Aliyah, stage 1.

hiya A,

…had an interesting convo with my mom today. she’s afraid that i’m not moving enough, not being productive enough, and i’ll hate this and come home. did i say afraid? ha, possibly hoping. well, she wants me to be ‘happy’. she is rooting for me, in the sense that i find what i want to find out of all this. and u know, as hard for me to understand as it is, no one is happy after moving to a new place not knowing anyone within 7-8 months… people here are lucky to find jobs they like after 2 years, and we all left our best friends behind… so i guess that’s the way it is… i’m allowed to feel lonely and pointless and unproductive, maybe it’s part of the process… i dunno…
i’m not alone, that’s the thing – u know when billy says:

“they’re sharing a drink they call lonliness… but its better than drinking alone…”

that’s what it is. that’s aliyah, stage 1. for me, and the people i’m sharing the drink with at least.

To dream, to live.

hey A,

i wish i could give u some inspiring examples from my own life, but its doubtful.

ive been bummed for awhile. since making aliyah, i have only really felt unproductive, unadventerous, and a lot of the time, alone. depressing. aliyah was like the climax of my passion for israel, and things starting going into a everyday routine life once i did it, which makes sense, because the point was to live here, not dream about living here. ok, i sound like i am being more hard on myself than i really am. it’s not on my mind everyday. but being jobless and not doing anything to better the world, the opposite of college, and not feeling smart and productive and powerful, is getting to me. understandably, i think.

my dream situation would be to go to bar ilan now, for conflict management, (which begins 0ct 30) and just get money in scholarships and study and volunteer and live off said-scholarships. or have a job that has to do with my degree while i study. and i have a feeling school will be harder than i think it is going to be. i mean, hebrew classes at grad school level. i have to take 2 undergrad courses and maybe ulpan on top of everything else.

truth is, im excited for it because it means getting back in touch with the old liz again. let the games begin!

so i was going to do this techwriting internship at the same time as school and be totally poor with no free time, until i end it and then get a job in techwriting and make a shitload of money at starting salary, but they havent gotten back to me and im starting to think i should lose the idea because its not who i want to be deep down, and i dont do things for lots of money in liz’s world, and if that is where i am trying to end up, then, well, eh.

so i have been in limbo for 8 months now. limbo is worse than anything for me. oct 30, i get to start school and test how far ive strayed from who i really am when i get thrown back into the cold water. until then, i should really work so as soon as i move into my new apartment september 1, i will settle down and straighten out my karma and my life.

i hate to not have positive things to say but i’ve been feeling really lost and helpless for a little while since coming back. i hate being dependent on people, i.e., crashing at peoples’ places before i can move in somewhere, and that kind of thing, i have no boyfriend for the first time in ages, which is a good thing in the long run, but bla right now… anyways… we both need to clear our heads and take control of the voice that speaks to us when no one else is talking… its hard but we are both powerful women who know what it is to be on top if we can just push ourselves there.

i miss u man… if u end up in jerusalem, u know i’m here for you. or even if you dont.

Current affair.

hi mom,

in response, i dunno what kind of news they are showing you there, but i watched it live from 11-5 yesterday, and its the most terrible thing ive seen after sept 11… little girls yelling at soldiers, crying, soldiers dragging teenage girls by their hands and feet from their houses, people burning down their own homes, people shoving babies in soldiers’ faces, and then these young men tossed paint and oil at them…
the thing is, israelis are some of the most impatient people on the earth, but the soldiers and police have shown a patience i have never seen in israelis to this degree – they really are hurt and torn by what they are doing, and they are really trying to be as brotherly as they can, even while getting smacked around with words and hands and paint… its a small light amongst all the pessimism a lot of people here are feeling about the social-civil war that is errupting…

who disengages himself.

i have not been keeping close contact with many of you, so i dont know what your politics are or where you stand or how informed you have been keeping yourself on the following matters… but…

it’s terrible here with the hitnakut (disengagement) and i just wanted to remind people that it is important to pay attention to what is going on, not so we can have a decent argument when we debate or be worldy, but because what is going on will have repercussions for our nation (the jewish one, not our respective diasporas) forever…

watching the news here, which is definitely more thorough than anywhere else, is emotionally tormenting. no matter what your political stance or agenda or preference, what is happening is not a football match or american idol concert; it’s not a matter of wearing a certain colour bracelet; lend it the respect and dignity it deserves, whether for the soldiers, who are torn, or the settlers, who are depressed. i’m meeting people here who are deriving superficial pleasure out of this and it is as pathetic and obnoxious as dancing in the streets in syria after september 11th.

this is physically, psychologically, nationally and emotionally horrific, for all parties. and if you want to take a tel aviv stance about the whole thing and pretend you’re living in a different country so it doesnt affect you, then you really really must reevaluate who you are and what being jewish means to you.

please give some time to learning the news to the best of your ability everyday and if you feel inclined, pray for every party involved. just be a part of it in any way that you can. this mess is not just a ‘crazy settler’ issue or a tzahal issue, or an israeli issue… it’s an unprecedented jew vs. jew issue that has a much better chance of destroying us than healing us.

i hope that noone will take this as preachy… i just know that sometimes i need reminding of what is important so i thought maybe i’d extend the reminder i’ve been given by being here to people who i’m pretty sure, on some level, give a shit.

