Monday, June 6, 2011

The Naked Blog

“It’s time to wake up, the time is 8:30.” The alarm… snooze it! It’s distinct and annoying but it’s nostalgic of India, and soon will be too of Israel.

It’s 8:45 and Becky comes to knock on the door to make sure Rach and I are awake. “We can go to Tapuz but we have to leave soon” she said. Yes!! I love that place!!

Before we leave, the three of us facebook stalk this guy I grew up with who’s super good looking now and engaged to this tiny hot girl. He was that one who got away. “They’re cute together” I said in an unconvincing way. Then Becky said, “no they’re not, they’re annoying together. They’re so like ‘I’m so small and you’re so big!’” That one’s gonna get a lot of mileage.

Tapuz was delicious. I’m so grateful for a roommate who knows how to eat. We talked about the benefits of marrying a good friend. “Who’s that best friend you’d marry, Abbs?” Rach asked me. I answered her but what I said doesn’t get to go on my blog :)

Rachel left for Tel-Aviv, Becky went to run errands, and I went home to visit with Ephrat. It’s so nice being in a community where friends here are like family. I miss that in Nashville. She asked me about my plans for the rest of the day. “I think I’m going to Ramallah tonight with my neighbors who coach a school basketball team. Their kids are going to the championship!” “Well, that sounds like fun!” Ephrat said. “You just might want to be careful though because today there are supposed to be a lot of riots there. It’s not Naqba Day but it’s another day like it.” There’s that reminder again… I always have to think twice about what I do here… even when I’ve already thought twice I have to think twice more.

I did some work at home for the next few hours. I got a lot done but I’m not really sure what I did. I napped for an hour and woke up to a phone call from my roommate. He wanted to talk about some recent drama from home with which I’m unfortunately involved. I’ll miss my roommates, I’ll miss the family we’ve become, but I’m pretty sure I won’t miss the drama.

I headed back downstairs, and went outside where Chen put on a dance show for me and Becky. Soooo sweet! Totally Little Miss Sunshine :D

Becky’s friend came over to visit so we sat and talked for a while. I feel like such an adult. Am I? I’m almost 25. It’s not really relative so much anymore, is it? By which standards am I still a kid anywhere? That’s so sad! We talked about the familial nature of their community. Again this conversation arises… I’m not so sure it’s coincidental – clearly I appreciate that and value it a lot. I wonder what it’ll be like when I get back home?

Danny came down and announced the news reported several attempts at breakthroughs into Israel at the Syrian border and that teargas and rubber bullets hit the junction to Ramallah near the checkpoint where there was commotion. I guess I’m not going. This is so sad and so unfortunately frequent. It was also a defensive response to our borders being attacked. How come we never hear about that on the news at home?

The Golan Heights right near the Syrian border

Kochav HaShahar settlement in the West Bank where my cousins Jesse and Hannah live with their 5 kids

We sat, all 7 of us, together at the table and had dinner. This is what I want my family to be like one day. A loving husband who’s my best friend, 4 adorable kids, lots of laughing, normal family ‘stuff’ for some added personality and normalcy, and a tremendous amount of love.

It’s 7:50 pm and Becky dropped me at the bus station. Bus 947 pulled up just as I walked to the stop and I hopped right on. “Le’an?” (Where to?) The driver asked. “L’Yerushalayim.” (To Jerusalem) I said. He clicked my ticket and I sat down in the first seat. That’s my favorite seat on the bus because I can see out the front window and watch all the people who get on and off.

The driver played a loud mixture of classical music and the news. The reporters were hard to understand but I made out every few words. I heard “pitzua” (bomb) and “Weitzman niphtar” (A person named Weitzman died). Is this some historical report or are they talking about the riots from today? No one else on the bus seems to be too phased by the news. Are they not listening or just de-sensitized? Probably a bit of both.
I turned on my iPod at a high volume to compete. I turn right to a recent breakup playlist I made that put me in a reflective mood. “From Where you Are” by Lighthouse and “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. I’m in a zone. This is depressing. Time for Colbie Caillat. I turn off the playlist and turn on her album,  Breakthrough.

“Todah raba. Laila tov” I say to the driver (Thank you. Good night.). I step down, cross the street, and wait for the bus at the stop that will take me right home. Ugh, I hate waiting for the bus. I'm freezing. What about these elderly people? How unfortunate for them to have to wait for the bus like this and deal with the rushes to get on and off. What a luxury it is to have a car back home with the freedom and mobility to get wherever I want whenever I want in such comfort.

I got home and reached my front door. I hesitated. You never know what could be going on behind that door at any given moment. I sighed, fixed my wind-blown hair, and opened the door. I was greeted with excitement by 3 of the 4 who were home and were glad I was back from my weekend trip away. Even though it’s not always easy living with roommates it does feel really good to come home and know I was missed, have friends to talk to, and any number of nighttime activities to choose from. Maybe I should rethink living solo next year?

We made some garlic bread and popcorn, turned on the season finale of this year’s Real World, had some good laughs, and dispersed to our own rooms. I tried to go to sleep but there was too much on my mind. I can’t believe we’re leaving in 5 weeks. I’m gonna be so sad. What’s left on my bucket list that I need to get to in the next few weeks? I miss India. Will I miss Israel as much as I miss India 3 months from now?

“Rich, what are you doing? I can't sleep.”

“I’m trying to finish my blog about Jordan.”

“That’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll blog about my day. It's nothing romantic or glamorous, just a typical day in my shoes with insight into my thoughts from little steps along the way. Practical and a bit exposing.”

“Yeah well then I want to read it. You should call it The Naked Blog.”

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