My three previous posts expressed socio-political aspects I have been contemplating. However, I would like to dedicate this post to convey what I am thankful to have experienced:
- I have thoroughly enjoyed the food. Tel Aviv has the largest vegan population per capita. It is both empowering and eyeopening, (mouthopening?), to experience such delicious vegan food. It is nearly always an available option and it is much cheaper than alternative vegan or vegetarian options offered in the United States. Consequently, the culture surrounding veganism is must less reactionary and much more normalized.
- Each city is a different world. Although Israel is tiny it is extremely diverse in the experience it has to offer, from Tel Aviv to the Kibbutzim to Jerusalem to Haifa each city has its own dynamics. It is amazing the complexities that can be had in such a small country.
- I love my roommate. I am very blessed to have met her. I was anxious about sharing a dorm again but it has proved to be a wonderful experience. Not only have I enjoyed her friendship but because she is Israeli she has shared a perspective of the Israeli-Arab conflict with me that I was not intimately acquainted with. It has expanded my understanding of history and politics but also complicated it.
- I met family I didn’t know I had for the first time and they are wonderful! Not only did I enjoy their company but they also had photographs and stories about my family tree that my immediate family were not aware of. Through my familial history, I also learned more about the history of the Kibbutzim. An integral building block to understanding Israeli society.
- I’ve learned how to play shesh-besh!