One year ago today we moved to Israel. Are you thinking the same thing I am? Yep, I can't believe we survived either.
Wow, an enitre 365 days has passed since we stepped off that El Al flight and dove head first into this crazy adventure. Prior to moving here, I had so many mixed emotions about the road that lay ahead. Today, one year later and 2 weeks until we move back, those mixed emotions have come back in floods, with the uncanny ability to drown my heart both in joy and heartbreak within minutes. Well, maybe that has a little to do with the raging pregnancy hormones too.
It hasn't been always easy or fun to live abroad. It hasn't been all terrible days either. In my final few posts, I thought I'd share with you some of the things I'll miss and things I won't miss about Israel. Let's start with those particular gems I absolutely will not miss about living here:
The Bride's Top 10 Reasons I Question My Sanity for Living Here List
1. The difficulty. Little things like paying bills, dealing with bureaucracy, shopping and transportation are compounded by the language barrier and cultural differences. I'll be glad when it doesn't take an extra half hour to argue with the check out lady. Or I don't have to get my husband to translate how I check the Israeli phone's voice mail and understand how to pay my cable bill (or if this is even the cable bill I'm looking at). Or I don't ruin another baking/cooking project because I don't understand the Hebrew written on the package--olive bread for your french toast anyone? Yeah, I did that.
2. The missing out. I feel I've missed out on so many events back home with my friends and family. I missed holidays, births, weddings and milestones of the people who matter most to me in the world. My friend's children and younger cousins have grown an entire year without me. I have missed them more than words can say.
3. The expense. How can such a tiny country cost so much to live in? Moving to Israel was definitely not the most sound financial decision we've ever made. Taxes are nearly double here than in the States, so are the price of cars and apartments. Our 800 square foot, one bedroom apartment is a few hundred dollars more than what we paid for our 1,500 square foot 2 bedroom in the United States. A new Kia compact car here almost $15,000 more than in the States (and that doesn't include the $7/gallon gas prices). Even the price of deodorant here is almost enough to make a gal want to stink for a few days.
4. The poor quality of everything. If the unreasonably tiny fridge and stove, leaky air conditioning units (no central air in the desert is an entire other complaint of mine), scary electrical outlets that may or may not electrocute you and door handles/cabinet doors/light fixures that decide to fall off for no reason in particular haven't driven me insane yet, then the clothes that disintegrate after 3 washes, the parchment paper thin furniture and the mind numbingly slow internet (ironic for a country that practically built the technology) just might.
5. The hard as nails Israeli attitude. Sometimes it is just easier to be nice my darling Israeli friends. Sometimes it is not worth the fight. Sometimes a smile will go further than yelling. Try it once in a while, you may like it.
6. The customer service. The customer is never right in Israel. Even if you are right, you aren't. Even if it would take an extra 2 minutes to fix, it won't get fixed. Even if you miraculously manage to get someone to do something for you, it is with disdain and loud complaining.
7. The ridiculous holidays. There are some times I honestly think Israelis make up holidays so they don't have to work. Word of advice, don't move to Israel a week before Rosh Hashana like we did. You will get nothing accomplished for an entire month. Then be aware of the random Jewish holidays that shut down the country on any given day.
8. The bureaucracy. The day we decided to move back to the States was a glorious day for the simple knowledge I wouldn't have to set another foot in the Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of Interior). If the Israeli government could make you wait in line to sign a piece of paper before you could pee, believe me they would. Israeli bureaucracy is tedious, illogical and unnecessary 95% of the time.
9. The cats. This one is purely for Marilyn's sake. It is a cat eat cat world out there and my dear pooch is just trying to survive.
10. The T-rex sized bugs. This one is purely for DH's sake. I grew up in the South and even I haven't seen bugs the size of these suckers and have the tenacity like they do. I think I actually saw a roach look at me with revenge in his eyes.