Tuesday, July 01, 2003


We've been through a lot together, weather-wise, you and I. We've had our fair share of rain and pour, drenched shoes and make-shift umbrellas. We've spent many hours in our respective apartments because going outside and getting wet made everything so truly irritating. Simple acts like walking or talking, for example, became chores, up there with cleaning out your roommates' shower which always seems to accumulate insane amounts of hair regardless of how many times they empty it. So needless to say, the weather this morning came as a welcome relief, a respute, especially considering how moody you've recently been because of the rain (geez. Lighten up, girl/guy).

As I left my apartment and got dressed...or was it the other way around...I couldn't help but feel reminded of the weather in the Middle East. Like I was in Israel, a place I nostagically long to re-visit. I even joked with a friend this morning that we should head over to the "makolet" (hebrew for "market") and pick up some "lachmaniyot" (bread rolls). Granted it wasn't so funny...but he understood what I had meant because he had been there too. The mornings there were my favorite part of the day. The calmness of the slow Israeli pace, the smell of cafes brewing their insanely strong coffee which I, the lightweight, could never handle and the sound of giggling children as parents let them run to the bus on their own.

This whole positive-weather-experience (a name for a band perhaps?) made me think about my pop-culture-centric life and perhaps, a lack of seriousness or, at least, a lack of depth reflected by my blog. And one of the areas I think I have been ignoring is Israel, a once-hot, now lukewarm topic of discussion. It used to be that I couldn't go anywhere without people bringing up the "situation" (or the "matzav" as Israelis call it) but now I find it skirted over, if not mostly avoided.

And before you label me "naive," this actually doesn't surprise me at all. We live in a time of over-saturation, where because of the media we get tired of things so quickly that, as the line from "Kicking And Screaming" goes; we're nostalgic for times that haven't even happened yet. How many people truly cared about September 11th a mere few months after the event? I mean, truly cared.And the Middle East conflict, like September 11th, is a horrible tragedy that people are unfortunately tired of hearing about. We want to move on, some say. Haven't we seen enough footage, say others.

Interestingly enough, in the recent months or years, since the conflict began my perspective has changed a great deal. There is no clear definition of who are the good guys and who are the bad guys (besides, obviously, the suicide bombers). There are Israeli families suffering losses just as there are Palestinian families who mourn. There are soldiers that act out of sheer violence and anger just as there are Palestinains who condone random killing. And while I am Jewish and my allgiance lies with Israel, I am confused. In risk of disappointing you, I don't have the answers or the clear solutions but you're obviously not looking for them here, either. I am not Thomas Friedman. I am not a middle aged man with a mustache.

I haven't been to Israel in six years--which is ages for me--considering I had been there seven times before that (and once was for a year and a half). And the truth is that I have had opportunity to do so since then, on affordable trips sponsored by the affluent. I am shamed to say that I have not gone because I am human. I worry. Maybe I worry more than most humans. In fact, I worry more like a robot programmed to worry. But I will go back soon. Because weather like this makes me determined. And while I only have to remind myself of the previous downpours and perhaps crappy weather in the coming weeks and months, I know this is not the real thing. People don't come to New York for weather like this. They leave New York to find it. It's true that the real glorious thing is thousands of miles away, on an eight hour flight somewhere near the Mediteranian Sea.

And when I am there, I will wake up and enjoy the temperature, the cool breeze, the unrepentant sun. And then I will go to the Makolet and buy me some lachmaniyot.


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