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Tags - internet
Here I sit in the Aroma Coffee shop at Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital of Jerusalem blogging away. I thought I would share with you about the modern convenience I enjoy in almost every hospital, shopping mall, coffee shop and airport in Israel - free WiFi. I forget that it isn't standard in other countries, especially in the US, until I return to the frustration of being asked for eight dollars in the airport for an hour on the net. I walk to the Starbucks in JFK to find only the same. I have to pay five dollars for a coffee and another eight just to check a few emails and update my social networking sites to let everyone know my flight has safely landed. For that price I usually forgo the luxury that has become such a given to me in Israel.
Israel has hundreds of "hotspots" or Wi-Fi wireless Internet network connections which allow you to surf the net through your own computer or WiFi mobile phone. If you are planning a trip to Israel and wondering whether or not to take your computers and WiFi phones, the answer is clear. You will most likely find them far more useful here in Israel than you would in, say NYC or most urban centers in the US where you have to pay in each location where you want to hoop-up to the net.
The easy, free access to the net allows you to capture all your moments here in Israel and almost instantaneously share them with your friends and family anywhere in the world. If you have a phone with WiFi access you will find it helpful in all urban areas of Israel and even in remote areas as long as there is a coffee shop and hotel near by.
I doubt that you will have any trouble finding a "hotspot" but if you are the type of person who likes to plan out every step of your travels, then you may find the links below helpful. They will direct you to the major wireless hotspots in the various regions in Israel.
The South (HaDarom)
The Center (HaMerkaz)
The North (HaZafon)
I suggest hooking up to the net in my favorite coffee shop, Aroma Cafe. It is the "Starbucks" of Israel in terms of popularity, but the coffee, menu and free net make it a far superior choice. I never drank coffee until coming to Israel. But the coffee is excellent - bold, not bitter, with a robust flavor that is almost silky. Nearly every coffee shop in Israel has a full menu of fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and even breakfast omelets. The pastries are made made fresh right in the cafe. You can't visit Israel without sinking your teeth into the warm Aroma chocolate croissant. And you can enjoy all these delights while surfing the Travelujah site for your next adventure in Israel, keeping up-to-date with everyone back at home and adding pictures from your dip in the Dead Sea or trek in the Golan Heights.
Thanks to Israel's nationwide Internet access, you can be a world away and still feel like you are connected to everyone and everything you need. I am still amazed at how technologically advanced this nation is. There is certainly a clash of ancient and modern here. Maybe it is best to describe it as a co-existence. It is fascinating to see how Israel can preserve the ancient while keeping pace with the modern. If you are fortunate enough to visit Jerusalem, be sure to walk down Ben Yehuda street and keep an eye out for the Franciscan monk, clad in a long brown robe, with a rope belt and leather sandels, who likes to frequent a stone bench where he is often seen surfing the net on his portable PC. I love this city!
Living life in the Holy Land