Lia, Claudiaexpat’s niece, lived in Jerusalem for a few months with her dog, Marley. Here she tells us about her adventures when she left Israel. Thank you, Lia!
Let’s say that a dog certainly does not feel degraded, leaving from Tel Aviv. It is treated with all the honors reserved for its master. Marley received a dreaded 6.1 (classification code of “dangerousness” of the subject, ranging from 1 to 6) like me, and while a nice and inflexible lady was busy dismantling my luggage piece by piece, one of her colleagues treated Marley’s things in the same way, carefully checking her cage, bowl and cover. While a kind and unyielding lady searched me in a closed room, a colleague groped Marley. As my bags were X-rayed, her cage, bowl, bed, leash and collar, flea collar, and even her bone suffered the same fate.
When entering Israel I was amazed that nobody asked to see the myriad of papers I had to produce in order to get Marley into the country (passport, health card, good health certificate, and a faxed form to be collected from the ASL vet and sent to the airport up to 10 days before departure), but when I left I was not spared even a scrap of paper, they asked me to produce everything. They even wanted to see a certificate of registration with a local vet, without which there is a risk that the animal is put in quarantine before leaving, so it is important for travelers to have this certificate issued (any vet can do it at a cost of about 20 euros) while staying in Israel.
Last but not least, when the moment came to deliver the cage (20 kgs) in the oversize department, we found an elderly gentleman waiting for us, who left me and my partner the honor of lifting it and placing it on the conveyor belt with no help whatsoever.
The stopover at Paris CDG airport was no less adventurous, because due to a bizarre airport regulation, I had to spend all 6 hours before my connecting flight in front of the check-in area, since the dog was not allowed in the Duty Free areas, unless I decided to send her in the luggage room several hours before the flight. I am actually writing this article sitting on a chair at the airport, next to a sleeping middle-aged homeless woman, and beside a trolley on which I miraculously managed to stack the cage, my 20 kgs suitcase, my 12 kgs carry-on baggage and my computer bag. And, of course, Marley lying at my feet, probably wondering if I have decided to follow my neighbour’s footsteps.
After a refreshing tea that cost me 2.70 euros, and ten minutes in line with one hand holding the leash, the other one holding up the luggage, the shoulder pushing the handle of the cart to edge it forward and a foot rying to stop Marley from sniffing and licking everyone in the queue, it is almost time for my flight. Next episode from Milan!
N.B.: there is a security regulation at Tel Aviv airport in Tel Aviv, whose legality I strongly doubt, which requires the dog’s cage to be sealed with plastic clips that cannot be opened except with scissors. Since I obviously had none with me, it took the baggage handlers twenty-minutes to open the cage in Paris. Moreover, as in Paris we only had a stopover, the cage had to be resealed (apparently it has to arrive at its destination in exactly as it left from the original port), so that the whole rigmarole had to be repeated on arrival at Malpensa.
Thanks Paola for proofreading!