(No energy for graphics in this post….sorry.)
Hello, my loyal readers, are you slowly trickling back in? Less than 3 weeks now till I return home. That’s home as in Israel. Tomorrow, I head home, as in Dallas. Yes, I used the word “home” twice. Nobody freak out or look into it. I remember asking someone in Israel a couple of years ago when he was last home, meaning his hometown, to see his family. He said, “Dude, I am home.”
Ok, Ben-Gurion, just answer the damn question. Anyway, I’m in the States for another two and a half weeks or so and I know I’ll be excited to return home (after two months away, who wouldn’t be?) Something weird I thought about at camp this summer: two years ago, after my first summer back in thirteen years or so, this time as an older, wiser oleh, I was really affected by my time there, talking about Israel with my kids and sharing the best of what I had experienced in my first year of living there. It recharged my battery, so to speak, and reminded me why life in Israel was so great (not that I thought otherwise but you can always use a little more appreciation of good things.) This summer? The last night of the summer, I turned to a fellow staff member spending his third year at camp from Israel and shared my feelings about my first year back. “So how do you feel now, in your third year?” He said, “Well, I felt that way my first year too but not anymore. Now it kind of feels like a job.” I felt the same way. I attributed it to being in a different job much more removed from the kids but not only did I barely get to talk about Israel, I feel like I’ll just be ready to go back, not as much driven as I was last time. What this means in the greater scheme of things or how my life will play out over the next few months, nobody knows. I don’t know if it’s necessarily good or bad, it’s just life.
A few more things from my recent travels:
-On the way to Penn Station, I hailed a cab on 79th St. Am I the only one who plays the game “let’s see how many consecutive green lights we can hit before stopping?” First, we hit 12 before it turned red. Then, we hit TWENTY-EIGHT STRAIGHT green lights before making a left in midtown. That can only happen at 4 AM. MAN, what a rush! You’re racing through town, light after light, BOOM BOOM BOOM!, feeling like you’re on top of the world! Until you remember that you’re just a guy in the back of a cab, wearing the same clothes you wore yesterday. Still, one of the most underrated parts of New York.
-Around 4 AM, I took a NJ Transit train from Penn Station to Newark Airport. On the back of the ticket, it graciously told me how NJ Transit does not discriminate against its passengers based on race, ethnicity, creed, blah blah blah.
What the hell is “creed”? Seriously, what is that? Is anybody discriminating based on it? If I go back on Jdate, I’m definitely including the following: “And ladies, if you don’t like my creed, don’t waste your time writing me……(oh yeah, and I’m just as fun kicking off my shoes and watching movies on the couch as I am wearing a little black dress and dancing the night away).”
-Do some questions ever get easier to answer? Based on the fact that I’ve answered some questions 45,000 times a day daily for the last three years, you’d certainly think so but when someone asks “so how is it?”, it’s definitely not just reciting it from a script. Actually, that question becomes ridiculous when often accompanied by “so is living in Israel just amazing?” When asked that in the last few days, I found myself tongue-tied. Do I give the truthful answer that life presents the same ups, downs, challenges, and pressures wherever you are and that life as an immigrant in any country is tough? Or should I just lie and say “yes, in fact, life in Israel is a Jewish Disneyworld, one in which cats and dogs dance paw in paw while doing chumus shots at the Kotel”? I feel a bit guilty giving the former but I figure it’s better to be truthful. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that Mexican food is awesome and there are some ginormously large people in the United States. Sometimes I wish my Israeli friends could be here with me just so I could see their reactions. I imagine it would be similar to someone seeing Bigfoot for the first time. Or Bigfoot doing chumus shots at the Kotel.
Ok, that’s enough for now.