Work and life

So if I hadn’t mentioned it before, I left Mount Zion hotel 3.5 months ago.  Ruth, my third-level ulpan teacher, had suggested I move to a brand new hotel that was, at the time, still not open.  Being so prone to suggestions as I am, I headed on over to one of their cattle-call style interview days.

The hotel is called Orient, and it is a part of the Isrotel chain.  Isrotel was the same chain I worked for during my first two months down south in Israel.  We started off by having classes in the future meeting rooms of the hotel four stories below ground.  After a month+ of that, we were sent out to other hotels in the chain for experience.  I spent most of our month out on the road at the Dead Sea property but also had a half week in Mitzpe Ramon.

The training classes were mostly, retrospectively, not that great.  It is nice to know the company history, but that was only a couple of hours on one day.  The other courses I can hardly remember.  The time we spent out at the other properties I feel was good.  We were thrown into the system and had to learn quickly the computer software used by Isrotel.  Those of us who picked it up only had to tweek the property specific information when we returned to Jerusalem.

So the building itself: it is gorgeous.  A beautifully done central, 10 story building with an additional four stories below.  The exterior merges the famous Jerusalem limestone with modern, sleek, city hotel design.  We have a long, elliptical entrance way made of glass where reception sits.  And just outside (but connected to the main building through underground tunnels) sits two historically renovated Knights Templar buildings which will be our executive suites.  There is also an additional two buildings that are tucked just out of sight that will be rentable apartments.  There is an indoor pool, as well as one on the roof of the hotel with views of the whole city.  This place is truly going to be something special.

I say ‘going to be’ and not ‘is’ because it is still being built.  We are, after all, still in the middle east.  Deadlines are more of suggested dates really.  But, thanks to a deal with the government’s tourism ministry, the hotel opened before it should have.

So, we are having a rather bumpy soft opening.  It is not all that fun because the problems are usually fundamental issues that should never be allowed to happen to guests.  But alas, nothing to do about that now.

I will say though, I really do love the diversity of this company.  It is quite literally a tower of babel in my mind.  We reached so high (for Jerusalem) and have such a view, that naturally there would be a cornucopia of languages and cultures that follow.

There is the mainstays of ‘mainstream’ Israeli culture (if you can even try to define that):  we have the Misrachi Jews, the Ashkenazim, there are the secular people and the kippot-wearing-not-working-on-shabbat types.  But then things are just spiced up a bit.  We have a sizable Russian and Ukrainian population (which, please if you don’t know which group someone may belong in, do NOT assume Russian… it could end awkwardly for you).  They tend to keep to themselves and usually need translations from Russian to English and then their defacto language captains will translate into the appropriate language.  We have the quite, hardworking Ethiopians who despite having been a part of Israeli society for at least a generation or two, still seem to be held back at arms length.  Similarly, we have a sizable force of Palestinians/Israeli Arabs.  They are generally eager to talk in English and always seem to be having a better day.  There are also the few Spanish speakers who flow between the communities with the ease of a Swiss ambassador while always switching right back into Spanish when they get the chance. The French are also present and accounted for, although being that they are in the midst of being the ‘newest’ wave of immigrants, they tend to have only wait staff positions (one of my friends from the ulpan being in this exact position) And of course, there is the American delegation.  Despite my resistance, I have seemed to allow myself to start a few friendships with some folks from the old country.

Quick aside: I say resistance because one of the very few factors of integration into Israeli society is not living in a little ghetto of others from your old country.  It is why I have chosen to never have American roommates and why I try to go out of my way to not have American friends yet.

Back to babel:  Along with the cultural and language differences, babel brings confusion.  There are departments who just mesh wonderfully and seem to be off on the right foot (here’s looking at you lobby restaurant crew).  But for most of the departments it is … a bumpy start.  You have those who are trying to assert dominance in the race to replace the inevitable group of middle management who are only here to open and will return back to their home properties after a few months.  You also have those who managed to hide their inabilities through all the pre-opening work  who are now stumbling and falling.  It is frustrating to be a part of the opening staff for a new hotel.  But I think it will be rewarding if we can just make it through the first year.  I mean, we have only been opened for two weeks and we are already seeing some leave on their own and I have heard the rumblings of others who are nearing the chopping block.

