My friends and family in Los Angeles, NY, and Chicago keep telling me to come home. My friends and family in Israel keep telling me to stay home in Israel. People I meet tell me to live in the place where I am happyâ€¦but what happens when I am happy in both places? What happens when I see myself living and doing well in both places? How can home be where the heart is, but my heart is spread thin?
The person who single handedly does everything and anything in her power to keep me in Israel, without a doubt, without exception, is my fabulous aunt HannaÂ in Jerusalem.
I spent two fun-filled weeks in Ichilov hospital (I really did have funâ€¦I slept next to a homeless man who yelled in his sleep, got yelled at by nurses, made friends with the other sickos, woke up at the butt-crack of dawn to get blood taken my doctors who refused to take from the right vein, got my bed smashed into deliberately by the cleaning crew, got biopsies which still scar my arms and legs, & most importantly, got practically naked in front of the ridiculously sexy doctors on a daily basis) but my incredible aunt Hannah was there by my side all day, every day. So much, in fact, that I had to stay up all night (not such a challenge with the screamer over there) just to study and keep up with my classmates, who already began the first semester of the already intensive MBA. Hanna even brought me breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. I may be the only person in history who gained weight in a hospital. I was admitted on October 31st, and I can confidently say that I will never have a better Halloween costume. Who knew I would celebrate in Israel more than I did in LA?
Much thanks to Hanna, the aunt who spoils me rotten: drives all over the country for me, buys me gifts, cooks deliciously mouth-watering Moroccan food for me, takes me on vacations to places like Ireland, Greece, the Caribbean, Alaska, Canadaâ€¦she knows, of course, that when I am insanely, filthy, ungodly rich, I will return the favor
I love Israel, not just because of the hundreds of Moroccan family members I have here, but also because of the unique dynamic between people when they speak with each other on a daily basis. Itâ€™s refreshing and easy to fall in love withâ€¦which is how I feel, until I walk into a bank. Or a post office. Or a hospital. Then I’m pretty sure I’m being â€œpunk’dâ€. Every single time. I just canâ€™t seem to get used to it! But what I really canâ€™t get used to, especially during these hot and humid summer months in Tel Aviv, is the jukim. I hate them with a deep passion. To this day, I canâ€™t seem to figure out what their purpose on this earth isâ€¦why would g-d torture us this way? Someone help me make sense of this informationÂ I found:
There are about 5,000 species of jukim in the world, and about a 2:1 roach: human ratio. Females mate once and can stay pregnant for life. They can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes.
I am so terrified of these creatures, I actually have nightmares about a Juke Monster in the hallway of my apartment building. Iâ€™m not joking. If I see one on the street, I have a mini heart attack. Do you know what happens when I see one in my home? I scream, freak out, and call someone to come and rid me of the unwanted guestâ€¦regardless of what time it isâ€¦donâ€™t laugh! Do you know what it feels like to be afraid of the big, bad Juke Monster every time you leave or enter your home? Not fun. At all. I keep a bottle of anti-roach spray in my hands at all times, and sleep with a bottle under my pillow (okay, that last part is a jokeâ€¦maybe).
If the jukim donâ€™t manage to kick me out of Israel and I decide to stay, I better take a swim in HaYarkon river.
I simply canâ€™t think of a better way to grow five extra hands and compete with Israelis. They have seven hands. These people are not messing around. They need a separate hand for: felafel, a work phone, a personal phone, a dog leash, a cigarette, hailing the cab, and the famous rega hand signal. Thatâ€™s a lot to do at once, and to master the art takes much time and practice. Cavod. And with all those tasks, they still have time for their own start-up â€œbabiesâ€. When I asked a dear friend of mine, Ori Goshen, how his recruitment for TawkonÂ is going, he said something that I have been hearing non-stop since then: Israeli start-ups have a hard time recruiting talent because everyone else is too busy with his/her own start-up. Most of the recruitment for Tawkon is being done via the rich network Ori has maintained from his days in the IDF.Â By the way, Tawkon is an amazing mobile app that every single one of us needs to be using. Check it out.
I love living in LA and I love living in Tel Aviv. My heart will never be completely satisfied, unless of course a few changes are made in Tel Aviv: Â a valet parking system, higher wages for all, and a way to laser-beam people and objects to and from anywhere in the world. So, people, get going!