Monday, July 05, 2004

Why mad, and why in Israel?

Am I mad? Didn't think so for the better part of my life, but recently I have come to reconsider. Let's start with some facts, so you'll see where I am heading.

First of all, having been born and educated in Germany, I could be living a peaceful, if somewhat dull life right there, or better yet, in Switzerland, Norway, or some other Eurodisney. Which place did I choose? A small town near Tel Aviv, Israel. Relatively quiet, but not quite as dull as, say, Trondheim. Not quite as clean either, but we'll leave that aside for the moment.

So how come? Why did I leave a perfectly sane place to live behind and settled in crazy Israel? Because I am a Zionist? Well, maybe a little, by now, but that was not the original motivation. Because I am a Jew? Nope, I am actually a Roman Catholic, although I have forgotten all about it. Actually, I haven't entered a church for reasons other than architectural curiosity in the last 30-something years, so I am not living here because I consider it the Holy Land either.

We have by now exhausted the range of acceptable explanations and enter the realm of the irrational. To make it short, I live in Israel because of love. I came here by accident and met a wonderful girl, which in the end agreed to marry me. Took some convincing, believe me, but this one is for later, too.

Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Yes, but I can say with the authority of almost 10 years living in Israel, the doorstep of our house is where the romance ends. Outside of that tiny bubble of ours Israel is a pretty crazy place. It’ll make you mad in the end, even if you started out perfectly normal. And I love it.

I will try to give you a glimpse of the daily life in Israel, from my very own perspective of a German immigrant. There will be some funny stories and some astonishing ones, but many will be sad or upsetting, because this is what life is all about in the Holy Land. It is about the basics, not the sterile, all cushioned version I grew up with.

See for yourself. If you have specific questions let me know.

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