Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ask Chaviva Anything!: Of Loathing and Family

And now for another installment of ...

Questioner number one asks,
"Besides the shaving issue, what are you disliking about Israel? Do you have a strategy for meeting someone?"
The thing I probably dislike most about Israel is the amount of people who smoke, all the time, everywhere. Shopkeepers leave their cash registers unattended to stand in the doorways of their businesses and smoke. It's that excessive. I feel like I can't breathe half the time, and I'm not looking forward to when it's crazy hot outside and I actually can't breathe. The other thing is how there doesn't seem to be a cozy coffee shop scene like what I had in the U.S. You know, the small, crowded, indie, hipster coffee shops where everyone's working and blogging and writing their life's work. 

As for a strategy for meeting someone, that's a big huge no. I'm on the traditional sites like SawYouAtSinai (major fail) and JWed (formerly Frumster) and jDate (which actually has religious people on it here believe it or not), but so far I haven't had much luck. I've met a few creeps, some crazies, and had a lot of disappointing turn-downs. I honestly was hoping that once I got to Israel that my network of friends and acquaintances would go all shidduch on me and set me up with eligible folks they knew, but so far that traditional means of getting to know people hasn't panned out. I manage to spot cute religious guys all the time, but in this world you don't just go out on a limb and talk to someone. 

Seriously, I'm willing to take suggestions. Or, if you're a cute, religious blog reader out there, I'm also up for super fans. But as one friend said to me, "You sound desperate." So I'm trying to keep all of my dating adventures and experiences offline. It's hard. It's really, really, really hard. But guys don't dig chicks who come off as desperate, now do they?

Questioner number two asks,
How has your family reacted to such a big move? Any plans for them to visit?
Great question! My little brother seems to think it's pretty awesome, and he's been asking me lots of questions about where I am, what it's like, and such. We text quite a bit (thanks Google Voice), which is how we communicated before my move, so it's not like much has changed. In my perfect world, I'd save up the cash to bring him to Israel for his 21st birthday, which happens to come in 2013. 

My dad was really upset about it, because I'm daddy's little girl and I'm moving halfway around the world. He worries, no matter where I am, because that's the kind of mensch that my dad is. But we email regularly, I've called him a few times (also thanks Google Voice), although I seem to always miss him, so we email every other day or so. We keep in close contact, and he also reads the blog when he can (hi dad!) to keep up on things I forget to mention in emails. So we're solid. I also hope to save up to bring him over! Back in his Navy days, my dad floated around in this part of the world, even shuttling some soldiers into the Suez Canal back in the early 1970s. 

As for my older brother, that's kind of a question mark. He's checked in on me a few times, and I still haven't managed to get my adorable nephews on Skype, although that's something I need to pursue more hardcore. I wonder if they're talking yet? It's hard to be far away, and I see cute bobbles all the time that I want to buy for them and send home. Dear Brother, if you're reading this, what do you think of me moving, eh? 

When it comes to the rest of my family, I'm not so close. I don't know if all of my family even knows that I'm overseas, to be honest. I put up a good front working U.S. hours and all of that, don't I? I of course want to visit. The question is when and whether I can afford it. I thought I'd be back in March for SXSW Interactive, but it looks like that's a bust. So I'll probably shoot for the summer, when leaving Israel is actually a good thing to do because it's so blazingly toasty.

Don't forget to ask your question online!