Short Stories

As anyone who has ever traveled anywhere knows, it’s virtually impossible to answer the question “So, how was your trip?” How can I summarize even a vacation, let alone six months of learning and growing and discovery?

The short answer: beats the hell out of me. But any experience is comprised mostly of the stories you can tell from it, and the best stories are the ones you never expected to have. Ergo, I present to you a selection of the moments I never expected would happen – but did. (For the full list or further details, you’re just going to have to talk to me. Terrible, I know.)

  • Sitting in a car full of Israelis singing the theme song from The Magic School Bus in Hebrew

    IMG_6810

    From the road block. Seriously.

  • Enjoying the best four-hour desert highway roadblock in the entire world (actually, not sarcastic)
  • Meeting best friends from Arizona, Montreal, Toronto, Switzerland, and Hungary
  • Becoming a sushi addict
  • Navigating the bus in a foreign language by myself
  • Purchasing a chai latte entirely in Hebrew – including a joke
  • Regularly eating lunch in Rabin Square
  • Getting toes nibbled on by wild fish on purpose
  • Befriending a stray cat (here’s to you, Mr. Tails)

    Stay warm out there, Mr. Tails.

    Stay warm out there, Mr. Tails.

  • Leaving my purse with a Slovakian man I had just met three weeks ago
  • Driving a car full of people in the mountains in the Galilee
  • Managing a team composed of my fellow interns and my boss
  • Waving at Hezbollah grounds – twice
  • Advancing to a professional level of pomegranate opening
  • Becoming used to palm trees
  • Trying 18/19 foods on this list (someday, khachapuri, you will be mine!)

    IMG_5889

    Om nom nom.

  • Winning Escape Room with my boyfriend in 57 minutes
  • Being able to recognize olive trees
  • Arguing the merits of Charmander in a kibbutz pub (for the record, I am firmly pro)
  • Seeing an Israeli soldier shift her M16 on the bus so she can work on her crossword puzzle
  • Holding a baby sheep on a goat cheese farm in the Negev Desert
  • Cooking a stellar meal with my boyfriend on a whim

    Stellaaaaaa!

    Stellaaaaaa!

  • Falling in love with a shelter dog named Stella
  • Nerding out with an Israeli bookshop owner
  • Making a website layout from sticky notes like a real designer
  • Meeting one of the authors of Startup Nation
  • Attending two different Arctic Monkeys-based dance parties
  • Touring Tel Aviv with nine Albanian journalists
  • Hearing firsthand about building a kibbutz out of nothing from its founders

To be perfectly honest, this barely scratches the surface of my time abroad. If we get to talk in the near future, you probably won’t be able to shut me up about any of these or the countless other stories that didn’t make this version of the list. But please do me a favor and feign interest for at least a few minutes. I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Find Yourself Abroad Playlist

You can’t help but identify with a lot of music when you spend six months abroad finding yourself. To that end, I’ve been putting together a playlist of songs that really speak to me about my time here. For the rest of my life, whenever I hear them, I’ll fondly remember being in Israel. Some are specific to Tel Aviv (in fact, the last one probably won’t have much influence on you if your experience was literally anywhere else in the world), but many are generally applicable to the Find Yourself Abroad experience.

There are many songs that mean a lot to me but I didn’t include on the playlist because they won’t make sense to almost anyone else. But I’d like to give a quick shoutout to Bohemian Rhapsody on a boat in the Jordan River, We Are The Champions after an escape, Oops I Did It Again on a bus, Wagon Wheel before Shabbat, and Your Song on a hill.

I purposely chose non-music video versions of each song on the playlist, because the most crucial aspect of a Finding Yourself Abroad playlist is having your own interpretation of each song – not the artist’s. You can find the full playlist on YouTube here for your listening pleasure, and each one individually with a helpful description below.

I Lived – OneRepublic

This is the inspiration for the whole playlist. I hope to live up to the wish for the listener –
Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say – I did it all…
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
And with every broken bone, I swear I lived.

Believer – American Authors

Eternal optimist that I am, I can’t help but think everything gets better. No matter the flaws you find in yourself or your situation, I’m just a believer that things will get better.