So that is where I’m at in work life right now.  Frustrating as hell and interesting as fuck.  I just hope to keep my cards close to my chest and play the right hand when it comes time.

 

As for personal life…. awkward comes to mind.  Truth be told I haven’t had much a life this calendar year.  I was working full time and going to ulpan 5 days a week.  Then towards the end of the ulpan and a couple of weeks after I was out at the Dead Sea.  Then the hotel was getting closer and finally opened so I have been working 6 days a week, usually more than 8 hours a day.

I did go on an impromptu date two or three weeks ago with a Russian immigrant.  He seemed like he could have been a good friend but he was 5 years older and was trying to move things way to fast for my comfort level.  (college me would be in shock if he read that.)  When I get home from work I’m usually way to exhausted to do anything social and have escaped into binge watching series online.  I am usually more comfortable when I am taken away to whatever world I am watching online than I am in my own reality.  My weight has creeped up again, my hair is thinning/balding and my 30th birthday is not helping me feel like I have time to get a handle on this thing called life.  And with all the changes going on in my life and the world in general, I feel like I have some OCD issues I need to get looked at.  That wasn’t even something I realized until this week when one of my good work friends just straight up said that I have OCD after I made a joke about it.  So that is interesting.  I suppose it makes sense.  This past year I’ve felt so powerless over so much crap that has happened in life that I guess it is natural to try to assert power of the small things I can?  That sounds like rationalizing…  Well, like I said, the word awkward comes to mind when I think about my personal life.

That’s all for now, good job for reading this far.

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Because I need to put this out there

So I started writing three different times today.  The first was positive and I will return to it.  The second was half and half, but I’m going to break that up because the third… well the third the words just came flying out.  It is pretty dark and maybe I’ll edit and post in a few days.

But, after quiet the roller coast ride of emotions over the past 4 hours, I want to put this out there (but not so publicly as to post to facebook):

I’ve been sober for 3 years 4 months and 3 weeks.  And it is nights like tonight that I forget, but am so grateful, that I live in a city where you can’t buy alcohol after 11pm.  I probably would have downed the whole bottle without a thought in the world.

Thankfully my roommates don’t keep liquor here.  So, a piece of chocolate, a rather visceral and scathing writing session, and I’m off to bed to face another day tomorrow.  Please let it be better.  And please let me walk past the shops if I still crave that mental release of booze tomorrow.

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A huge update all at once

So, I started writing about 5 different blogs over the past few months.  I never posted them because I would get busy and not have time to finish thoughts or edit.  Tonight isn’t really different, but I’m going to put what I have written down here and hope it is clear and isn’t too full of mistakes.

I also have to come back and talk about the Hebrew course I’m in, maybe I’ll add another post tomorrow about that.

Last little bitty in here:  I have really been struggling with wanting to get high on pills again.  It is almost every day that something, usually a song with a particular back beat, triggers these memories or feelings.  Always the good parts of being high, never the crashes afterwards.  Thank goodness I’m not in Tampa and have no friends or suppliers here for pills.  Small victories right?  But, if you love me and want to see me throw my life away again, send oxy or pain kills or both.  Joking.  Half joking.  Kind of.  Nervous laugh?  Ugh, I just wish it wasn’t addictive/expensive/illegal.

With that, here is my copy and paste draft that I was working on.  It is a long one:

 

 

I keep seeing this memory come back into my head.  It is my first night here in Israel.  I don’t really remember much of the flight over, unlike my flight to Papua New Guinea.  I only have fleeting in and out memories inside the airport; sitting in a small office getting my official ID, lots of paper work and booklets.  Then out on the curb, getting a taxi that the state was going to pay for.

