Day 2

(note: I have not been taking very good photos lately–it’s been very sunny and I’ve been a bit distracted with doing over recording, but we are going somewhere interesting today, so I will try to sneak a few images even though it’s shabbat.)

Yesterday we went to the quaint, apparently mystical city of Tzfat (there are a million ways to transliterate its Hebrew name, so you can also try searching for Safed if you’re curious to see it.) It is one of the four holy cities in Israel, but I’ll confess I didn’t feel anything much in the way of spirituality though.

No, that’s wrong–I had amazing Yemenite food that has a name I cannot even begin to spell. God who? I’m here for the divine miracle of new food. Since I am not a dainty lady, I demolished a sort of handheld crepe filled with cheese, tomatoes, and onions. Fluffy on the inside, beautifully crisp on the outside, it is the greatest thing I have put in my mouth since that fuck-you-religion cheeseburger I had next to the Port Authority Shake Shack on Wednesday. And that wasn’t even that good! Fortunately I don’t have an Instagram-worthy pic of this meal cuz I was too busy, y’know, eating the hell outta it.

Which brings me to my next point. If my mouth is constantly full with delicious food, I won’t be able to say anything that pisses off the uptight Americans on this trip. I mean, look: I knew I wasn’t exactly going to Israel to find my tribe (ya like that one?), but who could have predicted the number of easily offended, white bread Jews who would travel with me? (A: everyone. Everyone ever who has already gone on one of these trips and probably warned me.)

This trip has been great for reminding me that ordinary humans, strangers who have never been exposed to a sparkling wit and a razor’s edge sense of humor, are decidedly not my people. I have found my online interactions with the people whose friendships I’ve cultivated for years far more rewarding than the supremely dull small talk conversations I’ve been having with other Americans. So please keep messaging me, emailing, texting, and for the love of God, sweethearts, it wouldn’t kill you to comment on my blog. Also, eat something. You look thin.

I’ve since lost my train of thought, can’t quite recall where I was in the process of shitting all over other Americans, because my roommates have since woken up and commanded my attention with the usual small talk about the cooling characteristics of the air conditioner.

I am a person who needs to be alone. Not all the time, but an hour in the mornings would be perfect. This is an organized trip that is deeply at odds with my spiritual needs. Maybe some people will find their Jewishness in Israel. What I’ve found is that I love this country in a complicated way, and what I need is some time to myself to form my thoughts coherently. That was the original intention of this journal, but that’s also the one thing I am not allowed on this trip. So I’ll forsake an hour of sleep tomorrow, escape to our kibbutz patio, and hopefully have more to say. For now though, there are Lion King soundtracks and Justin Bieber songs and Mulan in Hebrew to listen to with my roommates as we get ready for breakfast.

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4 thoughts on “Day 2

  1. wait am i one of those people whose friendships you’ve cultivated over the years? i hope so. i am always pleased to hear my superiority over americans definitively asserted

    also it is boggling my mind to hear that you are not a dainty lady. always envisioned you toting around a twelve-pack of miniature travel doilies

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  2. “This is an organized trip that is deeply at odds with my spiritual needs.”

    dead. time of death 17:56:08 EST. please please please please more.

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  3. I find it so interesting (and I suppose not surprising given the point of these Birthright trips) that everything is so deeply organized, to the point where you’re not actually engaging with Israel in the way you might choose to should you be there alone. Even down to that no-alcohol-on-the-plane thing you had to sign.

    Also, I completely agree that alone time is crucial during travel, even when you are with people you love, but especially, I imagine, on a trip like this. I hope you can find some.

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