Defying Gravity – Wicked

As the musical nerd I’ve always been, there’s no way this doesn’t get on the playlist. Quitting one’s job to find adventure, romance and new skills halfway around the world? Seems like
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game…

Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad and Far Away From Home – Peter Mulvey

Although the title of this song makes you think he’s sad (sad sad sad), the majority of the song really captures the excitement that life and travel have to offer. It’s balanced by the title, which to me speaks to the dichotomy of being happy abroad and homesick. Also, this line –
And perhaps it’s worth mentioning, as I write this song down
I am the happiest f*cker alive.

Best Day of My Life – American Authors

I know I already included American Authors, but I really like them. (And it’s my playlist, so there.) A lot of my time here was spent excited for the new opportunities each day had to offer and what that meant for the future. Also, it was my pump-up song before I brought up this wild idea to my mother in the first place, so that helps.

Brave Again – Maya Isacowitz

Partially included because it’s an Israeli artist and the song was introduced to me by my Israeli boyfriend. Partially included because the music sounds like it should be playing while you look out a rainy window and think about something important. Partially included because the lyrics talk about the importance of someone teaching her to be strong, and there are a lot of someones that taught me things during my time here.
And I take on my baggage ‘cuz I think that I can
And I wait for the right time to go with my plan

New – Paul McCartney

You can’t help but feel a little new after so much time in another country. Also, I discovered this on my phone while I was at my internship and started bobbing along, so that helps.
All my life, I never knew
What I could be, what I could do
Then we were new…

The Lion, The Beast, The Beat – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

The drums at the beginning start by making you feel powerful, and the rest of the song is all rise from there. You listen to this song, and you cannot be stopped.
I found the heart of the lion, in the belly of the beast
I held it in my hand, and I could feel… I could feel…
Feel the beat…

Riptide – Vance Joy

Said duo.

Said duo.

An excellent guitar/ukelele/singing duo from my program performed this at my program’s graduation ceremony, and even though it’s supposed to be about a girl, I take it as growing while abroad and also about the people I’ve met while here.
I was scared of dentists and the dark
I was scared of pretty girls and making conversation
Now all my friends are turning green…

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

Does it really need description? Also, is there ever a time when Freddie Mercury *isn’t* applicable?
Don’t stop me now…don’t stop me now
‘Cuz I’m having a good time, having a good time!
I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky like a tiger
Defying the laws of gravity!

Tel Aviv – Omer Adam feat. Arisa

Just start humming this in front of any Israeli male and watch him glower at you. But I adore this song because it is pure fun. I first heard it on my program’s trip to the north and have had it stuck in my head since then. It also made frequent appearances on our other trips, the radio, my phone, etc. Also, I actually know some of the lyrics, so I’m proud of that.


Any other song recommendations out there? Tell me in the comments!

Yesh Indeed

Hebrew is an interesting language. It presents you the unique opportunity to sound fluid while simultaneously clearing your throat after a pneumonia-induced coughing fit. But I’ve already discussed that.

No, the reason I’m discussing Hebrew today comes from two simple words: yesh and ein.

These words are exact opposites. Yesh means have (as in “I have a cookie”), and ein means don’t have (as in “Haha, you do not have a cookie”). This is unique of the three languages I know. Sure, there are comparable words in English – you could say you lack something, but honestly, who uses that? No one, that’s who.

Now for a jarring transition that will make sense in a few paragraphs!

I am a ridiculously easygoing person. I don’t mind most things and it takes considerable effort to ruffle my feathers. When faced with a decision, I’m happy with both outcomes because I know they’ll both be fine. Chinese food or pizza for dinner? Can’t go wrong. Catch up on Game of Thrones or watch Iron Man 3? Both are excellent.

But it can also be a problem. This came into sharp focus for me last year when I realized I hadn’t made a real Decision about my adult life in a long, long time (as previously discussed here). I hadn’t thought about what I wanted out of life because everything seemed fine.

This is no way to live one’s life. As you might have noticed by me picking up and moving to Israel for a few months, I’ve been actively trying to change this. But it is tough.

I recently decided to reframe the decision-making process by thinking about it in new terms. Instead of what I would be fine with, I’m starting to think about what I would rather have/not have – or yesh and ein. (See, I told you it would make sense.)

When presented with “Do you want to watch Orange is the New Black or Agents of SHIELD?”, I know they’ll both be fine. But instead of shrugging and saying “Eh, up to you,” I’m trying to actively decide which I personally would prefer to yesh. Or, conversely, if there is one I would actively prefer to ein.

