6 quickies from visiting for 3+ weeks in the States

Just because. There are some things I must remember.

  1. So the ’90s are back. This I swear, I was thisclose to buying Doc Martins with my adult money. I don’t feel old. I feel great.
  2. I guess I’m so over it, I forgot to get a doughnut?
  3. Obviously my T-Mobile customer rep, who was digging to find out why I’m ‘always abroad’, is waiting till next summer to go on his Birthright trip.
  4. It’s very hard to avoid the news. It’s everywhere. It’s an ISIS beheading video playing right behind my son while I desperately search for the remote.
  5. There’s no people-watching like American people-watching.
  6. I’m always paying the family price for moving away.

Meat counter convo liz: So I guess I’m that person now

Standing at the meat counter in the local supermarket.

Guy to meat counter girl: “Yeah, everything is crazy, how are you doing?”

Meat counter girl: “It’s so scary!”

Me: “Hey, at least we know exactly when it’ll hit, it’s been evenings and that’s it.”

Guy: “It’ll be quiet till tonight, till they’ve eaten and organized after Ramadam fast.”

Me: orders chicken

Guy: [in english] “Maybe I’ll just go back”

Me: [taken by surprise] politely smiles

Guy: “You’re from the States?”

Me: “Yeah. You?”

Guy: “Yeah. I dunno. What is this? I think it’s time to just go back.”

Me: “What are you nuts?!”

Guy: “What do you mean, this life isn’t normal. This isn’t normal.”

Me: “What do you mean – America is crazy! Did you hear what just happened on July 4 weekend in Chicago?!”

Guy: “No…”

Me: “There were 82 people shot! 14 died!”

Guy: “Muslims?!”

Me: “No, nothing like that! Anybody! That’s the thing! Here we know our enemy, there it could be any crazy guy off the street!”

Guy: “Yeah, but this…”

Me: “No way, you couldn’t pay me… I’d rather know who my enemy is, we can prepare… There, everything is crime, anyone can take out a gun…”

And while we agreed in the end that perhaps, if we were to leave, Australia would be a fine choice…

…I couldn’t believe, with 100% meaning everything I said, without thinking about what I was saying, I had just been that person.

 

 

Nightmare: being a black boy’s parent in America.

I’m gonna do a lil Jon Stuart here and shift the focus to Camera 2: America.

May I have your attention? I have a question for you. For us. It goes like this:

What the fuck? 

The Trayvon Martin story. This 17-year-old boy was killed in cold blood when a 28-year-old community nightwatchmen (not a cop), George Zimmerman (they’re calling him Spanish-speaking white), decided Trayvon was a threat to HIS LIFE while he was on duty in the Sanford, Florida community. Zimmerman called 911 and reported the boy. He was meant to leave it alone for 911 services to take care of, but continued pursuit of the boy, got out of his car with his concealed weapon, and proceeded to attack. Neighbors heard screams. Trayvon was found dead with a bullet to his chest, after a wrestling match seems to have occurred in the grass.

But according to Florida law, killing someone in self defense is legal – in your house or anywhere in public. Obviously, carrying guns is also legal.

So when the cops arrived, no arrest was made of Zimmerman. He walked off, covered in an innocent boy’s blood. And there are no charges as of now because according to state law, he’s somehow ‘in the clear.’

Here’s some more background if you’ve missed it, because this is NEED TO KNOW info for all American citizens:

Charles M. Blow from the NYTimes writes a heart-wrenching piece on what it means to be a black parent in the United States : The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin

And, no, I chose not to go into law for 307562 reasons, but I gotta say, Florida, you really fucked this one up. This was self defense? And he’s a goddamn minor. A minor. You can’t offer the chance at justice in the case of a murdered minor? When the transcripts show proof of no good reason to follow, persecute, kill the ‘suspect’ by a non-police citizen with a record for excessiveness?

Trayvon Martin deserves the chance at justice, like every other American. The way this country was built to do.

Here’s a change.org petition, addressing Florida’s 18th District State’s Attorney (Norman Wolfinger), Florida Attorney General (Pam Bondi), and Sanford Police Chief (Bill Lee), as well as the the Facebook page demanding justice and spreading news.

On citizenship, mistakes and boobs.

