“Well, I came on a six-week trip when I was fifteen and just fell in love with this place. Whenever I would visit, something inside me felt alive and until I gave living here a shot, I knew there would always be a hole in my Jewish identity. In one word? Zionism.”
It’s right around that time that his eyes start to roll to the back of his head and he short-circuits. So now I stick to the second answer: “I lost a bet.” It’s more fun to confuse them.
I’ve also learned that there’s a big difference in what Israelis say to you before you move to Israel…and AFTER. Before? Everything’s roses! “Why you not leev here? Eet’s greeeeat! Byoo-tee-fool beaches! Byoo-tee-fool WEE-men! (wink wink) Ayn makom acher! (There is no other place.)”
“What ahr you, CRAY-ZEE??? I have cousin in New York, he eez meel-yon-air!!!” Hey, what happened to the first guy? “Oh, he move to New Jehr-zee…he work at mall, making lots of mah-nee.”
This place makes me laugh.