Picking a TV show is not exactly on the same level as picking a Life Direction (well, to some, anyway). But it’s certainly a habit-forming start, and I intend to keep it.

IMG_6323

Too true, conference room with a view. Too true.

 

How To Do Laundry Abroad

  1. Coordinate laundry schedule days in advance with boyfriend’s mother.
  2. On assigned day, gather the clothes you have been hoping will clean themselves from their massive pile.
  3. Shove whatever can possibly fit into the tiny washing machine.
    1. Discover that overfilling leads to lingering armpit stench.
    2. Sigh and remove less important items, such as patterned tights. It’s cold at night. Are you doing anything so fancy as to wear tights out there? I didn’t think so.
  4. Pour powder onto clothes, close door. Pour in fabric softener. Spin dial to appropriate setting dutifully committed to memory. Hear door lock and walk away, satisfied at job well done.
  5. Return to bedroom to discover fuzzy socks in desperate need of wash on floor of room. Swear. Sigh and try to remember them next time.
  6. Wait for hours.
  7. Do some stretches for window opening and leaning to hang clothes on clothesline.
  8. Pry open window, shake out finger with inevitable broken fingernail.
  9. Pull out first clothing item, hang tentatively with brightly colored clothespins on one of five lines out window.
    1. Glance to downstairs neighbor’s balcony. Pray clothespins hold shirt solidly.
    2. In approximately 24 hours, cringe with embarrassment when downstairs neighbor raps on door holding your underwear.
  10. Hang another few shirts and a pair of pants, each with more confidence than the last.
  11. Enjoy the view of the sunset over the town. Breathe the fresh air. Feel amazed to have this opportunity.

    IMG_4002

    Not a bad view for doing laundry.

  12. Hang a few more shirts. Okay, seriously, how many shirts are left?
  13. More underwear?? You’ve got to be kidding. How many pairs of underwear do you really need??
  14. Hang. Another. Damn. Sock.
  15. Bend and twist and feel around in the washer to find…nothing. Spin the inside around one more time to make sure. It’s over? It’s really over!
  16. Take one last look at the unobstructed view, then slide the window closed without pulling a muscle. Leave clothes to dry for the rest of the evening.
  17. Return home from work the following day. Look at clothesline and see your items are no longer hanging.
  18. Discover perfectly folded laundry on bed. Feel guilt for giving boyfriend’s mother more work, and realize this now means boyfriend’s mother has seen all of your underwear. All of it.
  19. Shrug and decide this means acceptance into family. Study perfect fold and put clothes away.

In other words, a huge THANK YOU to Yael and Amit for all of the laundry help, Shabbat dinners, clean dishes, dust-free carpets and scrubbed sinks!

1776 Challenge Cup Tel Aviv

With the end of my internship approaching next week (aahhhhhh!), I’ve been reflecting on the skills I acquired, the concepts I learned, the fun I had, the friendships I made, and the delicious lunch places I discovered on Rabin Square. So now you have to read a post I wanted to write a month ago about my work. (December was a damn busy month.)

On December 4, I got to take part in an event that was definitely a highlight of my internship at Tel Aviv Global. It was (as you may have guessed by the title of this post) the 1776 Challenge Cup Tel Aviv.

1776 is a DC-based startup incubator. They’re hosting the Challenge Cup, in which they go to 16 cities around the world and host competitions to crown a winning startup in each of the fields of Energy, Health, Education, and Cities. Their philosophy is that our lives as consumers have changed drastically over the last 20 years or so, but our lives as citizens are stagnant – and that needs some shaking up. The winner of each category from each city will be flown to DC for the final round in May, and the winners of that round get the big prizes, like access to funding, press, and beyond.

Tel Aviv was a good choice for the competition – after all, it was named the second best startup ecosystem in the world after only Silicon Valley, and there are over 700 startups in the city. (#nobig) Ours took place at The Library, a city-sponsored coworking space for early stage startups.

Tel Aviv's Mayor Ron Huldai (also known as Jewish Christopher Eccleston) welcomes the crowd.

Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai (also known as Jewish Christopher Eccleston) welcomes the crowd.