Today started out with traveling (yes, it felt like traveling) over to East Jerusalem to arrive at the American Consulate to report my 1/3 American son’s birth and apply for a passport for him. Well, almost 1/3 American. Apparently there was a chunk of the application process which I missed: proof I’ve lived stateside for at least five years of my life, at least two of which I was over the age of 14.

Something that a whole bunch of people forgot to mention when I double, triple and quadruple checked I had everything I needed. Before going through the process today. For no less than three hours.

Life’s a series of expensive educational experiences. Or something.

Although I did get a funny story out of it:

Obviously, two numbers before we were called in from the outdoor waiting room, my baby starts to get hungry. I try to hold him off until we can at least be inside and know we are *thatmuch* closer to getting seen by a clerk. Finally we do get in and he has started wailing, which, I can’t really blame him for.

The room with the clerks is ridiculously crowded; Charedis, Arab Israelis, American-Anglo olim… everyone’s in for the waiting party. I look around but can’t find a bathroom or even a private corner to nurse him. I have never nursed in public before, but I figure – here goes.

Just as the shirt comes up and the blanket goes over me and baby’s head, my husband reaches over and tells me the guard said there is actually a nursing room in the back. I scramble myself up and get out of there, behind some ghetto curtain.

Meanwhile – what I didn’t find out until later – is that as I was starting the nursing dance in the public waiting room, an American consulate clerk was getting pissed off that I had done this. After I left, I heard on the loudspeaker a message in Hebrew that “those who need to nurse should go to the back, behind the curtain.” Apparently, he asked one of the Israeli guards to announce this. An Israeli-Arab guard who heard the announcement laughed and said loudly in Hebrew, “What, this guy has never seen tzitzim before? He’s never seen a woman’s tzitzim? His mother didn’t give him the breast to feed him?”

Of course, grouchy American consulate guy didn’t understand this. But lots of members of the room did.

I actually find that doubly funny since in the States, until recent decades, breastfeeding was not at all common. So, no. His mother didn’t. The dude probably has breast-envy.

And, so… here is ALL the information so you don’t make the same mistake I made regarding documents:

Note: They are actially great at emailing back ASAP.

Also note: If you gotta feed, feed behind the curtain or feel prude America’s wrath.

Bigger.

I just returned from a week in the States. Flew out for work, but I wasn’t going to let an opportunity like that go by without doing some shopping. What kind of Israeli would I be? What kind of woman would I be? And most importantly, what kind of pregnant Israeli woman – who doesn’t fit into any of her pants – would I be?

Here’s a little-known fact about me: For the last month I’ve been literally wearing my jeans open, held together with a rubber band, with long shirts covering the zipper. I knew I’d be going to the States for work and the maternity clothes selection here sucks; at least for jeans. For the rest I can wing it with over-sized or hippie fashions.

On my way to buying bigger pants for my bigger belly, I noticed a lot of other bigger things I’d never see here in Israel… yet:

Bigger remote control cars, courtesy of Costco, the bigger store.

Bigger battery-operated kids’ ride-on cars jeeps, also courtesy of Costco (Yes, they make them in 4×4 jeeps now!? What happened to the plastic tricycles I rode?).

Bigger remote controls, found at my mom’s house. Maybe the patent purpose was for the legally blind, but I did see them sold at household stores as a gimmick.

Well, I got my bigger pants in the end. And in the spirit of bigness, my belly ‘popped’ while I was staying in New York.  Which lead me to wonder if it was really my pregnancy or the peer pressure.

For purple mountain majesties…

The following are 1/10 the amount of photos I took in the last 48 hours I’ve been in Colorado visiting family.

It was hard to pick out just ten, and even that is a ridiculous amount to post. But guess what? The Colorado Rockies are breathtaking and I’m a country girl now. Ok, the Judean Hills are not exactly breathtaking… Which is all the more reason my 12,000+ mile climb into the mountain range was so incredibly cool.

The road ahead… is long and winding.

On the way up, past a lake.

That’s a whole lotta trees… Jerusalem forest pales…

The ultimate view. A little bit of everything.

This kid actually scurried by, posed, and ran off with his friends.

This was over 12,000 feet up,

What a palette.

A rocky view of Rockies.

Do not mess with this guy on the side of the road.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado: Stephen King’s inspiration for The Shining.