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Israel anxieties

I'm mostly packed. I have a few more things-- toiletries that I can't pack yet, my phone and phone charger, and I need to remember to switch out the laces in my hiking boots... but for the most part, done. I spent about $200 at Target today buying the rest of the things I needed for the trip. Hardly a $35 Goodwill shopping trip, but there are some things I just won't buy used. My iPod is charged and set with new music that Deb loaded on there. My Israel Cell will be waiting for me at the airport. I've packed itineraries and schedules and programmed my phone with all the numbers I'll need, set people to take care of my dogs, and thought of every single last thing I need, and written about a million lists.

So now that that huge hurdle has been jumped through, the worries start. Will my luggage make it with me to New York? Will *I* make it to New York in time? Will they confiscate my toothpaste thinking its a bomb? It's hard having things I can't control.

And what about those things I can control? Will I be too shy and not want to hang out with anyone? Will my cousin Will make friends instantly, leaving me all shy and alone? Will everyone look as JAPpy as they do in their facebook profiles?

And then those other things I wish I could control... Will I come back a changed person? Will I be amazed and stunned? What if I go and I feel nothing? What if I'm just not connected to Israel? I have no family there and no ancestors that I know of. I don't speak the language [very well] and I'm not dreaming of visiting the Western Wall or climbing Masada. What if I'm simply just unconnected? What if I don't cry? :-/

I have a journal that Vivi gave me for my birthday. It's absolutely beautiful and I look forward to writing in it daily. Surely this will be a trip to remember.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2007 07:17 am (UTC)
What's the point of being anxious about things you cannot control? Have fun on your trip!
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
if only I understood REASON right now....
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
Hahaha. Any new adventure presents that problem. I hope you have a fantastic time in Israel. This is kinda silly but I wish I were Jewish so I could go on a birthright trip. The entire concept is so fascinating to me.
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
You can always still go to Israel! Just, expensively. Is being Jewish and visiting Israel the fascinating part? Visiting Israel? College students visiting for free?

Thanks. I hope I do too!
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC)
When we finally getting around to meeting up (mid-February I'll be home for Seven Days of Opening Nights), I can explain the whole thing in detail to you. Basically, I had a bunch of Jewish friends in college and I'd never really known anything about Judaism aside from the fact that I went to a bat mitzvah in middle school. I started going to Shabbat on Fridays for the food. First, Friday dinner sucked in the dining hall and then when I wasn't on meal plan, CJL had a free dinner for Shabbat every week. So it started with dinner. CJL student board had elections and of the seven new officers, four were good friends of mine who encouraged me to keep coming to Shabbat even though I'm not Jewish. Things grew from there. If I wasn't working, I'd go to the reform service. I started to learn some of the basics of the prayers and the way things were done at Shabbat and I found the whole thing fascinating.

Maybe it makes more sense if I'd prefaced by saying that I've been a Unitarian Universalist for a while and don't have a strong attachment to any religion really.
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
that's pretty cool. Definitely want to hear about it in more detail :)

What are you seeing in the Seven Days?
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
I want to see the following:
Concerts- Imani Winds, Keb' Mo', Barrage
Author- Salman Rushdie
Art- Enrique Chavarria
Plus Taming of the Shrew because I love that play.

Keep in mind that I haven't bought any tickets yet but this is going to be my birthday present from family and to myself. Theoretically, I would have to be in Tallahassee for 10 days (2/15 to 2/25) to see all the stuff. I will probably buy cheap student tickets to some of the stuff to maximize my ability to attend.
Dec. 27th, 2007 07:58 am (UTC)
You're supposed to cry? If you don't feel a connection does that mean you're not a Jew or something??

If you're catching a quick connecting flight your luggage will be lost for a few hours, if not you'll probably be fine.

People think homeland security is like the iron wall or something. It's not. 1) They are so not as tough if you're going out of the country and 2) they don't suspect you if you're a citizen. I don't know about how the security is in Israel, but I imagine you'll probably be fine cause you're an American tourist and we're friends with Israel. If you were from Iraq or something, then that'd be different. You're also with a group that has done this before.
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
People cry. Everyone's moved. It just happens.

My connecting flight is in Raleigh and I have two hours. And then when I get to NYC I have six hours before my flight leaves
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yuck. Sucks for you. You should be fine as far as the luggage goes, though.
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
Well, I get to NYC at 3:45 and supposed to meet up with the group at 5:45, and our flight leaves at 9:45. So its not so bad.
Dec. 27th, 2007 12:19 pm (UTC)
Will everyone look as JAPpy as they do in their facebook profiles?

hahahaahahahaaha. brilliant.

im sure everything will be fine and you'll have an amazing time. have a safe trip Melissa!!!
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
seriously, the girls going look like the definition of Jewish American Princesses. Oy.

Dec. 28th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)
Can't be as bad as on my trip. At one point, we were standing in line, getting off our bus. We all had giant nametags on our bags & backpacks, given to us by the tour planner. I was behind a girl from UM, not really looking at anything in particular, but looking in the direction of her bagtag. One of her friends assumes I'm reading the bagtag and says, "yes, she's from Beverly Hills 90210." Don't know what prompted her to say that... but based on my experience, she lived up to what you might expect...
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
See, but my telling me I'm going to have an awesome time, you're contributing to this huge stigma that I HAVE to have an amazing time. It's rough for me.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Yes. I am incredulous.

Dec. 27th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
There's no rule that you have to cry or be moved, or get along with everyone. Why not just go, try to be as open as (reasonably) possible to letting yourself experience, and THEN see how you feel and if you liked it or not? :) glad you like the journal.
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
its just grand expectations, is all. I'm sure everything will change when I actually GO.
Dec. 27th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
Just make sure to tell them that Yes, you packed your own luggage. If Will makes friends instantly, and you're shy, make sure you talk beforehand and let him know that while you don't want to hang on his shoulder, you'd appreciate being introduced to the people he meets. There WILL be JAPpy people on your trip. I PROMISE. They WILL get on your nerves. But you may become friends with them despite this.

I wasn't 'changed' when I came back. Nothing really 'connected' with me while I was there [except for totally non-Jewish things]. I started to feel 'connected' about 4 years after I went. I also never cried anywhere. Many people don't. You'll be fine!

PLEASE do remember to write in your journal. I neglected mine after my first week there... :( Though I presume it will be easier to do daily when you're only there less than two weeks.

You're going to have a fabulous time. Though it may royally SUCK sharing a bus with all of those people and cliques will still form. But you WILL have some fun.
If you're going on hikes, I suggest bringing some old big shirts that you can wear and then throw away when you're there. More room [and weight available] for souvenirs!
Dec. 27th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
I'm a little relieved to hear that. All of that. Thanks.
Dec. 27th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Also. We didn't have phones or ipods. I got electrocuted twice and those were the only times I made phone calls.
Dec. 28th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)
If your luggage gets delayed, it will be forwarded to you within a few days, along with some extra coupons (at least, that's been my recent experience). And if necessary, you can buy new toothpaste:)
Dec. 28th, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
You aren't going to the wall? or you just aren't dreaming of it? :-)

I hope you have a wonderful trip, hon. I still have fond memories of the trip I made to Israel when I was about your age. (Yes, Israel was actually a country by then...)

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


Much like pineapples, I am hardcore.

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