Day 1 – 1/6/12
Just got off the longest plane ride of my life, for 10 hours I had the pleasure of being unable to sleep and feeling like a fat guy in a child’s seat.
We finally got off and my first impression was that Ben Gurion Airport was much smaller than what I expected, but it was very open they had windows everywhere and had an interesting circular design.
My first impression of Israel was that it was still developing, I had sort expected either a metropolitan city like the US, or developing like what you would see in the less developed parts of China. It was more like China to me, there weren’t too many structures on the road and all the cars I saw were cars you would have seen in the US 10 or 20 years ago. It made me realize why the term/name Start-up Nation was an accurate name for Israel. My first impression of Tel Aviv at Dizengoff was sort of disappointing, I expected more skyscrapers and tech buildings everywhere.
But what made it a real bummer was that becasue it was Shabbot everything except AM-PM were closed. AM-PMs are the equivalent of an 7/11 in the states. So there wasn’t really much to do, except eat and buy groceries.
Prof. Bauchenheimer introduced us to the Kliens, Eric and his wife. Eric was an Pace Alumni from back in the day and moved to Israel to start a family with his native Israeli wife. He is the contact that introduced us to Better Place and a few other companies. We had dinner at a very hip looking seafood restaurant. It was surprisingly cold in Israel that night so we ate inside and the pasta was delicious, and the wine seemed fine, but according to the wind connoisseurs Prof. Kessler and Mr. Klien the wine was delicious.
Afterward I wandered Dizengoff St. and went to sleep early, my roommate Nikhil Kalyankar, grad student was nice enough to let me claim the small bedroom and he got the queen bed in the living room.
My overall impression of Israel that night was that it was a lot like the US but still a very developing nation.