Tuesday, September 30, 2003

So i'm reading foreign affairs online (my subscription goes to new york, i need to remember to ask my parents to send the last two issues to me here) and listening to Placebo's "bitter end," when i realize that i might be a bit of an anomoly. also perhaps a bit illiterate, i need to buy a good dictionary and thesaurus as i had to leave them back in ny since they're so big and bulky. but back to the anomoly stuff.

i wonder if it's that strange to be 22 and be doing what i'm doing. most of the people i'm studying with are in their late 20's, which shouldnt seem like that much of a difference (and it isn't, considereing my child-adult theory that states all adults are really just children in bigger clothes), but there is a difference nonetheless.

all of the people i'm studying with took at the very least a year off from uni. to do something. i most cases several years. i just didnt feel the need for it. part of it was the fact that i really didnt have the skills to get a good job (what with my glorious BA in poli sci), or the funds to go do something crazy. i could have just worked, saved a couple grand, and then travelled for 6 months, then went back to studying, but i didnt. I dont know if that makes me pragmatic or boring, but probably both.

I dont know when the change really came over me. When i was 18 i went into college to be an actor, with the vague notion of falling back on being a teacher. I dont know when i changed, maybe i didnt, maybe it was all just a side show because those are the kinds of ideas you have when you're 18. on the other hand, there was a chang, but it's not worth getting into. the important thing is, that i'm doing something which i guess is fairly grown up (if you dont believe me, you should see my syllabus for the semester, you never know how many books you havent read until you have to read them for grad school), but the thing is that i dont feel very grown up. I suppose the exception is if i get into a political conversation with someone who knows what they're talking about (not to be confused with agreement, im speaking on a learned level). It's funny and awkward to reavel to those people that i'm only 22 (why they eventually ask, i dont know, i dont think i've ever asked anyone their age, it just never seems important to me). The oldest i've gotten is 30, the youngest 26. Maybe it's the beard, but they keep insisting it's because of the things i say. the little old man that lives inside me just keeps trying to get out, i guess. what a gross thought.

maybe i am old. i'm listening to astral weeks after all, which as good as it just, you just wont hear van morrison on KROC.

another side note: i've heard david bowie played here every day since i've gotten here. tv, buses, stores, cafes, wherever, i hear him once a day somewhere.

i was walking home last night at around 11 or so and noticed that all of the cafes had about half a dozen tables occupied. it was nice to see that on a monday night.

i want a dog. i need to go read. i need to find listerine and nail clippers. need to get together with friends and figure out what the plan is for going to sinai. and whats going on tonight. need to do sit ups. want to pick up one of those language tapes so i can get a heads up on arabic before the semester starts. should stop rambling.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

been a little while since i updated, but not that long. rosh ha'shana is this weekend and i'll be up north visiting family. it'll be nice, i havent been up there since i got here 2 months ago. it's kinda strange to realize i've been here for almost 2 months now.

i dont know if anyones been paying attention, but we really are living in interesting times. if you havent been, start getting into whats happening in the world, it's going to get interesting in the next year. or maybe not. hopefully it'll just be quiet.

so i've got plans to go to sinai for a couple of days with Liron and some other folks, and to jordan with a couple of germans. there's quite a lot of germans here. it's quite interesting. it makes for good black humor.

hmmm, something interesting has come up, more later.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

so i didnt want to go long without adding another post. i really didnt want to leave the last one up as the first thing people see for very long. i dont want people getting the wrong idea, you dont spend your days here thinking about terrorism, mostly i think about having to do laundry, why the fridge empties out so fast, the sink i need to fix, and what i'll do for the day (today i did nothing, sad, but true. although i do have a date with the laundromat later).

yesterday i went to the old city of jaffo with some friends from school, 2 germans who brought along another german that's going to start studying at be'er sheva, and this australian chick. it's weird how many germans ive run into. ironic perhaps? they seem to really like it here, i've met some that just dont want to leave and come up with all sorts of clever ways to stay here. i ask them why they would want to stay here, and they say they just love living here. they're not religious or anything like that, they just say that it's not like europe, that there's a much more laid back atmosphere here (which is true, everyone around here is very laid back). anyway, back to the old city of jaffo...

