It’s pretty much inevitable that when you move to another country, cultural differences are going to have an effect on you. There are always those times of seeing shocking situations or experiencing something that is so beyond your comprehension of “did this seriously just happen?”
I can’t tell you how many times it’s happened to me, but a lot. I remember the first time I went into a small African village in Botswana and literally saw a young boy around 2 years old just sitting, having himself a little afternoon snack.
A Chicken Leg.
Still attached to the chicken body.
With feathers still on it.
Like it was the most normal thing in the world.
It was my first, “did this seriously just happen?” moment in Africa. (with millions more to come)
But the crazy thing is this: After a while those moments become less crazy. They become less shocking. They become normal. And you know you’re arrived when YOU become the “did this seriously just happen?” moment for others.
And I’m pretty sure that’s where I am now.
When I first moved to Israel, 4 years ago, I had lots of those shocking moments…
Like when you’re sitting in a restaurant and there are cats and dogs sitting in the chair next to you and no one even cares.
Or when you are shopping and kids are literally running and screaming all over the place and parents are calmly sitting, enjoying their coffee.
The first “real” bomb siren ringing through the air.
And the one which took a while to adjust to is the idea of Lines… or I should say the non-existant Lines. Waiting for a bus? There’s no line. Just Push and Shove! The grocery store? Just place an item on the counter, go finish your shopping, then return to your “spot” and whallah! No Line Waiting!
All joys of living in Israel.
But wait… there’s more!
Living in South Tel Aviv has its own set of “did this seriously just happen?” moments, but more for Israeli’s than for me.
Because I’ve had the pleasure of living both in the bush of Africa and the insane streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, I’ve seen my fare share of craziness over the years… comparable to what I see here in South Tel Aviv. Some of my Israeli friends?!? Not so much!
I was walking with a friend the other day in my neighborhood and we saw a particular situation (one that wouldn’t be seen in the rest of Israel lets just say) and he turned to me and said, “did that seriously just happen?”
I literally laughed out loud and said, “Welcome to my world.”
I have arrived! I was someone’s “did this seriously just happen? moment.
And it made my day 🙂