I moved to
Tel Aviv, on my own in 2005. Just like that. And never came back to France more than one week in a year/ two.
Before that I lived in
A small town near Paris. If I tell you the name, it won’t help you either…
The reason for moving here was
I just felt actually more Israeli than French, and couldn’t get used to the “type” of life in France.
If I were to describe my current city in one word, that would be (And why?)
JUNGLE. Here every little thing is a challenge, everything is possible, everybody tries his chance, and most of all: here it’s difficult. If you have no elbows, you can’t survive…
The first thing a new expat needs to know when moving here is
Making Alyah is actually easy. All the rest in complicated. Be ready, it’s worth it at the end. Besides, if you don’t find love in here, or a job you like, or a real family, it’s impossible that you’ll stay…
The language issue
It took me 3 months to speak Hebrew. The reason is I wanted it so much! I knew when I came that I was going to stay here for good. So I spoke Hebrew very fast, and today, after 9 years, I find myself thinking more in Hebrew than in French…
Since I moved here I stopped
Being stuck. I broke free from a lot of points of view.
Since I moved here the new thing I stared doing is
Sport and I got addict!! Sport is now a part of my life. I just CAN’T live without it! 3-4 times a week. And almost everywhere you’ll go, morning, noon and evening you will see people running, swimming, walking, playing “Matkot” (local game) … For me, it’s walking and Pilates/ Yoga. Oh, and I also got a tattoo… which is incredible because I was so against it once.
My biggest lesson learnt was
Nobody owes you anything. A lot of people say they’ll help you, a few will actually do it a little bit, but everything you have to build by yourself.
Some weird habits at the locals
- Supermarket shopping in the middle of the night…
- Humus in the morning, at noon, at coffee time and in the evening.
- Every single man here HAS a dog…Like it or not.
- It’s very hard in here, avoiding to argue with people at least once or twice a day. At the end you get used to and you just act “whatever man…”
- Drivers are crazy.
- JEWISH MOTHERS.
- And so much more left out.
My biggest cultural shock was
Well, when I arrived I was only interested in “the Israeli guy”. And then I understood that here, when you kiss a man and both of you want one another, it doesn’t actually mean than you too are together, (like in France), in a relationship. It only means that you like one another and that until you decide there is no better alternative, you are just “dating”. Which means you can freely see as many girls or guys you want, at the same time. Fun, isn’t it?!
My funniest / weirdest / scariest experience was
Walking on a street, I saw an old man getting very close to me, approached me and suddenly said out loud: “Ugly!!!!. It was scary and funny and weird and I was shocked for a few hours.
What I miss the most from home is
Whenever I get home sick, what I miss is
Nothing. I never got home sick. Even if I am sick (which is weird), I work and act as usual.
I go home as often as
I like it. Usually once a year, for one week, to see family, feel my roots. And after 3 days I get sick of French people, French life, French everything.
I keep in contact with my friends and family
I can’t stay in touch with anybody but my mum (who is now here, made Alyah a year ago), or my dad. Not that I don’t want to! I am just not capable of. But when I see my dearest ones, it’s like nothing has changed, even if everything did.
My favorite dish/local food is
Pasta. Except it’s Italian. No, I am not an Israeli “foodist” at all…
My favorite places in town are
Rotshild Bvd. I like the Peace and the Chill in there.
Namal TLV. For Coffee and children’s playground (for me, and a little for my daughter).
Shenkin St. For Shopping, coffee and LIFE.
Dizingoff St. My basement, my home. Where you have to walk by to find me.
I get around the city by
…feet. Me and my feet we are the best team ever. They help me staying fit, I get to feel people and places; walking keeps me young and energetic. You should try it!
Like I said: Dizengoff st, Shenkin St, and also Ramat aviv Mall… all I personally need is in there. No need to fly to Paris, Barcelona, Roma, I tell you: Zara, Topshop, Israeli designers, world designers, you don’t need more. And if you like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce&Gabana and all their friends you should definitely go to “Kikar Hamedina” (literally “The place of the country”).
My view on people:
The Israeli type is clever, has a lot of opinions, and thinks that he is the only one who knows how to drive. He is not a gentleman generally, but a few are. He is free, open-minded, warm, spontaneous, hard-worker even if he is a lazy one. He is physically HOT, sure of himself. Loving children and protecting children more of all.
When I say He that could be also She.
But the list is long, so you should come and watch by yourself, it’s definitely something you don’t get to see anywhere else.
Being an expat
I don’t feel like an expat, that’s the point. I came here at 19 and grow up here. I feel Israeli. My husband would tell you “you’re fucking more Israeli than everybody else here!!”
In 5 years, I see myself living in
Israel. But after a year or two in Thailand or New York or both of them 🙂