I have a friend in Tel Aviv who went to LA a few weeks ago. Months ago I told her, “I’m so sad I won’t be here (in LA) when you are here,” – and she said, “Never mind, it will be great to have you here in the Middle East.”
The Middle East? I thought I was moving to Israel…
But here I am. Whatever the ups and down of the experience will be, the underlying part, which is the heart of it all, and the best part, is that I am in Israel, which was a dream I had about a year and a half ago.
What’s more amazing than to witness a dream come into fruition, is to be living it with such regularity that one can begin to take it for granted and be temporarily dissatisfied. Why is inspiration so fleeting?
A bit disatisfied because I’m in the sticks. Arad. It seems this is ‘real life’ Israel. Yom yom. Not Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. This is the Barstow* of Israel. This is the Palmdale* of Israel.
When I first got here, they were going to show us the center of town, the medical clinic, the police station, the gym, the post office, the mall, the supermarket. I was looking forward to a good 2 hours of walking. It took 20 minutes. You get the picture.
Anyway, I’ve resorted to the Post-it thing. Above the soap a little note says, â€œSabonâ€, above the light bulb it says â€œNuraâ€, on the fridge it says, â€œMekarerâ€. And on the window, the Post-it doesn’t identify the window â€“ I already know that word â€“ instead it identifies the view. It says, â€œShum Davarâ€ meaning, â€˜Nothing.’
If Arad was my boyfriend, I would call it a functioning, but loveless relationship. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the city isn’t an apex of arts or culture, and I’ve come to realize what this place really affords me: Time and space to learn Hebrew without distractions. I guess there’s one bar I like, I can buy fruits and vegetables for cheap at the Monday shuk, and I even found one cocky Israeli guard at the merkaz to lust after. What more does one really need?