I really appreciate the fact that 1776 tries to make the day-and-a-half competition worthwhile to all competitors, not just the winners. The night before and the day of the competition, they hosted roundtable discussions with mentors and peers to give feedback on the startups’ business models, pitches, and ideas. One of the startups I met, What’s Due, used me as market research for potential drastically different formats they’d thought about during the meetings.

The competition seems simple enough: present your company’s one-minute pitch. But I dare you to describe your life’s work in less than five minutes, let alone one. 1776 provided helpful formulas of how to break it down – for example, 10 seconds on an introduction, 30 seconds on the company itself, 5 seconds on plans, etc. Plus there was plenty of helpful overall guidance, like how to build a story within your minute. Whew.

All of the companies had the opportunity to give their pitch to the judges. Some went better than others, with one or two starting to talk and then staring glassy-eyed at the judges for 45 seconds. Luckily, many of the judges had been working with the entrepreneurs throughout the day, so they didn’t have to rely entirely on the pitch if it flopped.

But here is the most important part: my fellow intern Daniel held the iPad with the one-minute timer, and I GOT TO RING THE GONG.

True story.

True story.

Anyway, the judges debated and then selected two finalists in each category, who then presented their five-minute pitch. I found these completely fascinating and will now tell you allllll about them. (The winner of each category is denoted by a star.)

Education

iMagine Machine: This dad started his pitch by explaining that when he sends his daughters to school, he knows they aren’t enjoying subjects like math. They don’t like it and they don’t want to do their homework. But they are great at games. So why can’t we take the adventures, the castles, the dragons of games and put them into math to make it fun? He created a software company that makes fun games while teaching kids math at different levels. Parents can receive weekly summaries with how far their kids have progressed. He cited impressive figures of downloads, plays, and recommendations from kids, parents and teachers.

*Total Boox: This company started their pitch with “how many of you have bought a book and never read it?” Of course, everyone raised their hands. Their theory is that you should only have to pay for the amount of the book you read. So if you buy an e-book through them and only read 5%, you only pay for 5%. (As a bookworm who delights in reading books literally cover to cover, this idea rubs me the wrong way, but I can see the value in it. Especially textbooks – can you even imagine how much money college students could save?)

Energy

*Aquanos: These guys treat wastewater with algae instead of machinery. The natural process not only produces clean water, but also produces one or two byproducts that companies can then sell for a profit. Using algae instead of machines cuts down on 90% of energy consumption in the process. 90%!

Sensibo: You can buy a small device through this company that you attach to your air conditioner to make it smart. The device connects to your smart phone so you can set it from afar without having to leave it on all day (or worry that you left it on all day). It also tells you a wealth of useful information, such as how much money you could save on your energy bill by adjusting a degree or two, or when a filter needs changing.

Health

*Medivizor: This guy’s pitch started with “When I was told my 10-year-old daughter needed a new heart…” He and his wife were (of course) panicked about what they needed to do, and had a very difficult time finding anything out about what they should do on their own. I liked how he phrased it: “We don’t go to Google for personalized movie recommendations, we go to Netflix. We don’t go to Google for personalized music ideas, we go to Pandora. So why are we still going to Google for health issues, which is the most personal thing of all?” I know from my own experience that it is pointless, frustrating, and scary to search for your health issue online. So he created an app where you enter your specific issue, and are asked specific questions about it. You then receive summaries of your specific illness and specific recommended treatments explained by a team of scientists in 10th grade English in 300 words or less. But that’s not all – the doctor has a version on his end too. There are thousands and thousands of papers and studies published each year on every disease, and he can’t possibly keep up with all of them, let alone find ones that are relevant to his patients’ specific conditions. The app will guide him towards new research that might actually be useful for the patients’ specific conditions. (Mind blown. This was my favorite startup of the night, as you can probably tell by the length of this description.)

Myndlift: This is a really cool device and software that helps people with ADHD. Drug treatments are often expensive and cause a ton of side effects. Neurotherapy is crazy expensive and only available at specific hospitals. This device, though, makes neurotherapy accessible and affordable. You wear the headset that measures your brain waves and do regular, daily exercises to help control your symptoms. It reads your brain waves and personalizes your treatment. Simple and brilliant.

