I won’t reiterate everything, but last week was my hardest week during my last 15 months in Israel. I felt like everywhere I turned there was resistance. From the drycleaning, to the bureaucracy of my University, to failing the driver’s test because of a simple misunderstanding of language, to being yelled at on the bus by some freak…when I read what I just wrote it doesn’t sound all that awful, but there was more than that and I felt like each day there were at least 3 altercations where I had to raise my voice, or where people were abnormally rude and/or unhelpful. At the end of the week I was just exhausted from fighting. So I decided to go to the shuk with my fella and stock up on veggies to have a long weekend in, making meals and resting. I was at a stall of an old man, picking tomatoes. I picked about 5 or 6 when one from the middle rolled down a little onto the next row. Not onto the floor, mind you, just 2 inches down from where it was, onto more tomatoes. This incensed the proprietor. He started screaming at me that I need to ‘pick from the top’ and snatched my bag out of my hands, turned it upside-down, thus scattering my half-dozen tomatoes among the ranks of those I didn’t want. You could call it the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, because all the pressure of the week welled up and I flew into a blind rage and started screaming – in English, thank you – to this man’s face. Where was my respect for my elders? (Gone.) My boyfriend literally had to peel me off of him, at which point I burst into tears. Tears in English. So let it be a lesson for those of you contemplating aliyah: You cannot have whatever tomatoes you want. You have to pick from the top.

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