Why are you in Israel?

I accepted a 2 year assignment in Israel for work.

Where do you live?

We live in a small community in the south of Israel, called a moshav.  No, we do not do any farming, but we are surrounded by fields, which are quite beautiful.  We really like living in a quite community and going for walks in the vineyards.  We did think about living in Tel Aviv, but that would be a 2 hour daily commute to and from work.

What is your favorite thing about Israel?

If I had to pick one thing I like the most about Israel it would be the people.  Israelis are very warm, they really want you to like their country and go out of their way to help you.  This is not to say that there is a lack of rude people, there are plenty, but still the people feel very real here.  They are emotional, they get upset, they will yell at you, but it’s not personal.  They are never “fake” nice, if they are nice it’s sincere and that’s what I like the most.

I also love love love the produce here.  Because Israel is a small country, all the produce is grown in your “back yard”.  It many cases it is picked the same day it is sold at the store.  It tastes great!

What is your least favorite thing about Israel?

I don’t even have to think about this one.  It’s hands down the DRIVERS!  But you would say drivers are people, and yes, I know they are.  I guess I have a love hate relations with them, but that’s normal isn’t it?  Seriously though, the drivers are crazy.  I believe Dave already blogged about this, so I won’t go into too many details.  NOONE will let you in, you just go and hope that you will not get in a car accident.  I hate driving here, it’s stressful and it sucks, that’s all there is to say.

I also hate the amount of stray animals in Israel.  It is hard to see so many animals suffering.  It is not common to fix animals here, so there are tons of strays.  Because we live in a small community, people from nearby towns drop off animals here.  It is very heartbreaking to see so many hungry stray animals.

What is the weirdest thing about Israel?

As I am writing this, we heard a rocket alarm.  We had to get the dogs quickly and hide in the “bomb” room (basically a room with extra thick cement walls).  It is weird to live 15 miles away from a war zone.  Everyone once in a while it dawns on me, that I can run to Gaza, but the weirdest thing is how life goes on as normal.  It is never a daily discussion at work.  People just live their lives as normal.

What do you miss the most about US?

Friends and family of course!  Besides that, Whole Foods!!!  I love that store, I miss nice grocery stores, I miss the samples (I am a sucker for samples!).  There are a few decent stores here, but nothing, nothing compares to Whole Foods!  I also miss US magazines like Runner’s World, I can read it online, but it’s just not the same.  There are many many other things that I miss about US, but honestly they are pretty minor things that I can and do easily live without.

Is Israel safe?

Well, that’s a question I get asked a lot.  I guess safety is a very relative thing.  You could feel safe, but not actually be safe and vise versa.  For example, I bet people inside the world trade center felt very safe on September 11th.  Honestly, I have always felt safe in Israel.  Even now although Israel is in the middle of the Gaza conflict and Hamas is launching rockets into Israel, I still feel safe.  Yes, there is a chance of getting hit by a rocket, but it is miniscule.  I think the chances of getting killed in a car accident are much higher no matter where you are.

I hope you enjoy reading our blog and keep coming back for more.

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