Its gone a bit quiet on the table front, as we’ve hit a few weeks of challenge. The post below I didn’t intend to publish at the time of writing, because it rang a little on the negative side, but now that I feel I can update positively on some of the issues I’m giving it to you anyway.
Challenge came in many forms. Culture stress was the underlying buzz. For someone who loves to be in charge it just was a bit too debilitating not to know how to win over official people on the phone, communicate your point when looking for lost property or deal with holiday opening (and closing!) times that nobody grasps the rationale for. There are a lot of public holidays in Israel in the spring term. Who thought they’d even stop the country running on Election Day! Add on to that a few unexpected personal situations that cause you to wonder how the next few months will pan out, and you just feel a little over the edge as opposed to riding on it bravely.
I’m not sure that we’ve come out the other end of all of that; culturally, we’re only just starting (at least though we now know that when they keep asking you for ID and perform their security checks on you, it’s better not to argue about it, but make small talk; I really enjoyed my little informative chat with an officer the other day and felt like I’d been let in on the hot talk with the cool guys wearing guns). Our language skills are dire. We literally learn about a word per week. Our own fault, I know.
But the sun is shining a lot now, we have finally got a car and are mobile to explore places that take our breath away and meet with stunning people we could not otherwise have done. We’ve floated on the dead sea, celebrated Passover, which coincided with Easter this year, at Lake Galilee and even did a little archaeology (well, we listened to a wonderful, spirit filled archaeologist) at Qumran and Masada. In short, we managed to enjoy the good life a little and as a result, I can now smile back at the lifeguard who still graciously pulls out my private pool owned swimming cap each time his duty coincides with my swims. I’ve not seen the aqua-joggers again, though, so I need to check the pool timetable for a good fix of water swag. And only to mention the best things last, my Korean friend from upstairs has been teaching me to make Kimchi. More about that next time.