Ish & Crew

by on April 14, 2008 at 5:00 am

so. there was much drama and debate among “the traveling geeks” today. we got a late start and missed our first– and i guess most important?– appointment and were running late the rest of the day. we had some afternoon fun planned to go see Ish’s bedouin village and then hit up an israeli winery. everyone was super excited about this plan. except our hosts, who really wanted us to make up the meeting we flaked on. totally understandable from their end, they are paying for this trip and spent a great deal of time organizing it.

still, we wanted to see ish’s village. the thing about driving around to office parks is they look a lot like silicon valley. site rank and that’s fascinating– as are a good number of the companies– but to understand israeli entrepreneurs, you need to get more than a demo of their products. you need to get the culture.

so we rebelled and went to the village.

i’m so glad we did. let me point out that i’m feeling HORRIBLE still at this point, woozy, coughing, my stomach literally feels like it’s bleeding from the inside. politika . oh, and my left hand had just started to go numb. not sure why…but i chose to ignore it.

we drive up to a concrete three (or four?) story house in a village. it’s the land ish grew up on. but not the house. for the first 13 years of his life he lived in a tent, the youngest of 11 kids. his parents, sister and nephew could not have been more hospitable. they served us bedouin coffee– which takes hours and hours to make and is a major welcoming tradition in their culture. . you had to just shoot it — and it was hot! it was billed as beduoin “tequila”– which worried me. in my house, i’m not allowed to drink tequila because it makes me very angry. website down . ish also said it was so strong it would keep us up for three days. English to Armenian . i have to say– i do still feel pretty awake hours later.

i was talking to a guy tonight who said i saw similarities in the israeli culture because it had been “americanized.” but these people were definitely not americanized. they only got power four years ago. still, there were these moments of genuine motherly or fatherly love and affection that directly reminded me of my parents. this unspoken way of communicating. particularly, towards the end of the visit, when JD was interviewing Ish’s dad and referenced Ish’s upcoming wedding. Ish’s dad did a finally!-thank-the-heavens gesture that any parent, of any faith, anywhere the world would have done. ip information we all laughed and needed no translation.

i still don’t think i’m exactly explaining why i found the whole thing so moving. so either i’ll get more articulate later, or you’ll just have to watch the video and see if you see it for yourself. but that’s the best you are getting at 1 am when i can’t stop coughing!

(btw- renee has pictures of ish’ parents here and conflicts with me on some ish details! i’m sure i’m wrong. was half coherent. sorry ish!)