Thursday, August 17, 2006

I remain undecided...

...on whether I want to continue this blog or not. I will probably just archive it and start another one, if I have time for it in school.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Being at home

At home, everything is weird.

After an 11-hour flight, everything is weird.

My mom and my boyfriend and my dad are weird. I can't relate to them anymore, but hopefully I will recover.

I think in Hebrew and begin my questions in Hebrew. At restaraunts, I want to order in Hebrew and I want to ask for directions in Hebrew, and at the same time, I am mortally afraid that I will lose Hebrew.

The conflict is no longer an hour and a half away, but a world away. I watch it all the time on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and it seems weird, because it's not the same thing at all. It's a bunch of soldiers marching on screen, so completey detached from everything I know. It's not people talking about the situation anymore, it's not an innate fear that comes up every once in a while. It's clean, sanitary.

Everywhere I go, it's too quiet. Not enough action. Not enough of anything. I forget that they don't sell humus in grocery stores. I have a dream about buying humus and pita in Giant. I feel lonely among people.

It's ridiculously hard to adjust. I miss Galgalatz at work every day and it's not the same when I listen to it online.

We go to a lake. We drive an hour to get there. We are still in the same state, almost in the same area. One hour is the distance from Tel Aviv to Haifa. In another 2.5 hours, you are in Lebanon. In another 2.5 hours here, you are in Pittsburgh, still in Pennsylvania. Everything is so big, so quiet.

But across the ocean, everything is loud and hot and small. And I wish I were there. Not in Tel Aviv, because I've learned that I hate the city, but in Herzliyya, or Ra'anana or somewhere quiet, where I can sit on a porch and think.

Because my thinking has just begun.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lahzor l'baita (To return home)

I am going home in three days. (two, if you don't count today.)

My flight is at 12:05 in the morning on Friday.

And after that, I don't know when I'll be back here. But I know I will. Because from the very beginning, I realized that, for better or worse, something in my mind tied me to this country for life.


It's crazy. I just gave my final presentation for the bank for the e-banking division, and it was kind of sad, because I realize I'll never have coworkers this awesome in America. They will never wear jeans to work and text people during meetings and offer me cake for their birthday and just be ISRAELI. Everything will be tense and stressed out, as it is here sometimes, but every day. I will never be able to leave early just because I've finished all my work, or have falafel for lunch. I will never be working in an area that's possibly going to get bombed by Nasralla (maybe it's for the better that way,) and I'll never be closer to current events (unless I decide to check out Haifa and Kiryat Shmona before I leave.)

I'll never be able to go to the beach after work, or realize that, after two months of trying to speak and understand Hebrew, I understood much more than I realize, and feel triumph. There are no Hebrew road signs in America, no Hebrew menus, no Hebrew national anthems, no Hebrew anything. I hope I won't forget the language. And everyone needs to help me practice. If you are reading this, and you speak Hebrew, and you know me, DABER ITI B'IVRIT.

At home, there are no bomb shelters, no suicide bombings, no air raid threats, no refreshing the news every five seconds, no frantic cell phone calls, no adrenaline. At home is Dan. And Mer. And Russell. And everyone else.

But, at home, there is no humus (good humus anyway), no falafel (College Pizza does not count), no Yalla ya nasralla , no Israeli soldiers, no Jerusalem, no Neve Shalom, no nana, no Galilee, no Dead Sea, no right-wing Russian immigrants...wait, there are right-wing Russian immigrants (hi mom), no bookstores that sell the Torah in Russian, no Israeli salad, no Eyal Golan and Idan Yaniv. There is no Kotel Maariv, no small coffee shops, no Israeli fruit stands, no Israel.

At home, there is no Israel, and that is the probelm. But in Israel, there is no America, even though everyone speaks English and there is McDonald's and iced coffee. There is no peace, there is always nervousness. The country is small and surrounded by people who hate it. In America, there are no morbid thoughts, "Where do I need to be if something happens?" "What are my chances of survival if something happens in Tel Aviv?" "Will I be able to call people on my phone, or will the lines be jammed?" "How many suicide bombings are being planned right now?" "Why are there so many helicopters flying over Tel Aviv?" "What does it feel like to sit in a shelter for days in a row?" And then, "I am so naive and stupid for thinking all of these things."

Sof sof (finally), I don't know what conclusions I can make about my internship and my time in Israel in general. I may post about it after I get home, I may write an essay that I will post on my website, I may just do nothing at all and if you ask me, I'll give you some conclusions. For now, I just want to get on the plane and sleep a deep sleep that ends only when I am home, in my bed.

Until then,

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Not much time to report everything that's been going on lately. don't worry, you'll be hearing all about it. Just a few observations.

  • Today in the bathroom, I heard a woman talking on her cell phone. IN THE STALL.
  • You know you've been in Israel too long when you can sing and know every song on the radio
  • You know you've been in Israel too long when someone says "excuse me" and you are startled by why they could be saying that
  • I have the Yalla Ya Nasralla song stuck in my head:
  • I am meeting my friend Ronen for lunch today! He goes to Penn State with me, but he's Israeli and Spanish. He's awesome.
  • We have our presentation tonight in front of the CEO, plus 30 other important bank people and I've been appointed to speak. Gulp.