Toda raba, Israel for yet another great week.
My sixth visit and this romance is not cooling down. On the contrary it just keeps getting hotter, so I guess it must be real love.
I admit I’ve been in love before. Not with countries but rather with cities; Madrid (I was very young) was followed by London and who has never had a little fling with Berlin?
But with Israel it’s different. It’s real and probably it will last until one of us dies. And I hope I will die before Israel (if you know what I mean) – that’s how real my love is.
And Tel Aviv, my dirty little bitch, oh, how I adore you.
I know, I know, people keep telling me that Tel Aviv is not the “real” Israel. And yes, after having travelled to many places in the country I understand that Tel Aviv is different. And I like this kind of “different”.
If I would be a city I would be Tel Aviv.
I’ve never experienced the Tel Aviv energy anywhere else. Nor the atmosphere, which is outstanding.
Tel Aviv to me is inviting, exciting, seducing and tolerant.
Just the way I like it.
On this sixth trip I also visited Haifa for the very first time. Getting off the train and seeing the beauty of Lady Haifa in front of me amazed me. Wow!
What a beautiful city. And such great food!
But wherever I’ve been in Israel, when returning to Tel Aviv I feel in heart and soul that I am coming back home.
Every time I visit Israel I meet many, many wonderful people and this time was no exception. Old friends and new ones shared their personal stories and thoughts on the country. The conversations were many, versatile and truly interesting. Thanks to you all!
Then, coming back to Sweden (never mind the weather: -10° C) it hits me. The PID (Post-Israel Depression). It’s nothing I made up myself – many of my friends, who share this love for Israel, know exactly what I’m talking about.
Symptoms include: apathy, listening exclusively to Hebrew music (often the saddest of songs), watching Israeli movies (sad ones, that make you cry a LOT) and later on also anger and despair. And boredom.
Thankfully I have an understanding significant other: “No wonder you feel depressed. You just came back from Israel a couple of days ago and you feel that you belong there. It’s a natural reaction.”
One moment I was sitting under the Israeli sun, sipping on a Goldstar and talking to intelligent Israelis. You know, the people who in Swedish media are portrayed as nothing short of monsters.
And all of a sudden I am back in Sweden where, the day after the elections, a headline in the biggest tabloid reads: “Israel voted for more violence”. (Screenshot here.)
Just so you know what a pro-Israel blogger is up against in this country… (A LOT of work!)
When I suffer from PID I remember all the great moments I experienced in Israel. Like when those two happy guys recognised me and said “toda raba” for “what I do”. Or when the day before I packed my bags and left, a man stopped me on the street. He asked me if I am who I am and then he said:
I appreciate your work very much.
That sentence will save me many times in the future.
OK, I am now going to continue my suffering.
I’ll listen to Shiri Maimon or Nathan Goshen and sob a little.
I love you, Israel.
(And of course I’m already planning my comeback!)