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.

HOME.

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,
L'hitraot.

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