After over 24 hours of traveling (complete with an 11 hour layover in Newark, a quick trip to NYC, and a 10-hour flight squished between two Israeli men), I made it to Israel last Thursday afternoon. My friend Atalya picked me up from the airport dressed in her sweet army uniform. From there, we took the train to her town. While waiting for the train at the airport, I was convinced that I must have cracked out on something because I looked over and there was Nadav’s dad. Of course, me being a big freak, I look over and wave super enthusiastically. This is what I was saying with my wave, “Shalom! Member me, that cray cray who just won’t get out of your life? You can’t hide from me, Mr. Lidor! I see you over there.” Eventually, he recognized us and came over and said hi politely. I’m not sure if he was going to or from the airport, but it was just a coincidence seeing him there.
We went to Atalya’s house, I showered off two days worth of nastiness, and then we took a stroll around the local mall. It was early to bed for us because I was and still am jet-lagged and we had an early bus to catch the following morn. That’s right, I said “morn”.
We caught the 6 o’clock bus to Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel, located on the Red Sea. The trip took a little over five hours. When we finally arrived in Eilat, we had to walk fifteen minutes in 100 degree weather with heavy backpacks to our hotel. I then proceeded to take at least a 3-hour nap while Atalya wandered around patiently.
During the weekend, we swam in the pool and the sea, and walked around the shops where everything is “duty free”. The second day, we even went on a boat tour and to this indoor place with lots of ice. Their slogan is “Have an ice day!” So clever! I experienced my first Israeli beer on Saturday night. It’s called Goldstar and it’s pretty good. I can see myself getting drunk off of it in the near future, with or without other people 😉 On our last day, we did watersport as they say here, going kayaking and then getting dragged by a boat on this raft thing. It’s like tubing but on a big kickboard. It’s called avoov and I would highly recommend it; my gonads might have not.
These are the current trends in Israel at the moment. Tight, stretchy clothing for ladies is in. This one girl on the bus was decked out in black leggings and a tube top. Her figure was not working it, and there weren’t enough seats so she had to seat on the floor right next to me. Five hours of watching a life size sausage wrapped in a skin tight garbage bag roll around on the floor next to you is not the prettiest sight in the world. For men, the biggest trend is crack. That’s right: crack…as in ass crack. I think I saw more crack this weekend than Whitney Houston has seen in her whole life. Israeli men just put on their pants and when they sit down, bend over, whatever, that crack just decides to pop out and say hello. And it’s always hairy. Don’t manscape if you’re trying to pass for Israeli. Let that ass hair grow! Be proud of it!
After our fun filled weekend, we came back to Atalya’s place Sunday night and yesterday, Monday, she drove me to my university here in Jerusalem. The campus is really neat and has a great view of both the east and west parts of the city because it’s on top of a mountain. That means it’s fun to walk away from campus to the dorms downhill but it’s not fun to walk to campus uphill in sweltering heat. They took us on a tour of the campus and the local shopping area (which means they dropped us off at a mall and told us they were picking us up in 3 hours). They don’t provide bedding in the dorms, so it was my mission to buy all that shit at the mall. Can you imagine being dropped off at a bigass mall where all the signs are in a foreign language and alphabet and told to go shopping? They didn’t tell us where to go or how much things should cost so there I was in the Israeli mall trying to tell this lady that all I wanted was a blanket, but she couldn’t understand me because her English wasn’t that good. She got mad and asked me why I didn’t know Hebrew if I was in Israel. Duh, bitch! That’s why I’m here. The blanket was 30% off so at least my mom would be proud of me. Later, I spent probably twenty minutes at the food court deciding what I was going to eat because I didn’t want to speak Hebrew any more. I was looking for something I could order in English. I didn’t even understand the shit on the Burger King menu. So, after that lovely night on the town, I was exhausted and passed out by ten. This morning was our first day of classes, but I set my alarm to the wrong time and showed up an hour early. I thought I was late, and was like, “Where the fuck is everybody??!!” inside my head. But it turned out okay in the end.
This brings me to my question: Am I a dumb bitch?
My answer to this question would of course be yes. Who thinks it’s a smart idea to travel halfway around the world to be less than an hour away from a certain “someone”? I’ve been telling myself that the number one reason I’m here is that I’m “studying Hebrew”. If that’s true, why is it that all that’s on my mind is not Hebrew. Someone in Eilat probably hates their job cleaning toilets because I’ve been shitting bricks all weekend thinking about this dilemma. Of course, I love being abroad and trying new things, but the awkwardness of this new experience could have easily been avoided had I chosen not to come. Yet, in the end, I’m here for more than a month and I’ve got to decide how to handle it. Keep being a stupid little girl and worrying or try to mellow out and have some fun? Let’s try for the second option, but I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.
Lots of love to anyone who reads this!!!