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.
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.