What is normal anyway?

We’ve been here almost a year and a half. Honestly, our klita (absorption) has been fantastic. We are very lucky. Not everyone is blessed to move to the place that they want to make their permanent home in Israel – olim frequently find that the town or city that seemed so perfect on their pilot trip is actually not the best fit for their family. And then they start all over again some place else. For us, Rehovot is still the best place. We love it here. I know I keep reiterating that every time I blog, but it has to be said. This city is freaking awesome, our shul is amazing, our community is fantastic.

As we’ve finished dealing with all the bureaucracy involved in the early days of aliya, I found myself wondering what can I possibly write about. Not for my readers, but for myself – I need to write, you see. This is how I get it all out, it’s why I’m so active on Facebook – I have to put my thoughts into writing as part of my functioning – it’s why I kept a journal for 13 years.

I realized this week that while life in Israel is the new normal for us, there will always be things that don’t seem normal. I started compiling a list in my head, and I’d love to hear from other olim if they have things to add.
I’ll start here:

  1. Sundays – ’nuff said
  2. Buying fresh kosher meat from the supermarket
  3. Ditto for kosher cheese
  4. The Post Office
  5. Shopping in general – everyone lives in debt but the malls are always full
  6. School – from the (lack of) hours to the balagan (chaos) of parent teacher meetings, and kids calling their teachers by their first name starting in 1st grade!
  7. Disposable cups, for both hot and cold drinks – the ones for hot drinks are so thin that you have to wear oven gloves while holding them, and the ones for cold drinks are so flimsy that, well, let’s just say I wish I’d put a case of Solo Cups on my lift.
  8. “Aruchat Eser” – literally “a meal at 10am” – not the “elevenses” I grew up with…
  9. Opening my purse before walking into any store for a security check
  10. The amount of paper wasted every time I go to the bank

Please comment with your own not-normal-norms in Israel!

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