It has been about a week and a half since I have returned home to Israel, and if I thought I couldn't fall more in love with this country I was severely mistaking. In terms of the return trip it was not as bad as I would have expected; I slept most of the two flights, the jet lag on this end was perfectly manageable, and I think I was just so excited to get back to Israel that everything seemed amazing. From Tuesday (my first full day home) to Saturday I caught up on my sleep, got my life back in order, did some much needed autumn cleaning, and made my space feel like home again.
Sunday arrived rather rapidly and it was time for me to start back with my intensive Hebrew course for new Immigrants. I went to the Ulpan to take another placement test so that they could be sure to place me in the correct level for my remaining 4 months of study, found that I remembered pretty much everything I had previously learned, placed in a comfortable level for my knowledge base, and the next day it was off to school at 8:15 am! Since I am the definition of a "girl on a budget", I decided to not renew my very expensive bus pass, and instead make use of the bike I bought a few months ago. Despite the fact that it is about a 45-50 minute bike ride to the Ulpan (with a few very big hills), I told myself that it would be a great way to get good exercise and save money! I am very proud to report that I have not taken the bus once, and have biked to school every day this week! Keep in mind I'm really lazy so this is a HUGE feat! But with all this riding I won't need a gym membership :-) Maybe I'll just find a nice yoga studio.
It is so incredible to be back in Ulpan, and my confidence in Hebrew is skyrocketing. My Ulpan teacher has even suggested on numerous occasions that I move to a higher level, but my vocabulary needs a lot of work so I think I'll stay. It feels nice though when people think you are better at a language than you think! I used to be so shy to speak and now I refuse to let people revert to English with me. I know that one of the reasons for this is due to the fact that I have been spending a lot more time with Stephane's family, who only speak Hebrew (and French but of course I don't know any of that!), and this has forced me to become more comfortable with the language. I have a long way to go but since I pretty much adopted his mother as my Israeli mom I think I'll get a lot of practice in the future!
I'm sure most of you are wondering about the title of this post, and rest assured, I am getting there. Last night, as you all know, was halloween, and though most people don't celebrate the American holiday here, my sister and I decided to have a scary movie marathon! I'm probably the worst candidate for watching scary movies because I usually can't sleep for a few nights after, but I think the anticipation of Stephane's arrival home after three months away is keeping me awake at night anyways, so I figured I might as well take advantage of poor sleep and at least be entertained. Basically I got a pretty awful night sleep plagued with very strange dreams, and I was strongly considering sleeping through the beginning of Ulpan, until I told myself I need really good karma going into next week (since I will probably be missing a day or so of class when Steph gets home). I dragged my tired butt out of bed, hopped on my bike, and made my way down across town. For the most part it was a pretty smooth bike ride until a huge semi decided to turn on a red without looking to see if someone was crossing the street. Too bad for me that I was crossing the street... It's no shock to hear that drivers in Israel are terrible, but when you almost get killed by one, it takes on a new meaning. The truck decided to turn at full power which means that even when he realized I was in the middle of the street and hit the breaks, had I not have been paying attention I wouldn't have had time to get out of his way. A few scrapes, bruises, and a shaky body sure beat the alternative, but I haven't been that scared in a really long time.
I was very happy to reach the Ulpan alive and relatively unharmed, but the good karma of making myself go paid off because we were let out early and my weekend began an hour and half sooner than I expected!! So it all worked out :-) When I came home my sister was still at my place so we were able to spend a few hours together before she had to head back home, tonight I have an empty apartment and a hot bath with my name written all over it, and then Friday and Saturday we'll see about taking advantage of the Tel Aviv night life a bit! I want to make sure I'm very rested come Monday, however, when a very special someone FINALLY comes home after being gone for 3 months. I can't imagine life here in Israel being any better, and that's without my boyfriend, so once he gets home I can't even imagine how utterly incredible everything will be. Let's just hope I recognize him after so long away ;-)
Until we meet again <3,