Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Honey, I'm Home: A Countdown

I returned to Israel on Monday morning, bright and early. On Israel Time, somehow the week is fast approaching Shabbat. Here is a list of how and why I know I am back:

10. I had hardly been in the country one hour when I had my sanity questioned by an angry group taxi/ sheirut driver. "At NORMALIT?" he blared when I asked him to take me to the front of the apartment rather than the back (which seemed to have a locked gate). However, when I screamed back "Slicha, ani oleh chadasha!" (excuse me, I am a new immigrant!) he calmed down and may have even felt badly. He also argued with this girl on the way back to Jerusalem over the best route, but by the time she left they were already parting as old friends

9. An older married couple visiting from Haifa chatted with me on the tram. One of their first questions was, not if I was married but HOW MANY CHILDREN I had. They said, they love all of the people of Jerusalem (including me)

8. Another day (my first day back to work, no less!), there was a twenty minute delay on the tram, possibly because of an unidentified package that was left at the Central Bus Station which was being investigated. Unfortunately, security concerns part of everyday life in Jerusalem. Security precautions are one of the only things (perhaps the only thing) Israelis don't seem to argue and yell about that much

7. I bought delicious fresh bananas, nectarines and plums at the shuk, all for the ripe price of 9 shekles total (>$3!). I also passed a stand selling "shmeers" spelled out in hebrew letters

6. Speaking of food, I found amazing goat cheese in the Land of Milk&Honey, in the supermarket no less

5. In the same supermarket in the same Land of Milk&Honey, I also confused my white dairy products and wound up with sour cream (leben/לבן) instead of plain yogurt (lavan/לבן), not to be confused with a cream cheese spread of sorts (lavana/לבנה)

4. I had an extremely tasty freshly squeeze juice from the shuk made out of orange juice, carrot juice and ginger. Tasty! Another wining combination: dates and bananas. When I asked about the pomegranate, the juicer knowingly said to wait a few more days for them to come into season

3. I ran into a friend during my break at work on Bezalel Street, one of my favorite places in all of Jerusalem

2. 15 shekel shwarma at one AM

and... #1. I have had my pronunciation of my street name corrected twice by two different Israeli cab drivers. However, the first pronunciation was corrected by the second driver who insisted that the first pronunciation was the "American" accent. It seems Israelis can find a way to argue no matter what, even pending time and space. More power to them!

Hey, it feels good to be home!

Cafes, shops and tram tracks along Yaffo Street. Photo courtesy of my father, David Nechamkin

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