I am going to Israel in a couple weeks and have found myself in a tricky situation.
I am going there to see an Israeli friend from America, and she is insistent that I stay at her cousin's house. The trip from Baghdad to Tel Aviv will take me longer than it would from Los Angeles, and I do not feel comfortable showing up at a stranger's house sweaty, dirty, cranky, and demanding lodging. I know that the neighborhood they live in is called Neve Monosson, but beyond that, it's Greek (or Hebrew) to me. I want to book a room somewhere nearby so, at the very least, I do not look like I just popped into country expecting to be waited on. Are there any hotels in the area?
Also, I assume this will turn into a quick argument in which I will be told that I was foolish to book a room, and I will end up staying with them for the week. Is there anything I should know or do besides a thank you gift?