Sunday, July 24, 2016

Israelis Aren't Whiners, Yo

       
    I can’t physically juggle — seriously, one item, max. But since moving to Israel I now have to juggle my life. Should I take a six-hour round-trip (two buses, or a bus and train — plus walking dusty sidewalks in sweltering heat) to check out what might be Israel's only affordable rental? A teensy studio that shares a communal mud hut (impeccable hippie cred) with blue, green, red, and real sunlight streaming in through glass bottles set into thick walls. A long distance from the beach, but when you get there you find tiny shells, fragments of water-worn glass and ancient pottery, and a Roman aqueduct. I’m sure I’d write a novel about some Roman-Jewish conflict if I lived in that town. Try to recreate in words that ancient time (which reminds me so much of our own).


     But I can't juggle, so I'm not seeing the rental unit. The next two weeks I'll plow to the end of a small paying job with an urgent deadline. Ignoring my "to do” list that’s about to implode. And haunted by the voice of a sex trafficked young woman in Berkeley, California. She’s fictional, she’s the protagonist of the new novel I’m writing. But she’s real to me.

     At least I’ve been here long enough to start understanding the busses. Where I live, the busses head in every direction from both sides of the street. A while ago, I got on the last bus of the night, which I thought was headed toward my home. I ended up at a deserted bus depot. I try to keep track of where I am, but there’re places here where your GPS goes berserk — befuddled by rooftops which bristle with cell phone towers, radars, and defensive systems of every kind.

     Once you make it onto a bus, you're in for a rough but possibly exhilarating ride. The first time an Israeli bus driver (every tribe and religion, both men and women) lurched away with a crazy swerve at the equivalent of sixty mph, I banged into a yellow and blue metal pole. I still occasionally end up on bus floors because of the local roller coaster-meets-rollerblades driving style.

     Israelis don’t often end up on that floor. Most won't even admit that they're scared. And the only thing I've found out, for sure, is that Israelis aren't whiners. They might raise a bushy eyebrow at some particularly heinous attack perpetuated anywhere by anyone. Conscience-less acts are uniformly frowned upon. But, it seems to me, most people here just want to survive. And they want others to survive. The "Code of the Desert" is that a stranger should give you water if you're dehydrated, food if you’re hungry. Sidewalk benches in Israel are covered with charitable donations to bypassing strangers: baby clothes, sneakers, shoes, plants, books written in a range of languages.

     And everywhere: on streets, in busses, guarding train stations... there're the sensitive, sober faces of Israel’s young adults, charged with putting their lives on the line to defend against attacks that can, and do, lurch from every direction.




Comments
Nagy Rezső Jók a képeid kedves Sari   See Translation
Nagy Rezső Sari Friedman  
Sari Friedman
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Hans York Seems to me you did go & look!
Sari Friedman I went BEFORE hearing about the rental. I still haven't seen it, just saw the communal mud hut that doesn't have a lock.
Sari Friedman

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Renee Bacher I envy you the adventure. I was going to say "be safe." That's something everyone in Louisiana says before saying goodbye (preceded by Y'all). But instead I'll say, DO IT. And may good fortune follow you while you learn to juggle. 😘
Hans York Ma'am, we say it ,absent the y'all, in Washington State, as well.
Sari Friedman
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Rena Bunder Rossner ❤️❤️❤️
Jo Gore Hey! I just signed up to cars2go - rent by the hour and pay by the km - not sure how it works out financially yet but just spent the day cruising north of TA to just S of Hadera. Need to hit the road again... What did I miss at Ulpan?
Sari Friedman I've got loads of notes for ya Jo 🤓
Jo Gore Good! Can I get them sometime before class tomoz?
Sari Friedman
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Chaya Rosen Love your writing...follow your dreams.
Bobbi Zahra Beautiful, Sari. That's Israel. 
Hillary Homzie I think you need to collect your posts and create an Eat, Pray, Love sort of book, Sari. Just loving reading these.
Zilpah Bat Sarah Another creative, quiet woman writer is also seeking to rent - maybe you 2 can split the rent of one big house in a beautiful place?
Sari Friedman Sure. Please private message me. Thanks 
LikeReply1July 24 at 7:47pm
Zilpah Bat Sarah Sari Friedman sent you a PM - look in your others file
Sari Friedman
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Leslie Silver you are a very talented writer. thank you form taking me there.
Pablo Azor The no-whiners are the winners. Never forget to dress your beautiful smile.
Hindy Abelson You're not just a writer Sari. You are a painter. I look forward to reading your posts so that I can hear, see, smell, taste and get a thirst quenching sip of Israel after a long, parched absence. Thank you for being you and adding immeasurably to my life. Hugs....& Kisses....
Linda Bordy I so look forward to your writings, Sari Friedman
Follow your instincts!
Guard yours

