Today, I drove down my old street in Johannesburg blasting Derech Hashalom with the windows wide open.
It was not because I have a particular affinity to Moshe Peretz, nor was it because I think that the Glenhazel roads would greatly benefit from my rowdy behavior.
It was because, as has occurred a weird amount of times over my visit to South Africa, I had a sudden pang of longing to be back home.
By home I mean the sharp nudge I get when a young girl forces her Rav Kav in front of mine on the bus.
I mean the Friday sardine squish when you lose your friend who was next to you a second ago in the chaotically colorful Shuk.
I mean the long queues in the bank when you return a sixth time to bring a document that they couldn’t possibly have mentioned you needed the first five visits.
I mean the scattered red strings strewn on the sun kissed old city steps on the way down to the Western Wall.
I mean the frustrating hours spent trying to memorize psychology terms in Hebrew in the university library.
I mean the stitch that aches when your legs drag you those last few steps of a tiyul in Eilat, finally rendering the view of enchanting real life sandcastles.
I mean sitting at the bus stop while it pours and finding yourself stuck in a full blown argument between an old woman and young man debating when bus times stop before Shabbat. Then getting invited to both their Shabbat meals.
I mean the working, I mean the cooking, I mean the cleaning, and yes, I even mean the breaking down into tears on the phone to my sister after a too-long day.
I mean these hard, beautiful and chaotic moments.
So as I sit here, in my old car, cappuccino clasped in my recently manicured hands, driving through my old life – I blast Derech Hashalom.
Not because I don’t appreciate, love, and understand the life, the people and the aura of my hometown, but because I have slowly built for myself a new comfort zone, formed a new web of quirky realities to which I am bound.
And yes…I may be a little homesick.