“I Always Know That I am Welcome To Their House For a Shabbat Meal”

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Drinks with my best friends in San Diego, CA!

Drinks with my best friends in San Diego, CA!

I moved to: Israel last January making it a year that I have lived in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Before that: I had just lived in America. I have never lived in any other country besides that.

The language issue: I speak only a little bit of Hebrew; I plan on taking private lessons starting next week!

Since I moved here I stopped: going on weekly road trips with my friends. While living in Los Angeles, Arizona and San Diego, my friends and I would always pick a weekend destination to road trip too. I miss it!

Since I moved here the new thing I started doing is: I have started a lot of new things including taking long walks on the beach every morning and at sunset, (something easy to accomplish when you live a 7 minutes walk to the most beautiful Mediterranean ocean.)
By living in Israel, Shabbat has not only become a religious experience for me but a cultural one that I look forward to every week. The peace and quiet that surrounds the bustling streets of Tel Aviv on Friday until Saturday night is something I find very special. The masses of families that flock to the Ports and Beaches on these days is very refreshing to me, especially because family time here is so important and celebrated so much in this country.
Celebrating family time in Beverly Hills!

Celebrating family time in Beverly Hills!

Some weird habits of the locals: Even when you are are trying to have a  quiet and normal conversation with an Israeli, it seems as if they are always yelling at you because their tone is so loud!  They see talking politely here as yelling, in the most loving way of course. Also their way of turning unto streets is by honking, not singling.  It seems as if any movement they do with their car always involves a honk!

But I must say despite their aggressive gestures I always know that I am welcome to their house for a Shabbat meal, even if it is a random stranger I just met on the street!

My biggest cultural shock was: The bureaucracy, as well as the lack of customer service.  Dealing with anything here for example the bank,  to the  is something I try to avoid for months on end just because I do not want to deal with their lack of urgency and unwillingness to help.

My funniest / weirdest / scariest experience was: that even your cab drivers can become your new best friend!

Taking in the beautiful sun rays in Coronado, CA!

Taking in the beautiful sun rays in Coronado, CA!

What I miss the most from home is: my family and friends soooo much! And the shopping of course!

I go home as often as: every six months. Yes I feel homesick from time to time and being away from your family and good friends never gets easier and I always wish they were closer to me!

I keep in contact with my friends and family: Texting, face timing, whatsapping all the time and Instagram!

My favorite dish / local food is: without a doubt Shawarma, falafel, tahini, Shakshuka and hummus! (Such a cliché answer).

My favorite places in town: Lucky for me I live in such a fabulous area, Basel in Tel Aviv, where all the restaurants and bars are right under my apartment, and they are really delicious and vibey. I am always telling myself I need to start a food blog here because one of my favorite things about living in a different country is experiencing all the various new places to go too!  There is an especially amazing cocktail place near me called 223 that makes the best cocktails in the city!

Fun night out with all my best friends in Los Angeles!

Fun night out with all my best friends in Los Angeles!

I get around the city by: Walking if I am going somewhere in Tel Aviv or by taking the Sherut (A sherut is a small mini taxi that seats about 12 people and has the same routes as a bus but you can get off wherever you need along the route! It is a best thing ever and super cheap just like taking the bus!) unless I am going to work and then I take a bus.

Street fashion: I don’t think there is such a thing as “street fashion” in Israel, unless you consider flip flops “fashionable”.

Taking in the beautiful site of New York City with Amit!

Taking in the beautiful site of New York City with my boyfriend Amit!

My view on people: I have made some really great friends from work and most of my other friends who live here, are American.

Being an expat: (Have you ever felt that you are different just because you are an expatriate? If case, how so?) Yes of course! I always feel different and that I will never be “fully Israeli” no matter how hard I try!  I realize that at the end of the day I am American and the  Israeli and American mentalities are very different. No matter how much I think my thoughts and beliefs align with the Israeli mentality, I am American at heart and that will always make me culturally different.

In 5 years, I see myself living: Back in America, hopefully living on the West Coast, close to where I was born just because it is very hard being so far from your loved ones!


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