slamming the brakes
...just finished the breakneck dash through Israel's landscape history and politics that is Birthright Israel, and whoa. I contacted the internets only once at that bizarro little gas station ("Extreme Wodka" in a metal tube and twenty kinds of roasted peanuts and mini Eeyore gummi pops) with the free connection. Other than that it was nonstop bus-hopping mountain-climbing madness. I'll tell you about it sometime.
So now I'm going for another week to all the many places we missed and some of the ones we dashed through too quickly. I am subsisting with great (supergreat) pleasure on a wholly chickpea and yogurt based diet, and staring wide-eyed at the beautiful people, and rocking my tiny duffel bag. I am starting to feel like maybe I'm here, a little, and not just flying around with a tiny bus-sized America.
If anyone needs to call me, email my mom and she'll give you the number of the rented cell phone. If you don't know her email, write me and with some luck I'll see the message.
When everyone else left (well, the 3/4 of the group that didn't stay on for more travel) I basically had a mental nervous attack--as if I had drunk five espressos and eaten spoonfuls of sugar and then heard nails on a chalkboard for twenty minutes. It was so physically powerful I was shocked. Ten days' worth of giddiness, wonder, frustration, and the cement of hastily-formed close friendships all comes to a crest rather dramatically and I was literally twitching and aching from the top of my head to my ankles. Also, I'm exhausted from sleep deprivation.
But! I had some fantastic discussions: which was, if not The Point, very central to my sense of Jewish identity. I'll tell you about that too. For now I will go to sleep, with four compadres, on the floor of our Israeli soldierfriend (they send soldiers to be buddies on the trip)'s adorable studio apartment in Tel Aviv. Tomorrow, Haifa. Good night.