Last night we headed to Haifa’s main beach to get some drinks. The balmy weather, the busy beach and tables set up on the sand with candles brought me back to Thailand’s islands.

Anyhoo, the French girl, Dutch girl and I (the Australian girl) were sitting at one of said tables having a couple of beers, when a couple of guys came up to chat. They’re all topless, shaven and evidently confident. It’s the usual: what are you girls up to, travelling, met in the hostel, yada yada. They seem shocked that we’re three girls travelling alone.

“But we’re not alone. There’s three of us. We stay in hostels, it’s very easy to meet other travellers. What are you guys doing here?”

“We’re in the Navy. We’re circling these shores, protecting Israel should Syria try to attack.”

“What happens if Israel attacks first?”

“We’re American. We’re here to protect Israel, our allies.”

“…but what if….”

“We’re here to protect Israel. We take orders, we don’t even think about it.”

“…So you don’t think, and you just do what other people tell you to do?”

“…We get paid. This is our job. If we have to kill someone, so be it. Just like your job is to travel on your own.” Admittedly, they had a sense of humour, and great bodies, but that part is entirely irrelevant.

There was also something about how they thought they were lucky because they get to really see the world, 1-2 days in each city at a time. I imagine they get a very strong feel for a place and its people in a day. One of them said he joined the army because his wife left him and he had nothing left, and the Navy was the only option he felt he had. Then I felt bad, but not really bad because he signed up to potentially kill people (he works the canon, awesome! 8km away and you don’t even have to see any blood).

They seemed surprised that we weren’t impressed that they were in the Navy. Maybe they also didn’t appreciate being called mindless drones, because soon after that they went back to drinking elsewhere and found some drunk Israeli girls to chat up. I think it worked though. I bet those girls gave them a big fat thank you for offering their protection.

“The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.”

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