Monday, January 30, 2012

on living abroad..and Sesame Street, by blogger of the month Rebekah Dickman

When I was little Sesame Street was one of my favorite shows. I loved the variety and the characters, especially Bert and Ernie.  One my favorite clips remains the one in which Ernie sings about visiting the moon;
Well, I'd like to visit the moon
On a rocket ship high in the air
Yes, I'd like to visit the moon
But I don't think I'd like to live there

Though I'd like to look down at the earth from above
I would miss all the places and people I love
So although I might like it for one afternoon
I don't want to live on the moon

Sometimes that’s how I feel living abroad. It’s amazing to visit and see new things and have new experiences, but I do miss all the places and people I love. I am generally not one prone to homesickness, but lately I find myself wishing that I could jump home for a day or two just to say ‘hi’, do some laundry and perhaps grab some Mexican food. This morning, lying in bed listening to the rain dripping outside, I almost felt like I was back in the soggy Pacific Northwest. It was really nice.

Rainy afternoon.
When taking your Shabbat walk
 and it happens to be raining, you
should always dress appropriately.
I think that winter in the desert is the main precipitating event that is causing me to reminisce of home. Despite the fact that Beersheba in the desert, the winter is surprisingly cold and sometimes even wet. Ok, “cold” is perhaps too strong a term - high 50 in the day and 40s at night - but it feels cold because most of the apartments do not have heating nor are they designed to retain heat. Most days I return to the apartment and am forced to either keep on my Jacket, or worse to put on the jacket that I left hanging on the hook that morning because it was bright and sunny when I left in the morning. Personally, I find that a little backwards.

Good old MickyDs.
Not that I really like McDonalds,
but it is strangely comforting to see,
even if I have to spend 10 min
sounding out the sign.
Still, there are some things to be said about living abroad. When one takes the leap and exits their normal orbit, one experiences amazing things. Just one example of this:  last week I attended a lecture on Bedouin culture. The conference was held in a bomb shelter. Yup, a bomb shelter. And no, it was not because falling objects were threatening to descend from the sky. The organization that held the talk actually had their offices down there. Surprisingly it was really cozy, and except for the lack of windows, I can see how it would be a good place for an office.

Desert anyone? Sometimes the menu is
only in Hebrew. Sometimes it is in English.
If you are lucky, it will include items like
  Desert and Coffe
So in response to Ernie, I agree; it is nice to be home surrounded by all that you know and love. But for me, it would be more sad to never leave because then I would miss all the great things that are our there in the world. -blogger of the month Rebekah Dickman