Wednesday, July 10, 2013

18 Months!

That's right, folks, we have been Israeli citizens for 18 months.  Thank you, thank you, please send money.  No, just kidding. 

This is how I can tell that we have adjusted:

  • At stoplights, I start going when the light begins to consider turning from red to yellow+green
  • The bills in my wallet no longer reminds me of Monopoly.
  • I can feel the coins and know which one is a 10 and which is a 5 and which is a 1 - without staring at them for 5 minutes.
  • I know that when it is time for my prescription refills, it is a 10 step process - none of that calling up and giving someone the prescription number that you wimpy Americans can do - and then having it delivered!  Nonsense!
  • We no longer have to have an IV drip of Valium every time we drive somewhere - we have learned to depend on Waze
  • I stopped trying to identify people's religiosity by what they look like 
  • I have resigned myself to buying clothing that costs 3 times as much as in America, and has one tenth of the quality
  • Cheaply made Israeli products don't seem so cheap to me anymore - like "Hmmm, that thinner than air plastic cup seems SO sturdy!"
  • We turn the a/c off every day, keep the trisim down and the ceiling fans running.  It feels like we live in a cave but it's pretty comfy.
  • We go out on our mirpeset every evening because it is cool and lovely - who in Baltimore wants to sit outside at night with the mugginess and the bugs?
  • I make Hebrew mistakes that are beyond embarrassing, but got used to asking whether I've used the right word or not, and it doesn't bother me as much.

This is how I know we have a ways to go:
  • We have identified 2 stores within a 25 minute drive where we can purchase white tuna
  • I still panic before interacting with an Israeli
  • The Hebrew sentences in my head, which are oh so perfect, have nothing whatsoever to do with the drivel that comes out of my mouth
  • I still hate the Israeli potatoes and long for Idahos, [but I have discovered the wonders of Pireh - the boxed instant mashed potatoes]
  • I cannot bring myself to buy Israeli cereals - it just doesn't feel right - I need to see that General Mills or Kellogg's or Post logo somehow - and hey, it only costs 3 times as much as Israeli cereal!
  • I still cringe a little when there are sales ads that tell people that the sale is on "Shabbat only!" since there is no word for Saturday here. 
  • I still make Hebrew mistakes that are beyond embarrassing.

And then here are the things that I still wonder at:
  • We can go to Jerusalem, the holiest city in the world, whenever we want
  • The scenery here is literally breathtaking - I can't believe I get to look at the Judean hills every single day - they are majestic and stark 
  • The entire country prepares for chagim and other important days - there are even billboards that refer to the Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av
  • The image of a guy with a kippah and tzitzit driving a truck/pumping gas/delivering mail - for some reason it makes me teary 
  • My husband is planning to go on a trip to Har HaBayit (aka The Temple Mount) on Sunday - I think that's one of the coolest things ever.
  • I love that the Israeli cartoons start having Shabbat music and cartoons about Shabbat on Friday afternoons
  • When you drive around you suddenly see an archaeological dig on the side of the road near a construction site - oops, don't build that apartment building until we dig up the ancient artifacts!
  • I am actually living in the land that God gave us to live in.  
  • I know I live in a country surrounded by enemies that want to see us annihilated, and instead of being fearful, I'm fiercely proud.
  • Will I ever stop embarrassing myself with Hebrew?
So there's a bit of a rundown.  All in all, the best decision our daughters ever made was to make aliyah, because that sort of made the decision for us.  18 months ago I could not have imagined what our new life would be like.

And now I can not imagine myself living anywhere else .


  1. Love this! My 2 year anniversary is on Friday. I also cannot imagine myself living anywhere else.
    And where can I get white tuna??

  2. Yeah, I didn't want to sound too grubby.

  3. I've gotten used to the cat food, I mean tuna. Now white tuna seems kind of dry to me. And, woman, regular cheerios at Rami Levi are cheaper than Israeli cereal!

    Let me know how much money people send you. If you're successful maybe I'll start blogging again.