Thursday, August 12, 2010

The People

7/12/2010: email to Dad

Dear Dad,

There is good news and bad news, well bad news from my perspective anyway. Bad news first: Mom is complaining non-stop, has cried about 8 times today and has blown up at me twice in public. I didn't do anything to provoke it. We spent the entire day today at a mall. AN ENTIRE DAY. First she was upset about not being able to find a suitable present for Hana. Then Grandma. Then she was angry the mall didn't have a place to do the eyebrows. I told her to let it go that we're only here for a week and she freaked out. The hand trouble is much worse, the allergies are much worse, the stomach is worse, the sweats are worse etc. I have no idea why we are here. This hasn't seemed to do anything for her yet. Mom doesn't know how to relax and let go of anything. Hana doesn't have any real plans for us so I don't get it. Hana commented to me yesterday that mom seems "not well." I feel helpless about it. So don't tell Grandma that part anyway. I thought this trip would help. She has said that she feels free though. It was definitely good to get away from Grandma and Uncle.

I asked Mom if we could spend a day at Haifa touring around or something but she intends to get the eyebrows, nails and toes done then go meet some long lost relatives that she hasn't called yet. She also needs to go to some office to deal with the passport issue. I'm trying to be a good sport and be along for the ride. She wants me to get together with Tania's son in Jerusalem but I don't know when.

The good news is that we watched the World Cup at Inbar's house with the whole family and it was really fun. They are such a nice group of people. I decided that they could be my honorary cousins because that's what it's supposed to be like when you get together with family. I like them a lot. Yanay offered to take me out tomorrow night which is really nice.

Honestly Dad besides the whole politics/enemy thing they have going on here it is a better quality of life. Hana owns her flat and there are no association fees whatsoever. No one fights with their pharmacy or insurance over brand name vs generic. No one is allowed an unaffordable credit line, and credit card companies don't stalk you to join them. The public transportation is efficient, clean, and easy to use. We took it today to the mall and it was a piece of cake. Everyone, I mean everyone speaks perfect English and look forward to the chance to practice it. Mom bought tickets for the train and spoke to the woman in Hebrew. After detecting another accent they switched to Russian. Then I asked Mom a question but the woman answered me in English. Switching languages was no big deal and it's something we think only linguists can do but here everyone does it like nothing. Going abroad reminds you just how much bullshit the US really is. If it wasn't for the security issue and political ugliness I would actually think Mom has a point about moving here. As it is, Hana watches the news about 5 times a day.

Mom says she misses you and wishes you were here. She also really loved the airline we took here. Continental is the way to go for international flights. It was comfortable, not packed to the brim, had good staff, decent food, and tons of movies to choose from. I finally got to watch Alice in Wonderland..........(etc.)

During a heart to heart at the mall I asked, "what are we doing here? is it really worth it just for a week?"

Yes it is. I want to be around my own people. Any amount of time would help. If I could just see what every day life is like for Israelis I will know what I can do next.

Bingo. I got it. She wants to live with people like her: people who switch languages, people who feel good in scorching hot weather, people who eat salad and white cheese for breakfast, people who have had similar families and backgrounds. It makes sense. After facing years of horrific prejudice from a nasty mother-in-law and dealing with disgusting customers at a thankless job, who wouldn't want to move somewhere they feel comfortable? I feel exactly this way during holidays, does it get worse? And so this feeling is why people move here. I always thought why the hell would you live in such turmoil when you could be in the States or the UK? I am starting to see why. I also thought she wanted to move to Israel instead of dealing with her situation better but no that's not it. It's possible that she never really liked or fit in to American life. Maybe she must move here. Maybe it would be nice if I visited more often.

No comments:

Post a Comment