Where is Home?

So here we are back in Israel on a flying visit. We arrived January 22nd after a horrid flight, despite being well fed by Swissair, we had a 7 hour layover in Zurich where they wanted a ridiculous sum of money for Internet use (we didn’t use) and a ridiculous sum of money to buy a sandwich or coffee which we did even though we weren’t hungry. Also you pay them in Euro and they give you useless change in Swiss Francs. So we arrived back in Israel at 3.30am to be greeted by our lovely son who came to pick us up.So now we are here back in Jerusalem until February 9th,enough time to sort out various bureaucratic things and see a bit of friends and family,and we discover two weird things. One, most people are not REALLY interested in what we are doing, except perhaps for perfunctory questions about whether all Chinese look the same, and whether or not they eat dogs. Secondly,we are missing our home in Lin’an ,the campus , the students and of course the FOOD.So we are checking in on our friends there on Facebook and so on, and it all seems very far away. When we were in China we thought that 2.5 weeks here in Israel would not be enough to do stuff. But now we are here, we are happy that we will be going back soon. Apart from various material comforts (easy internet access,soft bed, central heating) our life in Lin’an is more varied, interesting and stimulating.And here we are BORED.So that’s it for today’s entry.We had a great weekend with family and such. Next weekend we have a barmitzva to go to and the following weekend we will be back in Shanghai-YAY!

Jerusalem-the touristy view

Jerusalem-the touristy view


7 thoughts on “Where is Home?

  1. You are lucky you have a son who comes to pick you up from the airport!!! Hope you have a great time with your family and friends in the short time you have at home and you are lucky that you can call both the places your home!!!

  2. BORED??? Bleedin’ cheek. You come all the way here and tell us you’re BORED???? Maybe tomorrow’s visit to the Beijing Restaurant will put things to rights. I just wanna hear you order the food in Chinese. Start practising your tones right now.

  3. dear ruth – the reason you are bored is because you are NOT WORKING!! if you want, i could help you with that – easy enough to find you some work.;) but i think you should enjoy your vacation and be happy to go back, because this IS a vacation and your “real life” is, for now, in china.

  4. Did not have time to work Dear Aadil,as it was a flying visit of only two weeks and we were very busy and had to see so many people and do so many paperwork-related things. We were happy to go back it was just weird!

  5. Hi Ruth: After your BORED comment, I hope you have friends left when you do go back to Israel :). But I know what you mean although bored isn’t the exact word. At the end of the Hobbit movie, Frodo and Sam are sitting in the pub and all their friends are swirling around them. Life has gone on while they were away. And now where do they fit in? And who relates to what they have been doing? Also, one of the reason we love being here is that except for teaching our students, we have NO other responsibilities: no meetings, no reports, no evaluations of other faculty, no budget planning, . . . And that’s just what we don’t have to do at work.

    We were at home on Maui for three months before coming back, but we didn’t take time to walk the five minutes to watch a sunset until two days before we left and that was with a couple we had been trying to see the whole three months, but they/we had been too busy. That’s pathetic. We got caught up in all our responsibilities at home: disposing of 14-months of fallen rubber tree leaves, fixing irrigation systems, tenting for termites, painting, taking things out of and then back into storage, doing two years of taxes, . . . you get the idea. So while we are in China and traveling, we just get to ignore all those responsibilities. We just need to decide where we go next or where we will eat dinner. It’s no wonder we like to travel. Getting to teach in another country gives us great connections to wonderful people. Because the language is a mystery, we are forced to be in the moment too.

    So if you two are like Barry and me, you are probably not BORED by being home, but just distracted by all the things you need to do among people who are very busy at work and at home. Have fun deciding where you will eat today. Aloha and zaì jiàn, Renée

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