December 10, 2004


I moved here to Israel more than 1 year ago. In some ways it seems as if I have lived here forever. I can't imagine living anywhere else, and when other's tell me they are going back to the USA, whether for a short or long term I tend to feel pity, even though they are happy about the trip. Perhaps later, after I have been here awhile that will change, and I will look forward to a vacation in the USA (or other place in the world) as well---maybe what I am feeling is the euphoria of having fulfilled my dream.

Be that as it may, there are certain things I miss, certain things I would change if I could, with the wave of a magic wand, and one is foremost in my mind in these chilly days.

Heat; hot water, when I want it. Just turn on the tap. Scorching hot water cascading down my back, or filling my tub.

Here in Israel, as I think it is in much of the world, to get hot water during the cooler months, when the sun hides more than shines, one needs to turn on something. And not ones spousea (although that does bring up some rather interesting images). What one has to turn on here is something called a dood, and one has to do it about 1/2 to 2 hrs before any great expectations of more than ice running from the taps.

A bath, a shower, washing the dishes, doing a hot load in the wash must all be planned, and scheduled, because hot water gets used up and then one must wait again.

This presents little problem for those of organized body, mind and emotions, but, I've never been an organized girl. Ask my mom! My thoughts fly, I am more random than planned in how I clean and cook, schedules are anathema to my personality. (Oddly enough I am not normally late for planned events, it is simply planning and scheduling my own life that is difficult.)

There are ways to circumvent the dood; there is something or other (I love my grasp of technical terms!) that ones hooks to ones shower head or to the washing machine of voila! hot water on demand. Should we become wealthy enough (as in rich uncle who we never knew dying and leaving us untold millions) we shall install such devices and I will celebrate the day with steak and potatoes. Till then, I will have to learn to schedule in that which it would never have occurred to me to schedule before--washing the dishes, washing the clothes and washing moi.

All changes are a matter of giving up and gaining something new, and I'm curious as always.

If you are a transplant, what is it that you have lost? What is it that you miss from "the old country" (or city or town)?

Posted by Rachel Ann at December 10, 2004 07:29 AM

I love living in a city in which I can use public transportation--metro, minibus, buses, trams. And when I'm in a real rush or have all the kids, a taxi is affordable. I love not having to worry about car insurance, payments, traffic, and paying attention driving.

But I miss, oh I miss, the freedom to just get in the van and drive and drive and drive. I miss the "dates" Hubby and I used to have--the kids buckled in carseats and us with coffee driving and talking. I miss going to the grocery store and buying as much as I wanted and needed, without paying attention to whether my muscles could carry it home. I miss driving over the Sunshine Skyway in Florida, seeing the silloutes of palm trees against the sunset, windows down, wind blowing and radio loud.

I went back to the States for two weeks this spring, after being gone more than two years. And the freedom of driving my ILs car (and going through the Starbucks drive thru) was one of the highlights.

Posted by: TulipGirl at December 12, 2004 07:24 PM

Oh, on the hot water. . . That system sounds very similar to what my friends in Odessa have. In other parts of Ukraine, hot water (and indoor water period) is not reliable.

Here in Kyiv, we have central heating/central hot water. Not central as for the whole building, but central for the whole region. The hot water for us is hot and plentiful, except for 2-4 weeks in the summer when they do regular maintenence (and the occasional days here and there.) I'm very, very thankful I have my very hot and very constant water!

Posted by: TulipGirl at December 12, 2004 07:27 PM
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