There are three main types of backpackers in Israel:

  1. Regular backpackers that you’d find in any other country. Many are European on a 2-3 week stint through Israel on a short vacation. Some are also visiting neighbouring Middle Eastern countries.
  2. Those with more time, stopping to do some work on the kibbutz, and couchsurfing their way through parts of the country.
  3. Those on birthright (mostly American) who are at the start or end of the program and doing a bit of travel. They mingle with 1. and 2. at the hostels. You can find many of the young American females on birthright trying to pick up sleazy Israeli men in Jerusalem’s city centre, Near Ben-Yehuda street. Just follow the obnoxious pulsating music and the smell of nargila smoke, and you’re bound to hear over and over: “So what like was the army like? Did you liiiiike have to shoot anyone?”

There are three things Israeli soldiers juggle between their hands when you see them around the city:

  1. A gun
  2. an iPhone
  3. a cigarette

There are three main things you can decipher from a kippah (the head covering the Jewish men (or women) wear, otherwise known as a yarmulke:

  1. What is it made of? If it’s velvety, they’re probably an Orthodox Jew. Knitted, Liberal.
  2. Where on the head are they wearing the kippah? The more forward on the head you wear it, the more modern you are.
  3. How big is it? The bigger, the more religious. The size can also determine what Jewish sect you’re from.
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