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Israel Day 5: Palo Alto and market shopping!

Jessica Shi, student blogger

· Israel 2019

We started off day 5 at Palo Alto Networks in Tel Aviv, which is a high tech cybersecurity company. The first thing we noticed upon entering the office was how advanced and high tech everything was; there was definitely a sophisticated yet Google-office vibe present. 45 stories high, we heard presentations about the basic concepts of cyber security as well as how Israel is a hub for start up companies and entrepreneurs. Grabbing a hamburger lunch at the Palo Alto office, we were gifted with wireless chargers as a parting gift from the office and we headed to the bus to our first market of the day.

Tel Aviv market was hustling and bustling as many of the citizens were celebrating Purim. From clothing to jewelry to spices, the Tel Aviv market had everything imaginable. Our bartering skills were really put to the test here.

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After our stop in the Tel Aviv street markets, we headed to a scavenger hunt around Tel Aviv with our new goodies. To our surprise, we were all given tablets and separated into groups. Each group had one Israeli, which we were extremely grateful for as they dropped knowledge on the city of Tel Aviv and acted as our own personal translator when we were having trouble communicating with the locals.

The scavenger hunt consisted of multiple tasks assigned on the tablet. These tasks could include speaking to a stranger on the street and asking for advice on starting a business, visiting the Bitcoin office to learn a bit of history of Israel, or heading to the library to find the locker with the code to find fresh cherry tomatoes inside (BTW, cherry tomatoes were invented in Israel!). We were to watch videos, read articles, answer questions, and run around to areas around Tel Aviv to scan QR codes or find the answers to certain riddles all on the topic of entrepreneurship and Israel being a startup country.

After our little scavenger hunt, we headed to Jerusalem where we are going to spend the rest of our week. We said goodbye to the first group of our Israeli friends as they take the train back home to Nahariya and said hello to the second group of our Israeli friends as they arrived by train from Nahariya. We went to the Jerusalem market, which was also packed from Purim, and ate dinner and Israeli desserts.