Cities

Vitalitix: I sent this excellent idea along to my former coworkers at AARP because it helps the elderly through crowd caring. Through this company, an elderly person has the ability to call for help in issues that aren’t life-threatening, but still difficult. Let’s say grandma lives at home alone and her power goes out. She can open the app and say she needs help. Her caregiver (let’s say mom) gets a notification of what’s going on, as well as a list of nearby angels. The angels are people who mom and grandma have approved – friends, neighbors, etc. Mom can send the message out to nearby angels, and whoever is free can respond and stop by to help grandma. Not only does this help the elderly person in need, but it gives so much relief to caregivers and family members.

*Insights: This website creates a crowdsourcing platform for cities to gain valuable…insights. A city can pose a question, such as “What should we do with the open space on Third Avenue?” Residents can respond with their thoughts and ideas, and the system sorts responses by relevance and the number of people who suggested the idea. This makes it much easier for city officials to get relevant feedback without wasting a lot of time or effort in collecting, sorting, and analyzing data.

The winners of the evening!

The winners of the evening!

You can see all the photos from the night on the 1776 Facebook page. (And credit for the photos I used here of course goes to 1776.) I’m looking forward to hearing the results of the final round in May. And to seeing if the Startup City of the Startup Nation kicks some startup ass.

Year Between the Stars

Here it is: the obligatory New Year’s Eve reflection post.

One year ago today, December 31, 2013, I was enjoying my first full day of being in Israel on Birthright. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways and I could already tell I was going to have an amazing trip.

We stayed at Kibbutz Moran that night, and we all went to the bar to count down to the new year. While there, I had one of many excellent conversations with a nice Israeli boy I had just met named Elad, and it started by discussing our experiences in 2013.

I told him how 2013 was the year that everything in my life changed. I got my first grown-up full-time job. My mom moved from our childhood home and got a new house with my grandma. My dad and now-stepmom got engaged. My brother started college. My cousin got married. I got my first apartment all to myself.

But while 2013 was the year that everything in my life changed, 2014 was the year that I changed everything in my life.

A few weeks after returning from Birthright, Elad and I were Skyping and he asked the question that would shape my year:

“So, what are your life goals? What do you want to do?”

I realized as I opened my mouth to answer that I had absolutely nothing. No life goals. Personally, professionally…nothing. I was surprised to discover this about myself and told him half-jokingly that I would make it my New Year’s Resolution to figure those out.

And thus began my journey of self-discovery. (Wow, that sounds like it just came out of Eat, Pray, Love or something. Ugh.) I realized I hadn’t really made any decisions for myself as an adult and had just been going along with whatever The Plan was at the time. Once I started thinking about this, I started noticing important things about myself, and ways that I was subtly unhappy. And I began to change things.

I made one of the hardest decisions of my life and ended my 7-year relationship with the person I thought I was going to marry. I planned to move into the city of Chicago rather than the suburbs. I discovered all the feelings I had for Elad and became his girlfriend. I realized I wanted more out of my career than just social media marketing, and decided that if I was going to start at the bottom in a new career anyway, I might as well go an an adventure and signed up for Career Israel. I packed my bags and started a new chapter in my life halfway around the world.

It wasn’t as simple as that paragraph makes it sound, of course. The last sentence alone included a lot more time spent trying not to throw up than I’ve previously mentioned. But as I look at the difference in my life, I know I’ve changed for the better.


One of the defining nights of my Birthright trip happened because we took a star walk. It was the night we were staying in the Bedouin tents in the Negev, and our trip leader Lilach took us on a walk away from the lights of the tents and into the silence of the desert night. We gathered under the beautifully starry sky, and she told us to spend some time alone, thinking, while being in the land of our ancestors. I stared up at the stars that night and felt more confident in myself and more comfortable with who I was than I ever had in my life.

And just a few weeks ago, Career Israel took us on a night hike in the Negev, under silence and stars. It was gorgeous and exciting, and at the end, we were each given time to sit by ourselves and think. I couldn’t help but notice the similarities to my previous desert walk, but all the massive differences in my life that happened in the year since. I also couldn’t help but notice the rising sun and take it as a metaphor for this as the beginning of my journey, and certainly not the end.

Thank you to everyone who made my 2014 what it was. I am truly grateful for each and every moment of it. I’ll end this with the best piece of advice I ever got from a rock, and my wish for you in 2015: just be you.

"I know that the night must end...and that the sun will rise..."

