As I write to you on this glorious Tuesday evening, I’m sitting in an outdoor cafe in South Tel Aviv, drinking my third cafe ha’afuch (literally: upside-down coffee, or latte) of the day. Funny thing — I ordered one. The waiter forgot Tali’s order and brought her a latte, then I spilled much of my first one on my lap, and was brought another on the house. That makes three. What a day! And the whole wheat Moroccan bread we got was served hot!
I hope it’s needless to say that I didn’t sit down on my somehow-still-functioning laptop this evening to type about coffee, but it is somewhat symbolic: the past few months have been nothing short of plentiful. In experiences, in excitement, in food and travel. While my past nine months in Israel were certainly great, it’s only now, in early summer, that I feel like my life here has begun. That’s not to sound melodramatic (I know, it reads like a housewife who just left her boring husband and moved to California: “My life just began! At 43!”). It’s simply true — my first nine months here were spent working 24-hours a day in a job that adds up to a glorified camp counselor, caring for and planning events for and protecting 75 teenagers for a study abroad program. I was never truly off, and phone calls came at all hours of the night. The job wasn’t hard, per se, just demanding, and it created the feeling that I was living inside an American bubble, like I was on an extended tourist trip.
But on June 5, the job ended. I’m currently unemployed, so to speak (though never truly; my freelance work keeps me typing and interviewing and paying some bills) and — I’ve got to say — I’m not worried. For the first time in years, I am not sweating (figuratively, that is; literally, I’m always sweating. I live in Tel Aviv and it’s summer. I sweat in the shower). Tomorrow, I’ll bus into Jerusalem and pick up my Israeli ID card, making this all official (yep, I made aliyah). For the past few weeks, I’ve been taking job interviews to varying degrees of success, and Tal and I found our first apartment. For the first time since moving out of the US, I’m a real person. And it feels fucking fantastic. Continue reading