we went to the market place down there where you can get all sorts of crazy stuff. lots of really really old things, lots of strange things, lots of pretty things, rugs, pillows, furniture, antiques, i saw a four barreled gun amongst the many strange antique weapons. it's always interesting to haggle over prices. it's basically very very different from normal western life. i should have taken more pictures of hte marketplace, but i just didnt think of it. i did take a couple from the cafe aladin, which sits on the rocks overlooking the mediterranian south of tel aviv. if you havent seen the pictures i've put up yet, send me an email and i'll make sure you get them. went out to eat with my aunt and uncle and cousin at this japanese place, drank too much sake and spend the evening relaxing. i really need to go shower and do homework. i'm so lazy. alright, more later.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

So I kept telling myself i wouldn't write anything here about terrorism, or suicide bombings, or anything like that. i just didn't want to. a good part of me still doesn't, but i dont think i can really go on without saying something about it. no one's asked about it, but i suppose this is more for myself then anything else. maybe someone's interested, i don't know. either way.

it really is coincidence that it's september 11th. i certainly never planned to write about this today, maybe it's something subconcious. i'm sitting here watching CNN, which is pretty similar to CNN back in the states, i wont get into details about the differences. they've had some bar on the bottom of the screen saying "9/11 the legacy" for the last week now, i'll be glad when it's gone. i hate those stupid bars. if i bought into conspiracies i'd say that the TV manufacturers have paid off the cable networks to use all those stupid bars and tradmark crap in order to get people to buy bigger tv's. I wonder how long until we start hearing news specials like "people who can't let go of 9/11." probably not until after the next election. get ready, because it's going to get really nauseating next fall when the politicians start pullling out the 9/11 card. keep the puke buckets nearby, you'll need them.

so there have been 3 suicide bombings since i got here 41 days ago. two in jerusalem and one near rishon le'zion which is relatively close to tel aviv. (imagine you're in smithtown and a suicide bomb goes off in hicksville). last i checked that makes it 37 people killed since i got here. At least by suicide bombs, i dont remember how many sniper attacks there were, i think 2 or 3 maybe. the intifada moves so fast it's hard to keep track. every day there's something new. new politicians, new militants, new attacks, new counterattacks, new assassinations, new settlement building, opening borders, closing borders...it goes on and on like that.

i heard of one soldier that got killed somewhere, hebron or ramallah or jenin or one of those places on the other side of the green line. he didn't have on a vest because there are so many operations going on that there just aren't enough vests to go around. of course, the government has just issued to give some ridiculous amount of money to the settlements.

i know most people reading this probably don't know what this is all about, if it makes you feel any better, sometimes it gets crazy enough that no one really remembers what it's all about. all people can seem to remember at times is how angry they are, how sad they are, and how much they hate each other. you can see it sometimes on peoples faces, just for a fraction of a second, and then it's gone. you can see documentries or on the news sometimes in interviews with hamas or fatah or sometimes settlers, and you can see that their eyes are dead. people looking for death, seeking it out like blood hounds. it's sick. it's frightening.

it's not everything, i dont want anyone to get that idea. it's not like you sit around waiting or talking about it or anything like that. but if you hear sirens for just a little longer then you think you should, you can't help but start to wonder. and if two ambulances or cop cars go screaming by, you take a look out the window, you might turn on the news. if it wakes you up it's pretty bad, because everything gets magnified in your sleep, and you'll get up in a rush and look around, ask if something happened. maybe check the news. my cousin just did it, and she's lived here her whole life.

it's not normal. everyone here knows that. i dont want to get into my politics, christ knows i'm probably the only one who thinks the way i do, so i'll just keep my opinion to myself. i think that's really all i felt the need to say, maybe i'll write more on this later. but 37 people in 41 days. i'm just not eloquent enough to say much about that.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

went to the wedding of my cousin's cousin the other day. pain in the ass religion with it's middle of the week weddings. don't ask me why. personally, if there's a god, he invented friday nights for weddings. it was interesting though, very pretty place, very low key atmosphere (here you dont get all fancy for weddings, no tie's, no fancy outfits, very casual, usually). so i totally broke my chair the other day sitting on it. it was this old rickety thing with a really horrible slant, and i guess it just decided to give up. it was very funny, because it collapsed so slowly, liron was hysterical. i wish i could see what my face looked like. i have some pictures, i'll take more today, but i need email addresses so i can send you to the site, so if you want pictures, you have to email me (what a chore, *sigh*). big shout out to nick and kat for sending me those postcards, you're the best! except kat keeps ignoring me when i IM her...booooo....ok, i need to go do something with myself.