Status Update: Tel Aviv is giving me culture shock
So I did the damn thing. Just about a month ago I actually packed all my shit (an amazing feat, let me tell you) into a TON of boxes and moved them into a shiny new apartment in Tel Aviv.
Yes, my apartment is shiny and newly renovated, with high ceilings, a mirpeset (balcony), and white tiled floors. I've unpacked just about every box (and shoved quite a few under the bed) and have even hung some artwork and photos on the walls. The place is really starting to feel like home.
But this is not a fairytale. Of course I am excited for my new adventure, but my move to Tel Aviv is real life. It's not all beaches and palm trees - and this is something I'm struggling with.
When you move to a new place there are a lot of new things to get used to. I, of all people, know that. I moved from the United States to Israel. More than just moving cities, I moved to an entirely new society in a new country on a different continent. Whoa. And moving to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem is actually quite similar.
They have a joke here in Israel. They call it "medinat Tel Aviv" - which means "the country of Tel Aviv" - as if this place is really its own country from the rest of Israel. Let me tell you, they are right. I feel like a country chicken who just moved to the big city! The buildings are taller, the blocks are longer, the food more expensive. The people live at a faster pace and speak in a different way. Combine this with the blazing hot sun and 88% humidity and you've got an Amy with major culture shock.
I think part of the problem is that for the last month I've mostly been commuting to Jerusalem for work (which I am now done with). Essentially, I've been floating between worlds, which can be super confusing. Get on a bus in Tel Aviv, get off a bus in Jerusalem. Be in the office with Yerushalmim (Jerusalemites) all day, get back on a bus in Jerusalem, and get off in Tel Aviv. And by the time I got home it was dark, but still hot and sticky from the humidity. In between this was unpacking and home improvement.
I haven't had a minute to establish my new life in Tel Aviv.
Something else that I'm really struggling with is the Tel Aviv mentality. Everyone around me is cool and hip and confident. They are all hustling in at their start up jobs, while simultaneously having the times of their lives in bars and pubs or on the beach all the time, and none of them seem to be breaking a sweat. They are confident and they live life how they want.
Meanwhile, I feel like I'm dying of heat and dripping with sweat from the humidity, I'm lost, and I don't know anyone (not literally). I feel self-conscious. But I am trying to remind myself that I am just as cool as any of them, and in time, I will have my groups of friends, my social activities, and I might even get used to the humidity.
B'Kitsur (in short), I'm learning just how much Jerusalem had an impact on my life. I'm also learning to be patient. I will learn the city soon enough, meet tons of people at my new job soon enough, and feel Tel Avivit (Tel Avivian) soon enough.