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.