…Or, you know, doesn’t. I should by all sane understandings be sleeping right now, but the evil chronic problem of my summer seems to be particularly nasty tonight–mosquitoes. I’ve tried every preventative home remedy I can find online, and I’m not really willing to douse my body in chemicals right before I roll around my bedsheets, which seems to mean that a lot of times I wake at 4am to the sensation of itching and hearing a nefarious buzz in my ear. Not ideal.
Between that and the fact that I’ve been working hard and playing hard, there hasn’t been a lot of sleep lately. Not great for this longtime insomniac, but it seems to be my existential state for the moment, so I’m just trying to hang.
The fun, though, has been really fun. This week alone has included being out late salsa dancing on a school night, runs to Emek Refaim for fig ice cream, running around playing with new people, tonight’s big yummy dinner at Caffit that included a complimentary appetizer because (I’m guessing) the waiter both liked us and picked up on enough semiotics to figure out that my friend and I were Americans here for not-just-tourism and he wanted to encourage us to come back with our American money another time. Maybe he just liked us because we made him define certain slang phrases for us.
Anyway, I am–much to my surprise, kinda–having a lot of fun. I don’t know entirely what that’s about–partly, certainly, the fact that the last couple of years have involved a lot of Hard Personal Work and moments of fun really felt respite from that rather than a meal in itself, and now for whatever reason I’m getting my fun straight up, no chaser (Not complaining! Though yes, I’m feeling some vague guilt about the fact that I should be working harder during Elul, but, um, I guess I’m not just yet. There’s time! Not much, but, you know, time!) Part of the surprise is partly due to meeting reality against my various Stateside anxieties about living here. The language isn’t a problem as I feared it would be–I surely ain’t fluent, but I have much better skills than I thought I would, and have some Israeli friends with whom I hang out quite a bit, speak almost exclusively in Hebrew and barely notice that I am. Miles to go but improving constantly. And safety stuff–well, it’s been pretty quiet lately, basically no bombs, except that one at a checkpoint, since I’ve gotten here. Some people say that’s because of the wall. I’m not so certain about that, and have a sneaking suspicion there will be many more to come as things ebb and shift around the poliitcal process. But for now things are quiet, and I feel quite comfortable in my illusions of safety. I have a friend who drinks wine almost every time she goes to a restauraunt because it calms her nerves re: just being in a crowded public place. I don’t feel any of that anxiety; which of us is being more realistic is anybody’s guess.
But for the moment it’s summer, I’m in a new place that has quite a nice mix of things that feel familliar (mostly c/o the increased Americanization of this country and the other Anglos around) and things that are new and exciting, and I am having myself some fun. There are definitely things that are hard, frustrating, maddening, and days when I wish I could not leave my house lest I have to deal with the pushy people and their pushy language and when all I want is a TV playing reruns of Will and Grace or whatever. But there’s a lot of good, too–walking around Jerusalem at night with my discman, just takin’ it all in.