10 months. Such a trip. In so many ways. Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting to wake up from this long dream. As if life here is happening parallel to my previous life across the sea. I can see myself hopping into my car, zipping through town to help in my dad’s office. Lacing up my shoes, plugging in my headphones and jogging through my neighborhood. Borrowing my brother’s beach cruiser and peddling around the bay and boardwalk on a lazy Sunday morning. Curling up on the couch with my mom and sister to catch the latest cooking show just to make something even better an hour later. Life here consists of basically the same activities but the people have changed. That’s the hardest part of being somewhere different then those you love. It’s why I take such comfort in familiar things at the moment. No matter how lame, if they remind me of home, I’m all about it these days. I bought American style peanut butter the other day. Caved and went to Subway twice. In my quest I nearly had a breakdown at the supermarket because I couldn’t find bagels to buy. Back home bagels are ubiquitous. As a Jewish food, I believed bagels would practically line the streets of Israel. Smoked salmon would serve as throw blankets and cream cheese passed out like water during a marathon. I looked at Shay with tears in my eyes when this image disappeared for me in the bakery section of the market. I haven’t lost all hope. There are bagels here. Guess I caught the market on a bad day. None the less it sort of sent me into a spiral of homesickness a month and half before I return to the states for the month of July. Almost. Made. It.
There’s no place like home.
May 17, 2011 by Olivia and the Giant Falafel
Meanwhile. My parallel life here in Israel continues to move forward. The transition from wandering tourist to toiling resident is in full effect. I’m mixing in some fun though. Spring is here and summer is peeking around the corner. To hurry it along I’ve spent as much time at the beach as possible. With the soft sands of Tel Aviv just a 5 minute stroll from my apartment, there’s really no excuse. I love the beach mentality here. There’s no fuss like I remember back home. Just throw on your suit and toss a few snacks in your bag and out the door. If you need an umbrella or beach chair they are already there. Just a few shekels and they are yours for the day. Paddle ball, matkot, kadeema, whatever you know the game as, it is played all over the beach. The ping, ping, ping is relentless. Dozens of sand floored restaurants and patios line the tiyelet, or what we would call the boardwalk. It’s all very southern California but distinctly Tel Aviv at the same time.
The street I live on that leads me straight to the beach has it’s own special charm. Everything I need is at my finger tips. Amazing food every direction. A convenient laundry service downstairs run by an adorable elderly couple. She called me chamudah, the equivalent of cutie, the other morning. There’s something about this street that reminds me a bit of San Francisco. Maybe it’s the hipster and vintage clothing shops every 2 steps. And the fact that every person here owns a dog. Right now I’m appreciative of anything that reminds me of my parallel life. So close I can taste it.