I keep silent.
In a transit airport, I feel conspicuously Israeli. There is Hebrew on my shirt, shkelim in my wallet and an Israeli passport among my documents. "Travel on your American passport," I was told in one international capitol.
Scrolling through pictures of chayalim on buses on the camera roll of my iPhone reminds me of home.
|The contrast between the chayelet in uniform and the poufy straw beach bag amused me.|
|I cherish this image of a chayal davening on my bus in the morning.|
The shops are clean, well-lit, creatively organized and filled with over-priced consumer goods that I have zero desire to acquire. There is a paucity of kosher food options. The only items I'm sure about are bottled water and shortbread cookies marked with a kosher symbol that I recognize from America.
I am surrounded by naked commercialism, much like any department store in America, every element designed to seduce me into parting from my cash.
I'm tempted twice. Until I do the currency conversion and gasp. Shopping in most places in Israel just isn't this slick.
There are random Jew sightings:
but mostly it's an international European crowd, heavily accented with Muslims. Right. We Jews are a minority population in the bigger world. I forgot. Not intellectually. But experientially.
Walking the streets of Jerusalem, I'm used to hearing many languages, but here, there is so much English around me that I am disoriented. After a year in Israel, I am still cautious about speaking to strangers in public places for fear that we don't have a common language. Suddenly, I am nearly universally understood and the awkward, deer-in-the headlights look I perpetually wear in public in Israel is gone. I understand so much of what's going on around me. It's very disorienting.
Even with that, I wish I was Homeward Bound.