I know there are a few people who read this blog because they are planning their own aliya and are watching closely to see how are progresses. This entry is mostly a note to them about some of the things that are really, really hard.
Well, we are starting to settle into a routine around here. We get up most mornings at 7, get ready for our day and make sure lunches are packed. We drop Channah at gan and walk over to ulpan where we sit bored out of our minds (although learning quite a lot) for the next (roughly) 5 hours.
We do whatever we need to in the afternoon, sometimes errands... sometimes fun stuff... whatever. We try to keep busy. Then comes dinner and maybe a movie on the computer and we are in bed around 10-10:30.
Sounds great no? But here comes the truth in advertising bit.
Not everything has gone as planned. Here we are almosta month after we landed. We are still mostly furniture-less. I am writting this using a crappy plastic chair as a table and sitting on a hard tile floor. Seriously, I tihnk I have grout lines on my tuchus at this point. Days are long and nights are longer.
I love the suburb/small town feeling of where we are, but after living in a city the size of Toronto it is a hard adjustment. Just to go grocery shopping is a 25 minute walk each way (and home is up a really big hill! There is a closer place, but it is more American and thus more expensive). If I forget something we can not just hop in the car and go back. It means time, money and effort. Yes it is good for me, but that does nto make it any easier.
Then there is just the issues pertaining to learning our way around. I need to check and double check bus routes every time I leave the house. I have no idea what goes where or where to catch it. If I manage ot get somewhere, there is no guarentee that there will be a bus to take me home! I never have any idea how much it is going to be and most of the time I end up getting lost even if I think I have memorized my route.
But most of all, I am lonely. I miss my family and I miss my friends. I miss having people I can call just to shmooze for a few minutes if I am bored.
I am living here in Israel, living my dream, and still I am not sure if I have done the right thing. There are so many wonderful things here that I love. I love waking up to a spectacular view. I love hearing Shabbat Shlom on Fridays and Shavua tov on Fridays. I love that Channah is davening as part of a regular, public school curriculum.
But I desperatly miss being able to call my mom to say "Hi, we are coming for shabbos". Here we have no one like that. We have no furniture, nothing with which to cook (and I refuse to buy anything as I know it is a waste of money becuase all my stuff is on the lift) and I do not have anyone I feel I can really call. Unfortunatly we have been without our stuff for so long we have sort of used up our invites.
It seemed we had so many more- well, I guess we did! Everyone here was so wonderful before we got here. Millions of invitations. Loads of people saying "we look forward to seeing you". Then we got here, and for the most part (with some incredible exceptions) we really are all alone. The difference from what I had been used to is astounding. The silence now is deafening.
I know, I know. I should have seen that coming. We need to stand on our own two feet- make new friends and all that. And I know that... just somehow it seemed different. I guess I just hoped that those who were so encouraging about the move- close friends who already made the move from Toronto- I just hoped they would at least pick up the phone (or the keyboard or whatever) periodically to say "ok, now you are here, we can talk more often. How are you doing?" I hoped I was coming to, at least, a small group of people I knew and could count on.
I think the hardest part of this move is losing that support structure.
I have no question in my mind that I love it here and I am glad we are choosing to make it home. I just wish I could have brought my family and friends with me.
Ok, andn ow back to your regularly schedualed happy days in the life of the Swirsky Clan updates.