Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In a Nutshell

Have you read Eat Pray Love?
Well, I read Eat and was done with it.
I took the obvious route and got the DVD and frankly Eat was the best part of it.
After traveling to Israel what I realised was, Liz Gilbert got it all wrong.
You don't need to spend a year in 3 different countries to experience all that.
I got all that and more on spending a few weeks in the Holy Land.

Israel a tiny country but with so much to offer.
And no it's not in Europe. It's in Asia.

It has a super relaxed atmosphere except for the part where you're surrounded by 20 year olds carrying guns since every Israeli joins the Israel Defense Forces at some point. It took me about 2 days to get used to it and the whole time I was thinking of Zohan from You don't mess with the Zohan.

On most days I could be found in situ on the beach sipping my OJ and relaxing until sunset.
I even played Matkot (beach tennis) with a wooden bat and a rubber ball. Fun!
Enjoyed many Cocktails of the day.
Made many visits to the supermarket and discovered some new fruits.
And there was Hummus. Everywhere.
Attended birthday parties where I think they sang Happy Birthday in Hebrew.
Finally learned to play pool.
Took a lot of photos in Auto mode.
Enjoyed experiencing Shabbat.
But I didn't find time to see a Kibbutz. Oh well. Maybe on my next trip.

I met a lot of people. A lot of whom had traveled to India.
I was greeted with Namaste, Aapka Naam Kya Hai, Chai and even Chapati.
Did I look like one? Or was that the extent of their Hindi vocab?

Impressed with how much Hindi the Israelis knew, I thought it was my turn to learn some Hebrew too.
This is how far I got.
Ken - Yes.
Lo - No.
Ma  - What
Shalosh - 3
Hamesh - 5
I don't know any other numbers.
Toda - Thank you
Tayelet - Promenade
Sababa  - Cool
Hodu - India
Ben Gurion  - Their first Prime Minister (who's picture is on their currency)

I learnt quite a lot. A lot about a whole new culture.
It felt as though I had been away for so long. Maybe because so much had happened in such a short span of time. My sister made sure she gave me regular updates. This is only a gist of what had happened:
Beyoncé was pregnant.
America experienced an earthquake.
And then a Hurricane.
There were terror attacks in Israel.
Gérard Depardieu peed on a plane.
And Anna Hazare fasted for 288 hours to bring some kind of change in India.
Which only made his Facebook fans go nuts.

During all this craziness Steve Jobs also resigned as the CEO of Apple.
My sister emailed me his parting note. Being in Israel at that point made me already feel like I was on a journey. And this parting note just took it to another level.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary"

In a nutshell, I fell in love.
In love with Israel.
In love with everything around me.
It turned my world around. 
It changed my paradigm.

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