Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Six days to go...

By this time next week, I'll be in my new home - Jerusalem, Israel.

While I'm still excited to be going, several factors have been giving me pause for thought. Not least the escalating situation, which is taking place, centre stage, in - you guessed it - good old west Jerusalem, and other locations around the country.

Far be it from me to provide my own political comment on whatever is happening. I always wonder what possesses those people who post long diatribes. Maybe they have wee epitomes, a symptom of our times, unfortunately, that PEOPLE MUST KNOW WHAT I'M THINKING ABOUT, WHEN I'M THINKING ABOUT IT. AND FAST!

I tend to go with the other, preferable realisation - who cares what I think anyway?! - yet still blabber on all of my (non-political) thoughts via this blog. I confess it's mainly to keep people updated on my aliya progress, so I don't have to answer the same questions 20-odd times. I like to think I'm being helpful with this approach - it also means people get to skip the bits they CBA to read/hear. Don't say I'm not good to you, people.

All of that aside, voicing political opinions on social media/in conversation with those who've already made their minds up serves very little purpose, nor will it change anything. However the shoddy political situation is a massive consideration to take into account, when making or preparing for aliya. It always has been.

I'm torn between what I know and what I'm seeing. My facebook feed swings wildly between semi-alarmist articles, blogs ranging from the loudmouthed and unconsidered to the perceptive and analytical, posts in groups alerting to potential chefetz chashudim - suspicious objects - around Israel and pictures of my Israel-dwelling friends on the beach. What on earth am I meant to think?

The only comparative experience I can draw on was during my last extended sojourn, coinciding with 2010s Gaza Flotilla. Traumatic events aside, my personal experience was that I had serious FOMO, so rather than stay up all night and report on what was about to happen, I decided to go out drinking. I then woke up the next day with a biblically epic hangover and heard 8 people had been killed, and it was now an international incident. Seeing missed calls on my phone, telling me to haul arse to Ashdod (where the flotilla had been towed), I realised after trying a bit that that wasn't going to happen (it didn't) as roads were blocked. Disgruntled and head pounding, I returned to Tel Aviv (it transpired I'd left my wallet there anyway), where nothing at all was different, and everyone was getting on with their usual Friday morning activities.

The phone calls I received from friends and family back in Blighty were borderline hysterical though. The BBC were whipping things up again and people feared for my safety. While I was grateful for their well wishes and concern, I was also rather hungover and couldn't piece together their information with what I was actually seeing in front of me.

People do seem to be getting around and about in Israel, even if the situation is more tense than usual. It's easy for me to say, from my luxurious flat, Corny on my lap and only the sound of faraway traffic, for the next few days at least,  that maybe the situation isn't as dangerous as it seems.

Or, it could be. It could be worse. I fully admit it's scaring me and that if anything would lead to cold feet, it's this.

It's just such Sod's Law (non-Brits - yeah, I see you. Thanks for reading :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sod%27s_law) that after 5 years of waiting and dreaming of this week - my last week in England! - that something as awful as this would happen. While I know that sounds awful - 4 teenagers have been murdered, and thank gd it's not my personal tragedy, the national and international aftermath is enough to unsettle the most po-faced amongst us.

Otherwise, I am looking forward to my last day as a teacher, on Thursday. Yet I am dreading Friday. I have been given the day off by my Head of Department, who has also experienced the joys of emigration, ahe thinks I will definitely need it. I'm so exhausted currently that my stubborn streak seems to have vanished and I agreed.

Thus, I'll be taking Corny to his new home on Friday, instead of Wednesday, before returning, for a few hours, to my flat, meeting the cleaners and then returning to my parents' home for my last Shabbat here.

I have said more (painful) goodbyes this weekend. I've packed a bit more stuff up. The flat's nearly empty

I'm so confused about how I feel. It's primarily excitement, blended with fear, with accents of...sorrow?

I'm consciously partly scared of making a massive mistake - leaving my comfortable (if mind-numbingly boring) life here, and giving away Corny, without being able to take him back if I ever returned, or gambling on the new beginning I've craved so badly.

Only time will tell. until then, I'll continue my bewildering cycle of elation, crying, news-checking and goodbyes.

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