Peter Ross Eventually one acquires "bus legs".
Sari Friedman That's what I need, lol.
Sari Friedman
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Pamela Young Martin Awesome post, Sari❤️❤️❤️
Leonard S Feinman You are a wonderful writer. Your experience was translated well to the page you have shown us. Thank you.
Lorraine Sherwindt loved the writing. you look peaceful and happy  miss you.
Ilene Entin Cox Once again I can see and feel what you are living because your poetic verse paints all the senses together with one broad stroke. Thank you Sari Friedman❤️
Nancy Flesch Brundige Very interesting! Thank you for sharing this.
Kathryn DeCamp I am enjoying your photos. I don't get juggling life either. I don't do well with multi-tasking . So I only do things one at a time and methodically .
Sari Friedman Methodical, yes 😌
LikeReply1July 25 at 10:58am
Sari Friedman
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Rita Margules Wein Keep your anecdotes coming. Snippets from real life!!
Dita Stieglitz Do let me know when you publish your book.
Hazel Judes · Friends with Muriel Tebid and 7 others
Beautifuly written, u are exceptionly talented, thank you for sharing ! 
Joanne Horowitz · Friends with Sara L. Smith
Thank you Sara for sharing, I love your writing. Keep them coming please
Marjorie O'Meara I so enjoy reading of your life in Israel and what you are writing. Be safe. 
Mary Friedman Your courage is wondrous, your writing heart wrenching, has been for many years. We think of you, pray for your safety and a full measure of the happiness you deserve.
Elizabeth Cohen no way can you get the little mud place with glass bottle walls? I am invested in you being there now!
Vicki Knopfler I love it, too. Or at least that one wall.
Sari Friedman
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Hans York Unattainable?
Sari Friedman The whole point is that I have a ton of work, and can't take off a day. Also, this place is really far away, and unfortunately i'd be living in a rental unit (that I haven't yet seen, but it seems to be tiny) instead of that gorgeous mud hut.
Hans York got it!
Sari Friedman
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Eric Goldstein Sari—so I take it the days of paying $250 for your own room in a 2 bedroom flat on Dizengoff or Ben-Yehuda are over?

UnlikeReply1July 26 at 5:55amEdited
Marjorie O'Meara I enjoy reading your posts. Since becoming your friend I have learned so much about Israel and life there. You are an amazing person and a gifted writer.
Maria Stiltz Just come back..
LikeReply19 hrs
Ellie Libitzky Caruso I agree, Sari. My son lives in Tel Aviv and it is very expensive, but for him being young, it's vibrant and safe. He has to look for another place soon but he waits until just before he needs it because decent places are scooped up the same day they are listed. So I can relate to everything you say here!
LikeReply17 hrs


Maria Stiltz Just come back..
Ellie Libitzky Caruso I agree, Sari. My son lives in Tel Aviv and it is very expensive, but for him being young, it's vibrant and safe. He has to look for another place soon but he waits until just before he needs it because decent places are scooped up the same day they are listed. So I can relate to everything you say here!
Carlos R. Gonzales · 87 mutual friends
You have just brought Israel to life for me more than one hundred travel brochures. Thank you.
UnlikeReply15 hrs
Sari Friedman
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