Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

July 17, 2004

OLS 2004 BLOG, Day 1 – Hotel@MIT

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 4:00 AM

So, at long last, we made it to Boston. We’re staying at the hotel
with the silly name, Hotel@MIT. Silly
name, but lavish accomodations. Full amenities included, and weird and
wonderful stuff wherever you turn. Pictures of our hotel room to
follow later – it’s pretty messy at the moment.

After relaxing at the hotel, and taking a very-badly-needed shower, we
ventured out for lunch. We found ourselves in a nice Indian
restaurant, just a few blocks from the hotel, where we had the lunch
buffet. Then we started walking toward Harvard Square, down
Cambridge’s Massachusets avenue (I think). I took a few

drawn wall
some house
lovely inner courtyard

Sadly, our trip didn’t last very long, as I managed to rip a very
large hole in my pants, in a fairly strategic location. We turned
around and went back to the hotel. Defeated, we went to sleep “for
just an hour”, and woke up at 2 AM. So much for our first day in

Interlude – Swan pictures from the Haifa Zoo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 3:48 AM

On the last weekend before we left for the OLS world tour, Orna and
me visited the entrance (we didn’t even go in!) of the Haifa Zoo. We saw this
swan there
, just wandering outside.


[edit: ok, ok, you can stop laughing at poor Muli and his in-ad-eq-u-a-te Inglish. It’s a bloody peacock, but it’s still beautiful! ;-)]

OLS BLOG 2004 Day 1 – EWR Can Eat My Shorts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 3:37 AM

The remainder of the flight to Newark was uneventful. People were waking up, and the traffic to and from the lavatories was considerably annoying, as every single one of them had to brush up against me – or so it seemed. I had ample time to further develop my anti-social tendencies. Except for doing that, I read a bit, hit the keys on the laptop semi-randomly a bit, and waited for the 11 hours and 30 minutes flight to be over already! Orna, on the other hand, slept. Good for her.

Then we landed at EWR, also known as Newark Airport, just outside of New York, also known now as the airport from hell. To understand what follows, you have to know two simple facts. We landed at 5 AM, disoriented and jet-lagged. We also had a 7:30 AM connecting flight to Boston.

It all started with one small, innocent mistake. After leaving baggage claim, a paltry 45 minutes after landing, the guy who stood at the entrance to the “connecting flights” area kept telling people that only people on our flight who are proceeding to Miami should go there. The rest should head over to the other terminals for their flights. Sounds reasonable, thought we, and proceeded by monorail to Terminal B.

In Terminal B, madness ensued. There were lines of teeming people everywhere. The signs made no sense. Each person we asked for information gave us an answer that contradicted what the previous person said. By this time, 6;30 AM, they were also telling us we had no chance of making our 7:30 flight. Eventually, after running across the considerably-sized terminal several times, we found the place to check in our baggage. Then we started looking for a place to get a boarding pass. That turned out to be the first class lines. Which were very long. And not moving. Unlike the hands of Orna’s watch.

At this point, we were resigned to missing our flight, and our luggage, which was already checked in to a flight we weren’t going to make. We were sweaty, disheveled, annoyed, and on the verge of panic. We wondered if they will they blow the luggage up when we don’t show up to the flight? We decided to ask one more person for help, to stop our baggage from getting blow up. This person, an unnamed Continental employee, was our savior. She whisked us through lines, she got us our boarding passes by moving up to the head of the queue, she got us through security in record time, and to the entrance to the gate area. It was 7:20 by this time. She told us that we better run if we want to make our flight, and disappeared. We don’t know her name, but if we did, we would be sending a very nice letter to Continental management on her behalf, asking that she get a raise. She sure as hell deserves one.

So there we were, at the entrance to the gate area, with barely five minutes to spare. We ran. Thank god for PNS training, or I think I would’ve barfed, fainted, or both. This gate was FAR. As it was, I made it to the gates just a few seconds after Orna, even more sweaty and annoyed than I was before, if that was possible.

The flight attended looked at our tickets, and said that there’s only one here, yours, Ma’am, and where’s yours, Sir? Don’t you have a blue Continental package? I’m sorry, but I cannot let you board the plane without a ticket. Nothing we said helped. I showed her all of my tickets (I have quite a lot of them for this trip, in several different bundles, all of which look alike), but neither she nor we could find the ticket, and nothing we said could persuade her. After several minutes of this back and forth, she left us and closed the door leading to the plane behind her. We resigned ourselves to beginning the entire ordeal of getting on a Boston flight in this mad airport from the beginning, and this time with a missing ticket, too. As we were turning to leave, Orna took a last look at the tickets and realized that we’ve had my ticket all along, as well as her. The attendant kept looking at our two tickets and seeing only one. Furrfu! Arrrgh!

We shouted to the other attendant to STOP THAT PLANE. Quite loudly, I’m afraid. She turned to us in shock, looked at our tickets, opened the door and led us to the plane.

After that, it was all comparatively smooth sailing. Murphy was having a field day. First they wouldn’t give our boarding pass stubs, which we needed for the expense accounts. Then, it turned out that the plane wasn’t going anywhere – the fscking captain was missing! eventually, the captain was located and the plane took off – at 8:15 or so. So much for running down Newark airport to catch our 7:30 flight.

Next – hotel@MIT rocks!

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