tomorrow i celebrate six months living in tel aviv. most days i still can’t believe i actually live here. you know that scene in ‘home alone’ when kevin wakes up, looks around the empty house, and asks in disbelief, “i made my family disappear?!,” followed immediately by an emphatic, excited, “I MADE MY FAMILY DISAPPEAR!”? well, every other day i have that same thought process — “i live in israel?!?”…. “I LIVE IN ISRAEL!!!!”
i think it’s pretty obvious from my effusive facebook posts and nauseating instagram stories that i’m head over heels for this place. so i thought i’d share a few thoughts on the experience of living abroad in this gritty, beautiful, kind of f*cked up but so totally glorious country i now call home:
- israelis (and the ex pats who live here) are some of the most generous people i’ve ever come across. it’s tough to make a good living here, but regardless of your haves or have nots, anyone you meet will eagerly invite you over for shabbat or share their bag of cucumbers on the beach (what.)
- speaking of cucumbers. the food here is BOMB.CO.IL. i eat more meat than i have in my entire life combined (mainly bc all the meat here is kosher.. well most of it). and i gotta give some props to those paleo diet fiends. protein does a body good.
- speaking of bodies. israelis are active af. in the best way. and i’m not just talking about doing handstands on the beach (but take a stroll along the beach here and you’ll see many a handstand artiste showing off their startlingly ripped biceps). israelis are active in life in general. they spend more time with their families. more time with their friends. more time having picnics in the middle of rothschild boulevard. i see my friends in TLV more in a week than i did in a month in the states. there’s a joie de vivre that envelops this country & it’s the most inspiring thing in the world.
- israel is inefficient af. i can’t count the # of hours i’ve spent in municipal govt offices; being tossed from one office to another. it took me 5 hours to buy 3 things in ikea. you ask for water 17 times at a restaurant and still can’t get it. patience is a virtue i didn’t possess that ive learned to possess — bc if i didn’t, i’d gouge my eyes out. self preservation, yall.
- shabbat gives me life. but seriously — you get to hang out with your BFFs every friday night, stuffing yourself with fresh challah and wine? it’s this emphasis on community and ritual in a way that can be completely devoid of religion (if you so choose) that’s beautiful & refreshing & makes me want to have shabbat every day of the week.
tel aviv has welcomed me with the biggest embrace i could have hoped for and for that i am mamash grateful. i love the people, i love the food, i love the often abrasive honesty. im bright eyed and bushy tailed and i hope i never lose that sense of wonder (cue ‘i hope you dance’), YALLA TLV! you’re my favorite.