So work has been particularly painful today. After a restless night, battling with a blood thirsty mosquito I awoke and briefly contemplated sleeping in and arriving into work later than my 7.38am usual time of arrival, but the thought of all the extra hours I have to make up already got me out of bed and into a shower. There is an eerie silence around Tel Aviv at 6am… my windows are open and the rubbish trucks have not started their chug chug chug down my street, so I add to the silence blow drying my hair, warming my body, and possibly waking my roommate in the process. I put on clothes, attempt to undo the laces on my trainers, give up and put on my suede boots and hope it doesn’t rain. I grab the food I have prepared for myself as I am trying to save money and not buy my food out everyday and run out of the house, always with the feeling that I have forgotten something. Walking to the bus stop I see in the distance that where there are usually a line of people waiting there was no-one waiting for the bus. Initially I was concerned that I may have missed the bus again and would have to drive, and then even more disappointingly I realised that I was early. Thankfully I recently invested in an ipod, although I still have not sorted out my playlists on itunes, nevertheless I put in my earphones and drown out the noise of Dizengoff listening to Jimi Hendrix.
The bus holds some slight amusement, as now that the school year is in full swing the back of the bus is full of trainee chefs in their black and white check trousers and Naot. The token girl walks onto the bus and joins her boy chefs at the back of the bus; however as the last one on the bus she has to stand. It takes me back to things my grandmother would have said… “In our day a gentleman would give up his seat to a lady.” But none of these boys are gentleman and the little freicha joining them at the back of the bus is certainly not a lady! I used to try and listen into their conversations, but with the long awaited arrival of my ipod I prefer to switch off and gaze soulfully out of the window at Tel Aviv turning into Ramat Aviv to Herzelia. Today one of the boys was hand gesturing to the rest of the crowd for the length of the journey, so my curiosity got the better of me, and I listened intently to the best way to dress a Caesar salad… in a bowl tossing clockwise for your information… as opposed to stirring or tossing with utensils. Every day the same, the walk from where the bus drops me to my office, the wait for the green man to let me walk across the main road, the soldiers waiting at the bus stop outside my office. In the morning I try not to catch anyone’s eye, the security guard at the front entrance has finally understood this and no longer tries to get me to speak or look at him in the morning. Smiling hurts before 8am.
Sometimes the mornings are my favourite time of the day. I sit at my computer, drinking my latte macchiato, listening to English radio, reading the Sun online and checking my emails. It usually helps to ease me into the day, alas today nothing could satisfy me. The Sun bore no news that I was interested in, and for the first time in months my inbox only held 3 emails of pure trite. At 8am there is no-one on messenger yet, so I proceed to search every online newspaper for some news or gossip to keep me amused until I have someone to talk to. I walk out onto the balcony and watch the sun move across the Mediterranean, flickering between the yachts that are docked in the Marina.
I return to my seat at 8.30am only half an hour and people will be logging in to say hi on msn. I get on with work in the meantime… the constant battle to remove as many files from my desk as possible before I lose the will to carry on or before the end of the day. One by one the people I love turn up on msn to amuse me as best as they can for the majority of the day. The best thing about people being on msn is the links they send you. There are only so many entertaining links you can find for yourself on Google before you get bored, so it is a relief when they keep coming through friends… the “feed me” icon (known to most people as the yawn) helps encourage certain individuals to help me stop falling asleep at my desk… that is until the rest of my team turn up.
Once the office is full, the radio is turned up and the sing along to Daniel Powter ” Bad Day” can begin. It is the little things in life that put a smile back on my face and make me feel glad to be alive again… even when work sucks the life out.
After lunch the day gets dramatically better. Although I am still bored and restless, the end is in sight and I can look forward to getting back on the bus and heading home. The day quickly slopes down towards the time when I can leave work and my mind is racing with things I would like to do but haven’t mustered the energy to do, like call a friend and go out and get drunk. The evenings are the time when I let my head go blank and enjoy chilling out with friends. My apartment sometimes feels like a commune with the number of people walking in and out, making themselves at home, but I would not have any other way. I love listening to the stories of their days, the latest dramas in their lives. I admittedly also like to close off and just watch whatever is on the television in a daze.
I think about making more use of my time. I think about finishing one of the books I have started writing. I think about calling some of my friends in the UK or the rest of the world just to say hello and hang up the phone. I think about running along the beach enjoying the sea spray against my face, hot and flushed from running. I think about how satisfying my life is in Israel. I think about how lucky I am to be so close to my family. I think about how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends living so close to me in Israel. I contemplate ways I would make my life better. I weigh up all my demons, all the battles I try to overcome on a day to day basis and I feel content with my achievements and my endeavours. And at the end of the day I fall into bed and thank the lord for giving me so much and blessing me in so many ways. Life is good.