The drivers face is mostly obscured in my mind’s eye.  Younger man, I would assume arab since most Jewish Israelis would either be in the Army, doing their post Army world tour, or studying at university.  He was nice and cheerful.  I was exhausted and confused.  It was as if I was seeing things from a movie point of view.  My face was practically glued to the passengers side front seat window.  The yellow dim from the street lights passing at the same intervals, sending their beams dancing across my face.  It was all so fast, large and confusing.  Like a country bumpkins first time in a large city.

The drive to the kibbutz was about an hour and a half.  I tried to match the drivers energy during the beginning.  I explained questions he had of me and asked my own.  But probably only 15 minutes in, still close to the airport, I just passed out.  The adrenaline rush had worn off and I just didn’t have anything else to run on.  I didn’t sleep long, maybe 30 minutes.  When I woke up, the driver still cheery.  I must have appologized for falling asleep because he said, “It’s ok, you are here now.”  You are here now…  Three years later and I am still trying to get used to that.  Such a simple sentence but so full of meaning.

Fast forward a bit and I’m now on the kibbutz that night.  It is probably 1030 or 11 at night.  Here I am, carrying my whole life in a huge hiking pack on my back, a small backpack on the front of my chest, a small hand bag I got from the government office at the airport in my left hand and a stuffed full suitcase in my right hand.  The ulpan director is driving in her little go-cart next to me, with no offer of help, as we make our way to the ulpan building and my first temporary home in Israel.  I am the first to arrive in my room and will have the night to myself.  There is just one light blanket on the bed and one small pillow.  The director gives me a basic intro; bathrooms there, kitchen at the end of the hall, air conditioner on the wall.  She leaves and I am alone.  It is freezing out and even colder inside.  But I can’t seem to figure out the heat option.  I sleep horribly that first night.

Now here I am, more than three years later.  I still feel just as confused as that first taxi right out of the airport.  To be sure, I have made major adjustments.  I have learned enough language to make it through any situation I am in with 90% hebrew.  But there is still so much about the laws (mainly to do with work situations) and the culture that just escape me.  The frankness here I am almost used to but still get taken aback every now and then.  For instance, this is something I jotted down a few weeks ago:

As I am trying to decide if I want to eat PB&Js or a tomato and cheese sandwich, I keep thinking about the jab back and forth at work last night.  As I got in, Lily was trying to find out what restaurants would be open (Shabbat) and deliver at 11pm.  Hannan asked me and I my response was I think just dominoes.  He pushed for something more and my response was that I don’t make enough to order out that much.  His response was something along the lines of ‘well, you don’t look like your missing out on any meals.’

I want to punch capitalists.

So, yes, I do want to punch capitalists.  But the back and forth was just another example that I still struggle with.  Hannan is the assistant hotel manager.  And I am an entry-level front desk agent.  There is enough space between us on the figurative ladder that jabs about my weight wouldn’t be appropriate in America.  Yet here, it doesn’t matter.

(insert after rereading:  Just in case, I want to make sure that anyone who might know Hannan, he is actually my favorite manager and the one I respect the most.  I actually find myself making mental notes on his management style so I can be like that when I get back into management.  This was just a one-off example).