Tisha B'AV rainbow.

its tisha b’av today so i’m fasting because i’m nationalistic if nothing much else. i went to the tayelet last night and when i looked over the edge i saw three things:

1. orange lights of the jerusalem skyline

2. blue lights of the jerusalem skyline

3. arab teenagers and their parents picnicing on the grass below.

this was disturbing because to me it symbolized something terrible. orange and blue are the colours of opposing jews these days, and arabs playing on israeli grass is a happy picture of normalcy that will come to pass if orange and blue don’t evaporate or blend to become an ugly shade of (nationalistic) brown.

oh, and…

hi mom,

the fast was fine, i went to a lecture about looking at the holocaust and other jewish tragedies and trying to find god mixed up in it all. i also visited the tayelet nearby (promenade) and watched jerusalem as i heard aicha read.

in answer to your question, my friends are generally split about the gaza thing. some are very right wing (anti disengagement) and some are very left wing (pro) and many just dont know what to think, which tends to translate as, well, if the government issues something, we are loyal.

i have been struggling for an opinion since last year, and i guess where it winds up is that im anti disengagement as it is happening in this way, and pro if it would happen in a different way – i belong to natan sharansky’s camp that says look, if its necessary for the country’s security, fine, but this very quick unilateral pullout is a bit hasty, and im also weary of this automatic creation of a tiny palestinian state in gaza run by hamas. i mean, u have to be a moron to think it wont happen.

i could go on and on. its not an easy topic to just explain away in a few sentences. im going out to buy a paper later.

oh, and today (monday) is really only soldiers knocking on everyones door handing them eviction notices… a symbolic thing i suppose since they all really know by now, whether they admit it or not. 63% of settlers have either left already, or have decided to go quietly. i imagine that will increase a bit in the next 24 hours. the eviction notice is giving them 48 hours to deal.

wednesday is when the party begins.

another week in israel. be well.

Israeli famousity.

my friend is completing film school about now, and to do so he is completing the movie he wrote and is directing, and when he asked me to volunteer on the set for a day, i said, yeah, cool man.
he’s had to fund it on his own, and he managed to get this famous young israeli actor to sign on for crap pay, but he was genuinely interested in doing it.

i knew that this actor would be there, but ‘famous israeli actor’ doesn’t mean much to be honest.
so i didnt know it was him when i opened the gate for him, or when i was speaking silly american hebrew to him on the way to showing him where the set was or even when he got into costume… and then my friend told me that was the guy, etai turgemon, and i was like, oh cool. no one else seemed to care either, that’s the difference – an american film school would have to be an actor’s brother to get him on his amateur film festival film, and the set would be in awe… but no one at the set was over 28 years old…

then i was staring at him because he looked familiar… where do i know this guy? of course, he’s typical dark israeli mizrachi looking so he could be any skinny guy on the street.

then i remembered – he’s the main character in that betar movie i saw on the plane to israel two years ago! hey, that’s cool. so i actually saw one of his films.

on dinner break, i stopped by the video store around the corner and found the betar movie, and there he was on the cover, a little punk ass kid staring back at me, with the same stare he was giving the camera over the set of drums he was supposed to be playing in my friend’s movie.
pretty cool, no?

Lizrael Update: The Interview and The Bus.

[LIZRAEL UPDATE: today i had an interview in hod hasharon (woke up at 6 am and it took 3 1/2 hours each way) for a technical writing internship program, at which the lady basically said she liked me and she’s going to try to set me up at a company close to bar ilan. it means i will be very poor for 6 more months, but after that, i’d rake it in. then i’ll buy my fans and lovers something pretty. she told me that starting salary is 10,000 shekel (a good salary is usually 5,000) and within two years i could move up towards 14,000 and in five get to 20,000. i feel like i’m not money driven enough to care but it sounds nice on paper. or computer screen. i guess i’ll collect money if i really do this and then go backpacking in style. which i think is what people out there call: “vacationing.”]

after an hour and a half of busriding (2 different ones) i get to the bus station and am told that the netanya bus will get me to hod hasharon, a suburb i have never visited, but am now for my interview. i get on the bus and ask the driver if it indeed goes there (you can never be too careful) and he tells me it does. i ask him when. he says 40 minutes.

it’s 40 minutes later. i’m peering outside windows to find any sign of hod hashron. none. i go up to the driver because i know he wont announce it. i ask how much longer.

20 minutes.

oh.

i take a sit near him so he doesnt forget about me (you can never ever be too careful). we get to a major looking bus station. i turn to the lady next to me.

hod hasharon?

lo.

oh.

i sit back. i cant finish a page of my book withut looking up at least once for a sign (you can never ever ever be too careful).

i have an interview, you see.

very nice.

20 minutes has passed and nothing has really changed for my situation. finally the driver barks,

hod hasharon, mirkaz.

is this the tachana mirkazit?

no, this is the mirkaz of hod hasharon, what else do you want from me?

oh.

i walk up to a taxi stand.

where is the tachana mirkazit?

you’re standing in it.

so hod hasharon is not very big.

3 1/2 hours after i left my place in jerusalem, i get to my interview. exactly on time.

-30 minutes later-

i get back to the so-called tachana mirkazit. a bus pulls up just as i get there.

tel aviv?

ken.

i sit down and smile. this time i won’t have to ask every 5 seconds because the last stop will be tel aviv, tachana mirkazit.

-5 minutes later-

sruga, tzomat sruga

oh.

he’s announcing every stop all the way back to tel aviv… so people know when to depart.