Thursday, January 5, 2012

Swirling Thoughts #214 - it's all still good in the aretz...

I’m just SO. VERY. TIRED.

And so there are stories to tell but I lack the energy to relay them in their full hilarity.

For starters, the story of procuring a US passport for Sarah. Which involved 100 failed attempts at photographing a 2 month old without parental appendages, shadows, and unnatural expressions.

There was the dramatic Hollywood moment where I ran toward the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, arms flailing, shouting, “I’m an American Citizen! Open the gaaaaaaate!” Because I just couldn't resist.

And there’s more stuff which I really should write about – the orange pay phones inside the embassy which only take special cards but nobody has a special card (no cell phones permitted inside the embassy). My friend once asked a shopkeeper for the special card and he asked her for her cell phone number so he could sms (text) her the special card pin. Um. Yeah.

The juxtaposition of the southern Virginia drawl of the American consulate workers with the y’alla pace of the Israelis working for the embassy is funny but not as funny as the spreadsheet we got on how it is possible for American grandparents to commute citizenship to grandchildren born in Israel. Post mortem.

Then there’s the story of how America looks through the eyes of an American who’s been living in Israel for 2 ½ years. You guys have re-usable Tropicana jugs now!

As I suspected, America is still the land of 24 ounce coffees in REALLY THICK PAPER CUPS, blueberries as far as my eye could see, and ridiculously nice store clerks.

My Target list read like a camp scavenger hunt. My best surprise find was the twisty ties my sister in law had in her junk drawer. She had maybe 300 of them. I took them all.

There’s the story of the jet lag upon returning to Israel. Which is mostly a story about Peetoosh making ridiculous demands in the middle of the night.
“I want to go OUTSIDE!”
“Um, Peetoosh, it’s 3 in the morning.”

And finally there’s the story about Cellcom. Cellcom who calls me weekly but only wants to speak with Bob. About free gifts which I try to reject but they cannot accept my rejection since I am not Bob. For the record, Bob is usually right next to me, waving his hands in an “I am NOT here” gesture. Anyway, today as Bob slept off more of our collective jetlag, a Cellcom rep called me and asked where our house was. I woke up Bob.
“Um, did you ask Cellcom to send a rep here?”
“Mm hm”
“He’s outside.”

Ten minutes later I looked outside and they were talking.
One minute after that, he was gone.

“Why was the Cellcom guy here?”
“I wanted them to do something about our klita” (reception)
“But he left.”
“Yes, he left.”
“Did he do something?”
“Why didn’t he do something?”
“Well, for the neighbor, they did something to give them klita all over the house."
"That sounds great!"
"Yes it does. But for us they wanted to do something to give us klita in just one room.”
“Just one room?”
“Just one room.”
“Mm hm.”
“So I sent him away.”

And so we are back. A fine visit with family and friends, and just enough smiling customer service, blueberries, and twisty ties to hold us over until next time.

And in case you were wondering, it is good to be back.