Tag Archives: Israeli stare

Back in the Saddle

7 Mar

Well, I’m back in Haifa and classes started yesterday. I had one day’s reprieve before our first day of class. Jet lag is still tripping me up – I had the head bob thing going on by our last class last night. Luckily, most of my international classmates were in the same boat. We were a grumpy, exhausted crowd yet happy to be in each others’ company again.

I have to admit – I struggled with rather I was ready to return to Israel. When I first got home – all I could do was think about how badly I wanted to go back. I missed it desperately. That’s about the same time that I realized how happy I was in Israel. As my time at home grew, and certain less than pleasant business was taken care of, I slowly relaxed into American life again. I spent lots of time with my friends and family…and ate all the food I missed. I realized how badly I had missed everyone at home. It was nice hearing English everywhere I went and being able to read everything around me. Though it still felt like sensory overload – right up until the end. The thought of how difficult I knew this semester was going to be, coupled with leaving friends and family behind again, made me sad. Every time I thought about leaving again my brain would blare “You’ll be gone for another six months. SIX MONTHS!” Suddenly, my time at home felt too short and I became grumpy about my return.

As I flew back to Israel, I tried to rationalize with myself. “Think of how happy you were here.” To which my brain would counter with, “Yes, but you are going to hate life once your thesis research starts for serious.” Then I’d start to panic about my work load. So I’d switch gears and think about seeing my friends….until I thought of less than endearing people I’d also have to see. Ugh. My brain was working hard to convince me to get off the plane in London and hide out for the next six months.

Once I landed in Israel and started making my way towards customs and the exit – suddenly things felt oddly…normal. The smells, the bustling people, the signs I can’t understand – it all felt welcoming. I filed my missing bag report (my bags decided to take a longer stop over in London) and walked straight to the train station without having to follow the signs. As I settled into my seat for my ride up to Haifa, a young Jewish guy sat next to me as he talked loudly into his cell phone. He stared at me as the train pulled away from the station and I automatically shot him my perfected (and soon to be trademarked) Israeli stare. Yep, I was definitely back and finding my groove quickly.

As I rode the bus from the Haifa Ha’Carmel train station up to campus, I started fielding excited texts from my roommates about my impending arrival. These messages were interspersed with messages from friends at home asking if I had arrived yet and telling me how much they missed me already. My grumpy mood was being lifted, the higher the bus climbed up Mount Carmel. As soon as the bus stopped at the dorm stop and I hopped off – I was suddenly excited. I had to keep myself from running gleefully down the stairs to my greet my roommates. I was finally happy to be in Israel, happy to be home.