But, I did recently move apartments.  I now live with two native-born Israelis.  One doesn’t speak English at all and the second isn’t very confident.  So 99% of the time, I’m speaking Hebrew at home now.  It is an adjustment to living with two straight men.  But overall things are better – other than the four-story walk up.
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So, the only other thing I kind of wanted to write down was about depression.  I have seen my warning signs for months, but I also so some signs of improvement – like wanting to dance, or go out, or make new friends.  I think I’m learning how to see when an episode is coming on and I’m subconsciously trying to fight it off.  I first noticed this episode was coming when I had a week of non stop, relentless, almost aching urge to have that clean pill high I used to get.  I miss alcohol but there are days I would give my arm for a bottle of oxy.  (as an aside, one of the many pluses for living in this country is that it is much harder to get RX pills here… so no worries on any relapses or anything.)  So yeah, I’ve seen this depression episode coming.  And then this past week, there was just too much happening to fight it off.  I applied for a new job at a hotel opening in a couple of months.  I pass the interview and have some sort of computer test this coming monday.  Now, I got through the interview with 90% being in Hebrew, but towards the end, when he was talking the timeline of starting work and all that, some things flew over my head and I didn’t ask for clarification.  So, I wasn’t sure when to put in my one month notice here (another difference to America.  If I leave my job without giving a one month notice, I have to pay them something close to a one month paycheck…).  Anyway, I went to HR and told her of my intent to leave and then asked all sorts of questions since I am very honest about not knowing what I need to do and what is due to me.  Not to mention the fact that I now have to pay almost 5k for the hebrew course work paid for.  She. Got. Pissed.
After the second time of her loosing her cool, I just closed down and was like, ok, right.  ah huh.  anything else?  cool.  Needless to say, I’m not going to wait around on putting that notice in.  Even if I have a couple of weeks without work (since the new hotel doesn’t open for two months), I think just being away from this particular hotel is going to be worth it.
**After reading that once:  got the new job, didn’t spend too long in depression but also still fighting it off.  And again, sorry for all the errors.

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Something new in the neighborhood, but not really

I really like my neighborhood.  It is in the city limits.  There are two bus lines; one going to the industrial area/one of the malls and one going through the center of town on to the main bus station on the complete other side of the city.  We are close enough to everything anyone would need but far enough away to have that quiet suburb feel.  There aren’t loud parties or the hustle and bustle you get in the center of town.  Even the bank or grocery store never seem too backed up (until you get inside – but that is an Israeli thing in general).

We also have some of the best views around.  There is a large berm/elongated hill across the street that, once on top, you can see clear over to Jordan and large parts of the desert valley between here and there.  Then there is the neighborhood promenade.  Truly one of the best in any major city I have ever been to.  It is known for its views of the old city – if you picture Jerusalem from outside the old city, chances are your image is a picture that was taken at this park.  The park itself though is amazing.  Long and winding, it is perfect for a lovers stroll or running track that isn’t repetitive or dull.  Its many trails seamlessly traverse up and down the valley it is situated on.  The occasional horse or Segway tour passing over the traditional Jerusalem limestone pavers.  The carefully placed benches or small amphitheatres offering views of the sunrise, the sunset, the old city, the neighborhood of Silwan down in the vally, or the sprawling pine trees.  The pathway lighting is just right to provide the sense of safety at night while still allowing the lovers a sense of cover to steal a kiss at the end of the evening stroll.

When it isn’t too cold, I love to either walk to work or home from work through this park.  Instead of 30 minutes on the roads that steadily get busier and busier as I get into town, I get 25 minutes of nature and fresh air before popping out a short 2 blocks from work.  This place is a refuge from the city life that drives people crazy.  I’m not the only one here for sure.  Another aspect of the park I like is that it is one of the few mixed spaces in Jerusalem.  Arab families enjoying the green grasses to play soccer.  Jewish couples strolling around.  The occasional community picnic.  You just don’t see the two communities side by side like that in many parts of the city.

But this park, the Armon Hanatziv Promenade was soiled a few days ago.  A man from the neighborhood next to mine was driving out of his neighborhood toward the city when he saw a group of soldiers getting off a tour bus.

Aside:  the total amount of space that the promenade is accessible to the road is really quiet small.  Most of the boundary between the two has been separated with trees, shrubbery or a retaining wall providing a level pathway along the hundreds of meters where the promenade starts.  There is one small parking lot and only a few spots on the road next to the parking lot where buses can park on that are actually in eye shot of the promenade, the rest of the bus parking is obscured from the park.

Back to the story:  this bus had just let off a class of IDF officer cadets.  They were probably being given background information about where they were (this neighborhood was a no-mans-land controlled by the UN between 1948 and 1967).  At just that moment, the man from Jabel Mukaber was passing by and took the rare occasion to slam his construction truck through the young cadets.  Having plowed straight through their formation without disabling his truck, he then turned around to try at another pass before being shot by the guide and two of the cadets.

