Friday, July 9, 2010

Coming to America...

I'm back. I've been back since Monday morning, and since then I've been struck by a lot of things. The most recent is today-- how different it feels than in Israel. Today is Friday, erev Shabbat. It doesn't feel like erev Shabbat, except for the fact that we are doing preparations at home. People are at work past 12 or 2 pm, the buses and subways will be running tomorrow-- note the changes on the MTA website.

Sunday is a day off. I am excited for that.

When I got off the plane, the first thing that hit me was the signs in Spanish. Welcome to America. Then when I walked outside, the ground was different-- the pavement itself, the way the sidewalks looked. The different types of people, so many...and most of the black people that I saw weren't Ethiopian and the women didn't have tattoos on their faces and necks.

I was walking on 7th Avenue-- and couldn't eat in any of the places I passed. Granted, it's like that in many places outside of Jerusalem especially, but it's not that bad in general. We're not talking about nice places-- even just a falafel or bagel place.

I'm ready to come home. I love that my family is here, and I can actually make a decent salary...but I don't feel comfortable. It's just enough out of alignment that I feel it. It's not that I don't speak the language or don't remember the culture. But it feels like I have a wall surrounding me that I'm not really a New Yorker so much as a Jerusalemite. And yet in Israel, I'm still from NY and always will be.

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