Sometimes I long to play the Rich Little American game.
Basically, it’s a game that plays on the fact that I can pass for a tourist with loads of money to spend and respect to demand. I can go on a weekend holiday somewhere in Israel, give my passport number, pay in dollars and get treated better.
I can play on the stereotypes allotted to my American half of self, despite ever actually having been a Rich Little American before I got here. In New York, I never could have pulled this off. But here, I can hide, for just a moment, behind my thick Anglo accent, my cheery, optimistic disposition, my politeness.
I do get some sort of sick pleasure out of it. It’s more than a weekend holiday at that point, it’s a vacation from my life. From being an olah chadasha who does need to pay the bills off an Israeli salary, who daily struggles to speak eloquently, working to be accepted.
The problem with the whole thing is… to actually play, you have to have the money. So I rarely get to partake in the game. But the rare times that I do… Well, that’s a real vacation.