By ‘Home’ I mean….

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.

About the Author
Twenty-two years old, Yaffa made Aliyah just over three years ago. After taking part in the Mechina program at Hebrew U she is now in her final year of a B.A. in Philosophy and Literature in Bar Ilan, working part-time as a content writer and is still going through the long process of integrating into Israeli society. (And loving most of the journey)
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