It is unfortunately a new common choice for terrorism, this plowing through crowds in large trucks.  That surely isn’t what shocked me.  But the fact that it was in this park, just 5 minutes walk from my apartment.  That it was in the park I take to work or to clear my head.  That it was in my neighborhood – you just don’t expect that.

This event happened around mid day.  I was still getting over a cold so I was sleeping in my bed.  That night, I was scheduled to work the night shift.  For a split second, I thought about walking to work but decided not to – I didn’t want to be a gawker.  But as fate would have it, I left just at the right time to see my bus driving past my stop 5 minutes earlier than it should have.  Since the bus route goes through the neighborhood, I can cut through another park and then on to the bus stop at the promenade to catch it if I walk quick.  So without thinking that is where I started heading.  When I got to the road that the promenade is on, I saw an unusually large number of cars parked on both sides of the road.  “Oh… that’s right.  Well, it is much to cold to wait for the next bus in twenty minutes.  Just walk by it and be done with it.”  I was amazed that less than 12 hours later, everything but a few fallen lines of police tape and a few mounds of grass that had been uprooted were all that was left.  This was the spot where 4 people died and something like 15 others were hurt.  I guess Bibi doesn’t play around when he says we should continue on with our lives.

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When I moved to Eilat 2.5 years ago, the war was going on.  My first night in my first own Israeli apartment, Hamas decided to send over three rockets.  The alarms sounded, and I woke up and groggily tried to find the shelter.  One of the rockets landed 150 meters away from my building.  But my building was on literally the last road in town.  There was nothing but desert mountains on the other side of the street where the rocket landed.  I never did go hiking over there and had no connection.  Once that night was over, it was more of just a story to be recalled than anything else.

But this is a park I’m in a few times a week.  Southern trees have their strange fruit; I suppose it is just another type that grows here too. (points to you if you know the reference!)

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New Year Update

So it has been three years since I left Brandon and started that long two month trip to Israel.  It seems a lot longer than three years to be honest.  While I wouldn’t say I am literate in Hebrew, I certainly make do and am able to communicate and understand in all the strange or mundane situations I find myself in.

Life in the city is certainly more eventful than the kibbutz.  I do miss not having to take buses to work but I don’t have the same degree of restless nights as I did there.  I also miss a few of the people from the kibbutz that were my host families.  But I get by with my friends here and my roommate.

I’m also remembering or just having dreams again when I sleep.  The stranger ones that wake me up I’ve started to write down.  Most of them I’ve figured out have to do with stuff happening back in America.  Maybe it is stress related or maybe it is just my mind being more active here.

Work is going as well as any job in Israel from what I gather.  There are times when I feel taken advantage of but no more or less than the native-born Israelis.  I’ve had to sit my boss down in his office and explain to him not to have the traditional Israeli shouting match with me at the front desk; that it is not appropriate and if it happens again I would go to HR.  He actually took it well and he and I have been working together better.  But on the other hand, I had my own Israeli shouting match with a co-worker from another department who thought it was a good idea to bring a guest up to reception to try to chew me out for not dropping everything I was doing here to help her do her job downstairs.  During the interaction I caught my boss smiling at me out of the corner of my eye.  I felt a little hypocritical but at the same time, with the whole situation spelled out, it was 100% justifiable as to why I was giving her a talking-down to.

I start my third and probably final ulpan course next month and work has agreed (and signed a contract) to pay for it.  So that is exciting.  From all the research I’ve done, this is considered the last ulpan an immigrant needs to be able to get by fully in Israeli society.  It is also the most intense – 5 days a week for 4 or 5 hours each day.  The good thing about that is I won’t have to work most nights.  For sure I’m going to be tired, class at 8am every morning on the other side of town and work most evenings here.  But I’ll be in bed every night except for maybe Thursday and Friday nights.

So that is my update.  I’m trying to harness the optimism I found when I got back from the States last month and have been doing more with my life than the work, movie, sleep, eat, repeat cycle I was on before.  So hopefully this will be around for a while.

Until next time.

