Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fun and Games on Rothschild Blvd.

I didn't have my camera with me, so I can only describe what I saw this morning: a large group - at least 30 - of mostly white-haired people clustered together, walking slowly up Rothschild Blvd., as I took Shuki for her morning, walk at 2PM. Aha, I thought. A swarm of tourists.

Now I got to indulge in one of my favorite games: guess what country the tourists are from, based on their appearance alone. Living in a UNESCO World Heritage site gives me plenty of opportunity to indulge, and I've become a bit of a tourist-connaisseur. But this group was challenging: their walk and dress was too square to be Israeli or Russian. They were too tall and fit to be Italians. Too quiet to be Americans, and besides, American women wear sunhats and and American men wear baseball caps. in this group, only the men were wearing hats, no baseball caps. French? Not stylish enough. Scandinavians? They were wearing mostly solid colors, and I had a feeling, possibly because of Marimekko memories, that the Scandinavian women would sport tops with a bit more color.

Shuki and I managed to approach the group slowly and look nonchalant while I listened to their language: German. Their leader did not use a megaphone or a microphone, so they had to stand close to him to listen to his spiel. I know enough German to know it when I hear it, but not enough to understand what he was saying. I've encountered German skin-patient tourists in Israel before, in planeloads at the Dead Sea for (their) government-sponsored psoriasis cures; I've encountered German Christian tourists in groups at the various plentiful Christian holy places like Jerusalem and Tiberias. I've encountered individual German tourists in Tel Aviv, but never before an organized group of well-heeled retirees.

Once again I get to think how the world has changed during my lifetime.

4 comments:

Judy said...

Could they have been well-heeled German Jewish refugees? The UK's AJR takes groups of refugees (now 80+) on Israel tours....

Laurie G said...

While traveling I often see a group that I initially think are Americans who turn out to be Germans. Both types are tall and kind of physical, but the distinction is that the Germans wear better shoes.

Savtadotty said...

Judy, I wouldn't expect them to be speaking only German if they were refugees from 60+ years ago. The American Jewish refugees I know don't like to speak German, and some even refuse to.

Laurie, Yes German shoes are better; at least the ones that tourists wear :-)

Fred said...

I've heard that U.S. will sometimes stitch Canadian flags on their backpacks so people don't identify them as "those ugly Americans."