I feel bad about not updating my blog in so long, but it’s been really crazy-busy. I just finished writing a 3,000-word feature story for which I had only 2 weeks’ notice. Plus, since I had given my boss from the job-I-just-quit 2 weeks’ notice, I had to continue showing up there. Plus, I got a temporary job at a terrific newspaper here in Israel; I’m covering for another reporter who went on maternity leave. Plus things like cleaning for Passover, doing my laundry, preparing for my trip to the US for the holiday, etc.
In addition to this really nice temporary position I just started, the other good news is that I’m in a slightly better mood than I’ve been in for my last few posts. No particular reason, I’m just feeling better. Well, maybe it’s because I got out of a job that was not a good situation. Or maybe it’s because the very day on which I resigned, I was contacted by this newspaper asking me if I’m available to cover for someone for a few months. Or maybe it’s because the weather has been gorgeous over here (for lunch this Shabbat, Yael and I are having a picnic in the park!).
I think part of the reason I’d been in such a bad mood, other than this looming gotta-quit-my-job thing, was that I’ve entered the next “stage” of the klitah (absorption) process. They say that those who move to Israel go through four (or is it five?) stages. The first is “euphoria,” which lasts for 6-12 months. And the second is “depression.” Since I’ve been here 8 months, I’m right on schedule, eh? At least I can look forward to “adaptation” (the I-don’t-feel-like-an-Israeli-but-I’ve-got-a-groove-going-on stage) and “absorption” (which, according to one speaker I heard about this, you know you’ve entered when you “visit your friends and family in America and you don’t understand where they are coming from.”)
Next week I have several stories to work on, and I have to clean for Pesach, but I might treat myself to a movie. I haven't been out for a while, not like that. (Actually, that's not true. A couple of weeks ago I went to see an amateur production of "Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet," which was hysterical.) I’m trying to decide whether to see “Monster” or “Lost in Translation.” Anyone want to weigh in on this?
OK, here’s something from the Things My Shaliach Never Told Me file:
A few days ago, I went to the corner makolet (grocery), and as I was putting my change into my wallet, the cute owner, Shabi, wished me a “chag sameach” (happy holiday). I was confused because it was a tad early to wish me a happy Passover. I said “which holiday? Rosh Chodesh?” and he looked at me like he feels sorry for me and said “blah-blah-blah-in-Hebrew, tomorrow everyone is going to be partying and celebrating blah-blah-Hebrew-blah Yassin blah blah.” I said “WHICH holiday?” and he said “blah blah the death of Yassin blah blah the death of Haman.”
At this point, I was not putting together what he meant. To me, “chag sameach” is what you say to someone before an established, rabbinically-ordained kind of holiday, like Purim. It’s what you say before a holiday that’s been around for, like, at least a thousand years. So I thought that maybe the Sephardim had some holiday celebrating some bad guy who’d persecuted them in, like, Morocco. Finally, incredulous that I didn’t know what he was talking about, he said “Yassin! Yassin! Didn’t you hear they killed Yassin?”
Finally the penny dropped, and I was like “Oh! I get it! Yes, yes, it’s very good. Yes, chag sameach. Chag sameach.” I felt like an idiot.