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29 turns around this sun and I still have no idea what I’m doing.

So I had a birthday a few days ago.  I really don’t like my birthday.  I have usually been in some sort of depressive episode or just coming out of one for the past 7 or 8 years.  And truth be told, I didn’t do much on my actual birth day in 1987.  If I had to choose a day to celebrate my life it would be 08 July of each year.  Or maybe a few days after when I actually remember being conscious after my O.D. in 2011.

But I digress.  This year I reluctantly let my amazing roommate plan a surprise trip.  She told me ahead of time that she “owned me for the morning and afternoon.”  It surely made me smile but I won’t lie, I was a little bit worried.

I worked 3pm to midnight on the tenth so when I got home, it was already technically my birthday.  I walked into the apartment to her and her boyfriend singing happy birthday and this was in my room:

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She was spot on with the presents she got me:

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But that was just round one.  I was promptly told to go to bed because I had to wake up at 8am (not a regular occurrence in my life…. by any means.)

So when I did wake up, there was a hot coffee and warm pastries/barakas waiting for me.  After enjoying a nice breakfast together, Nicky told me to get ready and to wear long pants and closed shoes.  Then the three of us (Shem, Nicky’s bf had spent the night) drove off into the morning light.

We went out of the city on the south side.  I hadn’t remembered taking that route before because I’m usually on a bus that leaves from the north side.  It was interesting to see just how close we live to Palestine.  But within about 30 minutes, I checked google maps and saw we had reentered the Israeli side of the green line.

We ended up just south of Jerusalem at a horse ranch.  It was Nicky and Shem’s first time riding and my first time in probably 4 years.2809855825497573767-account_id=1

It is really not that stimulating, horseback riding on guided tours.  But there is still something nice to just be out there enjoying nature on horseback.  Since I had ridden before, I was the last of the four of us (the guide was with us for the whole ride).  I got lost in my head for a bit, not even thinking just kind of gone and enjoying being gone.

After the hour long ride, Nicky and I went to Waffle Factory (not even close to Waffle House) and had amazing sandwiches and sweet sweet sweet waffle confections.

So that was that.  29th birthday was pretty good.

As for a life checkup:  As you can see from the last picture, I’ve put on a bunch of weight after moving to J’lem.  It probably doesn’t help that I don’t feel inspired at my job and am reminded that I am fat every. single. time. my boss sees me.  But, staying true to summer traditions, I got hit hard with the depression this year.  Stupid stupid things happening in the US that I can’t deal with mentally lead to a big decision to cut out the family.  That, coupled with the job unsatisfaction (is that a word?  probably not), and the constant state of red in my bank account lead to binge eating all the wrong things and presto pesto pasta, I’m super fat again.

But I’m trying to get a hold of things again.  Cutting out the negative things in my life that I can’t control was a start.  Now I’m running every other day.  And I’m trying to get to a shrink to get back on the happy pills.  That, ladies and gents, is no small task here in Israel.  Getting to a regular doctor, just call up.  Getting to a dentist, ok no worries.  Getting to a shrink however has proven to be a 2 week process so far and I still haven’t been able to get through to someone to make an appointment.  Granted, I’ve been working nights and missed many days worth of chances to call but still… this particular industry is not so great with English-speaking immigrants.

And there is another thing.  I’m in a funk of not wanting to be an immigrant anymore.  I figured I would know at least the major parts of being an “other” in society growing up gay, being Jewish in the South.  But it is different here.  Sometimes, I just can’t stand having to pantomime what I’m trying to say in my basic Hebrew.  And that look I get when I talk about my work experience far beyond what I’m doing now.  From current bosses, always with a twinge of pity and a smidge of smugness or the awkward interviews for jobs when I realize it isn’t a management position/the interview realizes I’m not taking the same shit pay and starting over at a new place.

Side note, I have two cold-to-luke-warm leads on Reception Manager positions.  I’m hoping for the best but expecting to still be here at Mount Zion in 6 months.

Anyway, I think that is enough for now.

