Introduction to David’s Tour
I am still a tourist. I travel. I do the Tiyul. A tiyul is similar to a tour, but there is a lot more walking. Touring keeps me innocent. It keeps me from feeling like I am one of the people I complain about.
Entertainment in Israel is not affordable enough for the immigrant to not go on hikes. There is no Icecapades and children think that going to a falafel stand, up North, while seeing a couple of grave-sites is an outing. There is no reason to infect this happy society.
I waste so much money on getting ripped off by the guy checking the sink, I have to have the tourist mindset of ‘supporting the country.’ I spent 500nis on a bed sheet that was marked down 150%, I am supporting the country. When money is spent in Israel, that is what I have to do; justify getting ripped off and not understanding how the items at the Dollar Store are 5nis, as to make it positive. That is the attitude the immigrant must have, and I share that attitude with my tourist friends. I sound like one of my tourist friends. They rip me off like I am one of my tourist friends. Call me an immigrant, call me a tourist, either way I cannot afford the heating.
If I didn’t view myself as a tourist, I would be complaining all the time and haggling, feeling like I live in Israel. As most native Americans, I am not good at haggling. We are better at going to the next store down and getting ripped off over there. Haggling is an art that takes a lot of time and a lack of self respect, both of which i have. However, I do not have down the other key components of, not wanting the product and wanting to run away from whoever is trying to force you to make the purchase.
Haggling is not the capitalistic way. If we haggled, we would end up moving to Israel and still being called cheap Jews. Which we are still called, because we should be supporting the other people more, with our American money. That is the native’s belief of how socialism and capitalism mix. The capitalists are supposed to work and have money, in return for supporting the socialists. Fox News, I am ready! Bring it on Mr. Beck!!!
The Israelis accept us as Israelis our first four months in Israel, until we can’t ‘support the country’ anymore. That is when I made my decision that I am a tourist in my Home Land. A tourist without the necessary money to be a tourist. A tourist with an American accent, living in Israel, and never visiting any other country in the Middle East.
The Israelis who do not accept us, who I am speaking of, are the Olim, who make up half of the country.
If you call yourself an Oleh, you are really a tourist who thinks they are living in Israel. It is all surreal and it was a dumb career move. Call yourself a tourist and feel better about the fact that at least your child in first grade understands what is going on.
So we visit and tour around the country, because our new career in security does not allow us to do anything other than Tiyul. Tiyuling is touring but without being allowed to enter anywhere. Going to the Israel Museum is not a Tiyul, it is a tour. Walking around the Israel Museum is a Tiyul.
Going on these Israeli style tours would be considered loitering. That is why it is always good to have a tour guide, who is there to tell you to keep moving.
If you can afford a tour guide then maybe consider yourself Israeli and do not go on Tiyulim (that is the plural of Tiyul, which you can understand by looking at a Hebrew dictionary), you Hertzeliyah Pituach, villa living, garage affording, Oleh with work ethic, who Nefesh BNefesh talks about.
I support you too.
No matter what your job is, once you immigrate, you are working in security. Supermarket work? You are standing by the door. Restaurant? You are working in the kitchen to keep other people out. Doctor? No. You are a doctor security guard. You might stand there with a scalpel, but you are only holding that because the other doctors are yelling at you in a language you do not understand. Accept that you are a tourist and you now have a 40 hour a week inside tour of how they do surgery in Israel, for minimum wage.
I am happy being a tourist. It keeps me sane. It makes me feel good when I am getting ripped off. They still haven’t installed my laundry machine, which I paid for them to install, and I am happy to dish out for that vacation expense.
Some Background of what you might see on David’s tour: objects, things, stuff.
Back to the subject of being a tourist. I decided to go on a Tiyul of the country recently. After the first couple of years of Aliyah, Jerusalem turns into the city where I am trying to make a life. Like making a living, that is not good. It is important to keep the fantasy and that feeling of Israel being the land of the Bible alive. It is important to remind myself why I moved here. It is important to not accomplish. That is why I did my big tiyul recently, of Israel. It was time to revisit the country I moved to. The country I visited. The country I came to learn Torah. The country with the beautiful land, people and women who rejected me.
I learned to always be a tourist at heart, or life will suck. That washing machine is still in my living room. If I am living here, that can be very frustrating. However, I am touring and it is quite interesting and comical that a washing machine would be a center piece in a person’s living room, next to the eye level socket, for ten years.
Say, that is what they do around here; some people don’t finish jobs they set out to do. I had a great educational experience of how the local way that people screw each other over. What an amazing tour I had just now, of an immigrant in my Jerusalem home, who got screwed over, paying for somebody to install his washing machine, which they left in the living room, without cleaning the dirt they dragged in.
There is one difference between touring as a tourist and touring as an Israeli. As an Israeli, you go on hikes because you do not have money for museums, and you sleep outside because you cannot afford a hotel room. As a tourist, you go on hikes because somebody told you something happened at the rock a long time ago and you can take a picture, and you sleep outside because somebody told you it is a very expensive experience to sleep like a Bedouin in the wilderness. Either way, we are all sleeping outside. Sleeping outside is called ‘an experience.’ An experience is where you don’t enjoy yourself.
Ever seen pictures of people with a tent? They are always smiling. They are always having a good time, because they have accepted that they are not successful and evicted. They are happy because they are now tourists.
To some extent, being a tourist and going on Tiyulim makes me feel like more of an Israeli. Hell, I am in the mood to see some grave-sites.
So let me be your guide and show you what I saw as an Israeli tourist. As an almost Israeli. Calling myself an Israeli is pretentious. I am still an immigrant.
Come, join me on my tour.