The New Normal

FoodGasms and Rocket Attacks are new and constant phrases in my vocabulary.

Last night while waiting at the bus stop, after my 200 shekel (not cheap) homemade linguine with a spicy red sauce tossed with freshly seasoned shrimp, calamari and blue crab entree, followed by the best coffee gelato overflowing every side of the cone, which fell nowhere but into my mouth, my phone lit up with six notifications of rockets being fired at Israel.

This is my new reality:

Admitting that I literally smile when there’s a spoon full of Nutella in my mouth or cous-cous and chicken cutlets made by friends on my plate, and realizing that the country I now call home is in the midst of a wave of terror.

Ignorance is no longer blissful, at all. The knowledge I have on the tensions that have fully risen in Israel is limited. It’s complicated. Even attempting to wrap my head around who is fighting who, and why, wondering if it’ll ever end, failing at not generalizing while sitting on the bus to work, and deciding if a freak out is building inside of me, are all new and raw questions,doubts and feelings running through my mind.

What I see are good guys and bad guys. But the ones I see as good may be the opposite of how you feel. Our differences might be because of the sources we use to get our information. It may be that I am in Israel and you are in North America. Religion could play a role, the ideas you were raised with could make the difference, maybe it’s just the way we see the world. Regardless of how you feel about the situation, I am living here, through it, watching it pop up on my phone, in towns that I’ve visited, near a mall I’ve walked through and a city that I call home.

I’m the farthest thing from a bad ass. Unlike many Israelis who have this bold, brave exterior, I’ll be the first to tell you that I do not want to be here during a war, and for some, war is what they believe is to come. Because I’ve only witnessed soldiers peacefully escorting one man out of one of our markets, this constant violence is very out of sight out of mind. I’m reading the articles and having multiple conversations a day about the stabbings, but because I have not seen anything live, it seems very far away. Daily life feels just as it did when I  landed in September. I just got back from food shopping (cucumbers and tomatoes) and passed all the regulars with smiles on their faces. The run I’m going to try to make myself go on will be uninterrupted and end with me dragging by butt up the stairs to cook dinner before a bunch of friends come over to hang and chat and be normal.

So Florentin is where I’m going to stay for now.  The uneasiness is new but manageable, and I’m going to continue to follow in my Israeli friends footsteps and walk out of my door every morning going about my ordinary, foodgasmic day.

Art throughout Florentin
      Art throughout Florentin

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