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I meant to update this three times before tonight

So where to begin?  First, I have been trying to embrace my inner traveller.  Whenever I have the strength to go out and explore the city I really enjoy myself.  I had a half day tour of the old city with a coworker.  He showed me around the Arminian quarter and we went into the Church of the Dormition.  The big part of that church that I remember is it is where the last supper took place.  But truth be told, it seems like the churches all have about 135 different things going on there.  Like damn boo, choose a schtick and run with that!  But we went up on the rooftops near there and got some good views of the eastern side of the city.  Then we walked along the walls and entered back into the city from Lions gate.  We took the Via Dolorosa all along the stations of the cross.  We then ended up in the Muslim quarter and went to the rooftop of the Austrian Hospise.  Wow.  By far the best view-point I have seen in the Old City up until now.  20160523_123947And we were up there just as the call to prayer was starting – just breath-taking.  This was the building just across from the hospice:  20160523_123336Then we went to the new city and had a great lunch at a hole in the wall place.  20 sheks a person and you left full.

There was also the Jerusalem Light Festival.  Not for those who don’t do well in crowds.  But it was another amazing local/tourist experience.  There were some not as amazing projects but overall it was really well put together.  My two favorites were this New Orleans inspired group:  20160530_211406and this opera singer with the church of Domitian behind her: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz5sxig-Uy3SbWxHVUVIRWxYeGs

Then there are the little things around the house.  The roommate dropped more than a K on bringing nature to the house.  We have a nice little porch set up now and a few more house plants.  The picture doesn’t do it justice and we have since rearranged but you get the picture:  20160520_133020I really lucked out with this roommate.  Very positive without pushing it in your face if you need to feel down.  VERY funny.  Just overall a great living situation.

So now the not so fun times:

Things at work a hit and miss.  I’ve tried to put my foot down for a normal schedule.  And it worked for three weeks before the reception boss got pissy.  Every shift that I work with him he is either calling me fat or calling me spoiled (for wanting more than 8 hours off between shifts).  I have tried to look at things from his point of view but I really just can not understand why he operates the way he does.  It is like we are his plebs in his own personal kingdom.  His mood swings are notorious and frankly I can’t understand how he got into his position. I’m really on the fence about looking for another job but I’m trying my best to stay here for at least 1 year (9 very long months away….)

And probably the biggest thing I need to write about is the massacre at Pulse.  Truth be told I have no idea what I really want to say.  I called the LGBTQ resource center here in Jerusalem but their councilor is in the US this week.  So my head is swirling around.  And I know that all the things I want to say I shouldn’t.  So if you get butthurt, stop reading this paragraph.  I know I have rage in my chest when I think about this.  And there was a bit of time that I was just numb to it all yesterday.  Every time I get on Facebook the rage that had subsided into a small part of my heart comes running back.  In the first few days after the shooting I literally wanted vengeance.  I wanted straight blood to be spilled.  I know that is wrong – and I’m really trying hard to move beyond that (most of the time I have moved beyond it).  But the fact that we are still fighting for our own lives – in our own spaces!  It gets me so angry.  And the responses from the gun totting rednecks!  Dear lord almighty please please please let me not go off on my own family about that part.  Please let me not do or say something I’m going to regret to them.  Please just put a brain in their heads on this issue!  How in the world can they be so far off base on this!?  And the bullshit from conservatives – the republicans who constantly vote against the queer community trying to save face or worse score political points is nauseating.  And the bible thumpers with their prayers for Orlando.  No.  Don’t pray for Orlando.  Orlando is a city – it is not a breathing person.  I would say you should pray for the victims but chances are those bible thumpers are the same ones who want us to pray away the gay.  Go fuck yourselves.

Anyway, like I said, my thoughts aren’t clear on all this yet.  I’ve been watching drag queen music videos or queer movies all this week.  I’m trying to get to a place where I don’t have hate in my heart.  I hope dude or dudette I talk to next week can talk me back from this.

So that was an update!  I’m on the night shift and it is 4:15am so I just got tired as all get out.  kbye!

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