In Israel, the weekend is Friday and Saturday, because of Shabbat from Friday night to Saturday night. Here at the International School, we also don’t have class on Sundays, so every weekend is a three-day weekend. It, in a word, is awesome. So Thursdays are our Fridays here, and the past two have been great. Last week was my birthday and this week was my roommate Brittany’s, so we went out to eat again and then went to the same club as last week. And we had a really great time.
A few words about Israelis: they are loud. Very loud. They also smoke like fiends all the time, especially in most bars and clubs, so that is something that’s been a little hard to get used to. But they are really nice. Several random people have told us “Welcome to Israel! Enjoy your time!” on the bus, at the market, etc. Even the bus drivers will pretend to be grumpy but will still answer every question you ask them.
Here’s the thing about studying abroad with a bunch of other students in a similar place in life as you: You become instant best friends because you do everything together. Even more than say, freshman year in college, you instantly live together, study together, eat together and most importantly, discover together. It’s wonderful. When you study abroad, you’re already a person with a life to go back to, so there’s no pressure to find a group and fit in, because you already know you can. And everyone is just so happy to be together that social drama doesn’t seem to matter at all to anyone. I’ve found a great group of people but everyone is nice to everyone so there’s always someone to talk to.
So maybe you’re thinking right now, “Hey, weren’t you supposed to be on a hike this weekend?” Yes, yes we were. However, for the past three days it has been pouring here in Israel. It’s hard to complain about rain in a country in an eternal state of drought, but somehow, we International Schoolers who wanted warmth and sunshine have found a way to whine about it anyway. Our hike was supposed to be in some craters in the desert which have been turned into rivers, so unless we wanted to make it a canoe trip, it would not be safe for us to hike and camp. So, it’s been postponed.
But we had a great Shabbat tonight and are still bonding and having a super time. Now if only it would get a little warmer…