We came back home to Jerusalem for a month over the semester break and it has been rather weird. Firstly of course it was great to see all our friends and family again,to eat our faviourite Israeli foods that are not available in China, and to sleep in our own (extremely soft) bed. It was great to go to Pilates classes again and tell people we are just here for a break and are living in China.But it was also odd that we very quickly found ourselves missing China, Xiamen and our life there. I miss the students, I miss getting up every day in Xiamen and not knowing who we are going to meet or what is going to happen.I miss the challenge of trying to make myself understood in Chinese.And I miss the surprises every time we order in a restaurant and have no clue what is going to appear on the table.
It was great to be met at the airport by our younger son,to hear what he has been up to,and to spend time with my Dad,and my brothers and see all the family together for my brother’s birthday.But now we feel that we are in the way.The boys have their own lives to lead,and really don’t need us around.My dad is doing fine and is okay with us going back.
Today is Chinese New Year, and although we planned not to be there during that festival I am a little disappointed now I see it all on the TV that we will be missing the festivities.So maybe we will stay put next year and see them for ourselves,wherever we are.
We did have some fun here.We went to see a couple of movies and we are gong to a concert this week. But we kept checking the prices in the restaurants and shops and comparing to Chinese prices. We spent some time with friends of ours from Xiamen who came to visit, Steve and Viny, who are of the Bahai faith and came to Israel to go on a pilgimage to their temple in Haifa. We showed them around Jerusalem a bit,went with them to Yad Vashem,to Ein Karem,Abu Gosh and the Tayelet to see the views of the Old City.
We also had a coffee with Aliza and Shimon who will be joining us at XMUT next semester.So that was fun too.So roll on next Monday when we get on the plane and go back to Xiamen via Hong Kong,Macau and Shenzhen.
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!
Yom Yerushalaim- what does that mean to me? Hmmm….Well I have looked at a lot of other blogs ,and I can see mine looks pretty lame. I don’t have any cool pictures or videos on mine. So today I shall try and rectify that. I am still not sure why I am doing this or who is likely to read it ever (including me??) but anyway I will give it a try. So with the historic date in mind here goes. If you google search for Jerusalem, you always find pictures with the Temple Mount slap bang in the middle. But that is not MY Jerusalem.I have memories of the city as it once was, cosmopolitan, fun, full of life,not as it is becoming, poor,dirty and neglected.And the more I think of leaving the more it makes me angry- why should I have to leave the city to the Haredim and the Arabs??That’s a rhetorical question, guys.