between now and the time you leave for the program! Hit me up with questions anytime

masa el kheir!
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:01 AM   #12
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Marhaba! Kifek? (no idea how to write thism so I'll do with what it sounds like)
Oh you guys using all those words make me miss Syria so much!! Wish I could travel thru the middle east all over again!! but I'd better go to mySociology notes as I have an exam today

Salam aleco!
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:34 AM   #13
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Originally posted by florencia9699@Nov 8 2005, 03:01 PM
Marhaba! Kifek? (no idea how to write thism so I'll do with what it sounds like)
Oh you guys using all those words make me miss Syria so much!! Wish I could travel thru the middle east all over again!! but I'd better go to mySociology notes as I have an exam today

Salam aleco!
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hamdilah shukran alek! kifek inti? Syria wow I wanna visit there so bad! How long were you there/where'd you go?

I hereby dub this the "let's chat about how awesome and crazy the middle east is and flex our middle eastern language muscle" thread :P
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:54 AM   #14
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Damam, anhamdulillah... oh well, my Arabic seems to be fading fast... I lived in Damascus for a year in 1996... and I had the best time ever!! besides getting to travel so much I got to meet loads of great people. It was one of those experiences I'll never forget. We got to see most of Syria (Lattaquieh, Aleppo, Maalula, Marqab, Palmyra, Bosra, Crac des Chevaliers, Qalaat Salah-al-diin ...), and as we had United Nations IDs we could easly go into Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey....

So.. what can i say? if you get the chance: JUST DO IT! (but keep in mind that it's pretty hard to get in if your passport has been stamped at Israel... go figure... I had to use two passports-- pretty cool, if you look at one without the other it looks as if for 15 days I was MIA) LOL
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:09 PM   #15
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That was my question- I want to (obviously) travel in syria and lebanon afterwards (also kind of want to go to Petra and Wadi Rum, we'll see what happens) and perhaps in the future (not this summer, dont think I can fit it in) in iran, but they dont let you in if you have israeli stamps, right? Can I have them stamp a piece of paper and keep it with me in my passport or what? How common is this? Will they drag me off for questioning or kind of wince and do it? I will undoubtedly be traveling often in the mid east before I get a new passport, and I really dont want Israeli stamps forever emblazoned on page 14. You know? I already get dirty looks in British immigration for my moroccan stamps for petes sake. And they see fit to go through all my bags. Bastards.
hamdilah! shukran! wa inti? Drrstu fooshah foqot fi jamia, wa ureedu an atakalm al-arabi philistinee. Uheb al-looghat (gah) katheeran. Gah havent had arabic class in ages, and I hate having to trasliterate. messy. So even my poor but enthusiastic two year's arabic will help me there? Excellent.
Hebrew has about 1/5th the grammar rules? Are you serious?! Shit. I might take an intro hebrew class this spring then. At least I'd learn the alphabet and small talk and well thats something.
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:33 PM   #16
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Originally posted by bellelass@Nov 8 2005, 09:09 PM
That was my question- I want to (obviously) travel in syria and lebanon afterwards (also kind of want to go to Petra and Wadi Rum, we'll see what happens) and perhaps in the future (not this summer, dont think I can fit it in) in iran, but they dont let you in if you have israeli stamps, right?* Can I have them stamp a piece of paper and keep it with me in my passport or what?* How common is this?* Will they drag me off for questioning or kind of wince and do it?* I will undoubtedly be traveling often in the mid east before I get a new passport, and I really dont want Israeli stamps forever emblazoned on page 14.* You know?* I already get dirty looks in British immigration for my moroccan stamps for petes sake.* And they see fit to go through all my bags.* Bastards.
hamdilah! shukran! wa inti?* Drrstu fooshah foqot fi jamia, wa ureedu an atakalm al-arabi philistinee.* Uheb al-looghat (gah) katheeran.* Gah havent had arabic class in ages, and I hate having to trasliterate. messy.* So even my poor but enthusiastic two year's arabic will help me there?* Excellent.*
Hebrew has about 1/5th the grammar rules?* Are you serious?!* Shit.* I might take an intro hebrew class this spring then.* At least I'd learn the alphabet and small talk and well thats something.
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I've never heard of getting paper stamped, personally...you might just have to get a new passport if you want to go to Syria and Lebanon, unfortunately. I'm up zhit-creek in that sense, too, as I have entry and exit stamps from Ben-Gurion ALL OVER my passport It's one of the unfortunate realities of the bad blood raging in the ME...one of the reasons the arab countries do it is as a deterrent so people won't come here. You might wanna be bold and ask, but it's not a good idea to spook the Israeli border police...

Israeli border security is widely considered the strictest on earth...they interview you at least twice during the process, sometimes three times, and to say they aren't very accomodating is like saying Pat Robertson is "kind of conservative."

You should seriously consider taking some Hebrew! It will get you REALLY far here since it sounds like you will be here longer than just a few days, and it really is an easy language, especially compared to Arabic - they don't even use "to be" in the present-tense I've yet to take a lesson (though I'll start intensive classes probably this month) and I've picked up quite a bit! Plus the alephbet looks like some kind of secret spy code
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:08 PM   #17
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Ok. I'll ask my prof about the stamp thing. He's israeli.

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they don't even use "to be" in the present-tense
neither does arabic. teehee. That took me quite a while to wrap my head around, actually. Right on with the intensive classes though! Are there really any other kind worth taking?
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