“I know that the night must end…and that the sun will rise…”

Learning Hebrew (Or, Improving My Chewbacca Impression)

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: you can’t appreciate the trials of a non-native struggling to learn a language until you’ve been laughed at by a 13-year-old girl.

Here’s what happened:

Not long ago, Elad and I and his mom’s boyfriend’s daughter (followed that?) were sitting together, and I asked what the Hebrew word was for “outside.” Elad answered me that it’s “ahutza.”

The main street of our town is called Ahuza, so I asked if the words had anything in common.

Thus, the laughter was prompted. “Ahuza and ahutza!” she giggled. The answer, as you can imagine, was no.

You might agree with me that this reaction seems unfair. The “tz” sound doesn’t exist as a letter in English, so it’s hard to remember to make the distinction in Hebrew. But then I thought about it and realized I might have the same reaction if someone who was learning English had just learned “dodge” asked if it had anything to do with “dog.” Stings a little, but a reasonable immediate reaction.

There are a few other sounds besides the “tz” that we don’t have in English. There’s also the classic “chhh” that sounds like you’re clearing your throat. And the “r” is pronounced more like the French do, where it comes from the back of the throat. (Hence my Chewbacca impression improving.) (I know you just tried it out loud.) There’s two different sorts of “ah” sounds, which sort of depend on the letter as well as the vowel sound (another fun issue of Hebrew is the separation of letters and vowels). It’s an adventure.

I get asked on a regular basis how the Hebrew is coming. The answer is a reference to my childhood computer game of The Busy World of Richard Scarry: Slowly, Lowly.

Our Hebrew lessons are excellent. I’m in level Bet (there’s two levels below me and two above me, so I feel right at home in the middle), and our teacher is phenomenal. She’s very laid back when we get off track, but also works to teach us things that are actually useful to us. These days, she usually asks us what we did during the day and we stumble over the words as she guides us. She has a lesson or two prepared that we work through, and she’ll ask what we’re going to do over the weekend (leading to more stumbling and guiding). She also makes sure to ask us if we have any questions or things we don’t understand.

At this point in the program, most people have figured out that you don’t get in trouble if you don’t come to class. While this makes for much smaller classes, it also makes for classes consisting exclusively of the people who actually want to learn and are genuinely trying, which is way better.

Complicated sentences are completely beyond me still, and I don’t imagine I’ll be anywhere close to fluent by the end of my stay here in Israel. But I am definitely picking up on more, and I think I’m remembering words faster than I used to.

I’m excellent at ordering food. I can say “falafel pita” like nobody’s business (hint: it’s “falafel b’pita”), and the toppings are all words I’ve got down. Lettuce? Tahini? Cucumber? Eggplant? Nailed it. I’m also a pro at ordering coffee. Half the time I get a cappuccino just because I want to say “cafe hafuch” because it’s literally “upside-down coffee.” I also usually know the price when they say it out loud.

Here are a few other useful phrases I can say:

  • “I am going home because I am very tired.”
  • “Great!” “Perfect!” “Nice!” “Cool!” (All different words, thank you very much.)
  • “I want to eat dinner now.”
  • “Where is the bus?”
  • “There isn’t any hummus?!?”
  • “Do you want a little onion soup?”
  • “What do you want to do on Wednesday?”
  • “No problem!”
  • “Can I have the check, please?”
  • “Do you have an English menu?”
  • “You need a new book.”
  • “Whyyyyyyyyy?”

As you can see, mostly food-related. But isn’t that what’s really important anyway?

As I believe I’ve mentioned before, when I first discussed this idea with my friend Kacey (who has spent time abroad in China and Taiwan), one of the first things she said was that everyone should be in the minority at some point in their lives. She’s definitely right. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life that I’ll come home to, like being able to read your receipt, or knowing what kind of a restaurant a place is just by glancing at it, or being able to take part in the whole dinner table conversation. And it really gives you a good perspective for the people in your own country who have this struggle every day.

Be kind to non-native English speakers, folks at home. For me.


BONUS: Now you get to learn Hebrew! Can you say the following words?

Sushi, email, pizza, pasta, America, sandwich, okay, hamburger, yogurt, sport, student, doctor, telephone, dollar, November.

Congratulations! You now know almost as much Hebrew as I do!

Graffiti in Tel Aviv. Amazing!

A joke just for the English/Hebrew speakers among us.