Last I wrote, I’d just returned from Mexico tanned much like a Mexican and was struggling to grasp that I was about to move right on out of the country.
Well, lo and behold, I did it. Still not up to speed on the ‘grasping’ yet — the fact that I’ve been here for almost a week now seems simultaneously natural and completely insane. And yet, here I am, sitting on a mirpeset (patio) in the midst of a warm, dry and sun-drenched Jerusalem afternoon, typing a post and drinking a (god-awful, but more on Israel’s inability to make good coffee later) Nescafe. It’s a big jump in a way, and in another way, it’s not. I’m still me. I’ve still got this battle-worn, sticker-covered laptop. I’ve still got a Facebook account. Now, none of that will change. But thinking how much my mindset has shifted in just the last week, I’m excited to watch myself change over the next year. I’ll always be me, but me will evolve.
I landed last Wednesday, launched into an afternoon more humid than sitting in a sauna wrapped in a sleeping bag. My nohag monit (cab driver) had no idea how to find Tal’s apartment, thankfully. He also, it became clear to me, was the only nohag in Tel Aviv who spoke no English. In broken Hebrew, I told him the address. He told me, in shattered English, that said address did not exist. I insisted. So did he. An hour, six attempts to force me out of the cab and four phonecalls to Tal later, I’d arrived at her apartment. Continue reading
So we’re back from Mexico, and in less than 48 hours I’ll be headed to Israel. I’m seriously questioning if I’ll be able to devote more than 6 of those hours to sleeping.
I think the notion of ‘a trip to Mexico’ usually entails one of two things — college kids binge drinking Coronas while naked and/or wearing sombreros, or drug mules headed south to fetch a colon full of cocaine — and both are worlds away from the family vacation from which I just returned . Well, at least the vacation was farther from latter than the former. My folks, the small, pale Northeastern Jews that they are, often seemed comically out of place at our near-Cancun resort, as full of young-ish, sexy internationals as it was young-ish, Mexican families. I noticed an oddly small number of Americans, and those I met were mostly from the South, and mostly drunk by 11am — best summed up by our new friend Susan, the 51-year-old mother from Idaho who simply could never, ever, find her 18-year-old daughter, but could never, ever be found not double-fisting luke-warm margaritas, two factors that were undeniably and inextricably related.
That said, everyone got a bit of what they wanted from the trip. My father Steve got to sit on the beach and relax whilst the family was all together for seemingly the last time in the next year, my mother Randi got to hit the ocean and check out some Mexican crafts, and Phil and I stumbled into a series of adventures that I’ll give you a smattering of below.
Here’s a sampling… Continue reading
Hey friends, family, former co-workers, neighbors, casual acquaintances, total strangers and any possible stalkers —
I wanted to welcome you to the ‘Life Abroad’ section of my site, where I’ll attempt to chronicle the next (at least) year of my life, during which I’ll be living all over Israel. I’m hoping to update this page fairly frequently with pictures, stories, thoughts and the like to keep those close to me in the loop of what I’m doing while I’m half the world away.
But first, I’ve got to pack. No, not for Israel. That’ll happen in just over a week. Currently, it’s 11 p.m. on Friday night — in exactly 5 hours, I’ll be headed to the Philadelphia airport and boarding a flight to Mexico for the Official Jacobs Family Vacation, or the OJFV. Now, an OJFV of this caliber hasn’t happened in quite some time. Honestly, we’re a small, Delaware-beach-going family — my folks aren’t exactly the exotic traveling type. And yet, here we are, about to go explore Mayan ruins and try to avoid roving Mexican drug cartels. Seems a bit out of character for us, but I’ll go with it — my parents definitely wanted to see me off in a big way, and it’ll be great to have the whole family together for a week before we most certainly will not be together for at least a year.
It’ll also keep my mind at ease going into the Israel move, which, upon returning from Mexico with only two days to unpack and repack, will occupy me completely.
Off to Mexico…
Jim Ward is a busy, busy man.
His new bar in El Paso, Hope and Anchor, is still in its infancy. He’s currently renovating an old building nearby into a new rock venue. Oh, yeah, and (as we wrote earlier this month) he’s also releasing a new solo album. And touring Australia, writing new songs with his band Sparta, running his own studio and, somehow, managing to have a fairly normal home life.
Ward, who famously first became a punk rock household name with At the Drive-In, will release In the Valley, On the Shores The End Begins & Electric Six on August 2, on his own Tembloroso Recordings.
Ward talked with MOKB about many of his countless projects, and a whole bunch of other things. Check out the conversation below. Continue reading