Wow, there is something about the communal kvetching, multiple minyanim and ease with which i get into a conversation about Israel's political future with the person next to me. Chassidic families, secular couples, children, the elderly, yiddish, english, hebrew, black and white Eastern Europe, and trendy aviators above sleeveless shirts is a partial cross section of Israeli society that you can find just on the plane.
The only unfortunate thing about noticing all the people around was the absence of the unaffiliated and largely uninterested Jew. Talking to a friend at my going-away-gathering last night I was really having a hard time understanding the disinterest. I mean you can have a free 10 day trip to Israel. FREE. I would go to Syria for free. What's to lose?
In other news my flight was two hours late in leaving. This was made somewhat less annoying by the free orange slippers I received. Also my fat carry-on had to be unpacked and repacked several times while I was told that I'd have to check it but hamdu lillah I made it onto the plane. As usual I enjoyed the mini interrogation provided to me by a young accented Israeli security guard.
Got out of the airport met my cousin, took a sherut (communal taxi) back to Jerusalem. Dropped the bags off at the apartment where my cousin is staying. Had BURGERS BAR dinner followed by some sorbet. As much as I wanted to make it to campus today to leave my stuff it didnt work out. So tomorrow first thing Im there to register, sign in, move in, shop, etc. As usual I've got the feelings of oh my Gd i bet everyone is meeting and having a blast without me, might my year be ruined?. normal. My enormous popularity has resulted in three different groups signing me up for their dorms (truth: two groups and one that I was assigned to by the school). Either way it seems I'll get my wish of staying in the Kfar HaStudentim (Student Village - the new dorm complex with individual bedrooms, 5 to an apartment.) everyone has been assigned there.
I've noticed something, at least so far, that seems different about this trip. On previous trips I've had this feeling of being really awash in excitement from the moment I land and for the first time I'm driving through the country and coming into Jerusalem. This time it was somewhat absent. It feels like I haven't left. Like this is an extension of my last visit. In someways thats dissapointing - who doesn't want to feel tingling and hyper. On the other hand, it means I've come to know Israel that much differently. Like its beginning to normalize and become real to me. Like you have to get over puppy love to build a real relationship (which is ultimately more fulfilling that constant butterflies in your stomach) so I need to get over the first feelings to know Israel on a different level. What a nuts year this is going to be.
That's all for tonight.