Another post this time. A very personal update instead of a post about skin care or make up.
On July 18 2013 I left The Netherlands to live with Yaron in Israel. After travelling to Isreal back and forth for years. Yes it was sad when I left, but I needed to do this to step out of my comfort zone, to be with Yaron but also to live an adventurous life, as I had wanted to live abroad for a few years. Maybe Israel wouldn’t be the country of my first choice, but it has its advantages. I often wonder: what day is it in Israel? Since I find that time is passing by too fast. The weekend already starts on Thursday, not on Friday, and the work week starts on Sunday instead of Monday. The new day starts in the evening when the sun goes down instead of the new calendar day. Actually, I am wondering every day: What day is it in Israel?
Some things were easier than I thought and some things were harder. What I find extremely annoying is that people can’t place me and ask me all the time if I am from India. Yes, I do have Indian roots, but I was born and raised in The Netherlands. My parents and grandparents were born in a former colony of The Netherlands, Surinam. Almost nobody is familiar with Surinam. So people always tend to tag me as an Indian. Ok, so what if I am from India, why do you ask me? A very few people asked me even if I am a ‘metapelet’ (personal nurse), as there are women here from India and the Philippines who take care of senior citizens as their daily job. Sometimes I explain my background and the other times I just say answer ‘no’ if they ask me if I am Indian and just walk away. I sometimes get annoyed when people label me and often I just don’t have the patience to explain my background. I find that people are nosy here and like labeling people. People can be rude and love to queue jump too. Why should you stand in a queue if you can just push yourself in front? I often get annoyed with people jumping in front of me in a queue for the bus or somewhere in a shop. Sometimes it feels that civilization is so far away and I ask myself again: What day is it in Israel?
Also the salaries, generally speaking, are much lower than in The Netherlands. I make three times less than I used to, but I have very nice Dutch colleagues and am able to work from home most of the time, which allows me to determine my own working schedule. So I have time to work on my blog and learn Hebrew. I also do more things I like than I would if I had to travel to my work daily. I work on my passion, which is my blog and I have started organising ‘how to make you own skin care’ events. It’s nice to meet new people from all over the world in my home town Haifa.
On the other side I have experienced that friendships are formed quickly and that people love to help. A recent example: when our neighbourhood stray cat, which lives in front of our door, got sickall the neighbors helped. They even wanted to split the costs for the vet and the prescribed medicines.
Israel is a very well organized country. All public transportation has useful applications on smart devices and the trains are more punctual than the trains in The Netherlands.
As I said, I live in Haifa which is a beautiful city in the north of Israel. There is a beautiful beach here, very near to our house and the Carmel mountains are breathtaking.
The food is something I completely enjoy here. It seems to me that the restaurants are generally better than restaurants in Europe. Israeli cuisine draws on a mixture of so many countries from all over the world. Personally I love falafel with fries and fresh salad in a pita and humus (a food dip made from mashed chickpeas) with za’atar (a blend of herbs, sesame and salt) and other spices. Delicious.
This week it was Roshashana erev, the Jewish New Year. Roshashana means literally head of the year. Roshanana takes place every year, but on an other date of the civil calendar. When it comes to the holidays I always ask myself: what day is it in Israel? We celebrated this event (the Jewish New Year) at my boyfriend’s aunt’s house. It is a very traditional and religious family. It is a pleasure to see how the family shows so much solidarity and celebrates their tradition with lots of good food and sweet people. On the other hand I sometimes feel like an outsider, as I don’t speak Hebrew fluently and am not Jewish. This means I am not familiar with Jewish traditions and other habits. On Roshashana, before the regular meal, we ate an apple with honey which symbolises a sweet new year to come.
I must say that life is so intense here. I experience more than I would experience else where in the same amount of time. A huge learning, curve I would say.
So yes, I lose track of time, experience difficulties but I also learn a lot and enjoy myself here!
Some recent pictures:
On the beach with my international friends some weeks ago.
I was braids maid on the wedding of my best friend here, Shirley.
Shirley and I did the 10K in Tel Aviv last Oktober 2014.
Some older pics below: