I did not like my previous apartment.
Coming to live there in August (almost a year ago!), after a rushed decision, made through a short skype conversation with my future roommate, I landed from the US straight into the most depressing place I’ve ever lived in. I will keep this short: I really did not like it. But I recently moved to a much better place, sunny and homie. I am not sure what makes this new place feeling so cozy. It has something to do with the fact that my roommates and I share everything. Food, and all the rest. It makes everything more pleasant. The common room is nice and you can sit there with people and chill (this did not happen in my previous apartment). And the location is at the heart of Jerusalem. Well, the heart of West Jerusalem. So everything is closed by. Including my favorite coffee place and my favorite Art store! How bourgeois.
I wanted to move to Tel Aviv. But the Seeds of Peace office is in Jerusalem. And I know myself, 3 bus rides a week from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and back will not be enjoyable for me. I make this route often, but only to visit family in Tel Aviv and relax. Which is different than going to work.
Also, with all my love to Tel Aviv and its liberalism (can’t help but miss this in Jerusalem), I feel like Jerusalem and I are not done with each other. Yes, it is hard for me to live here. Religion is a big deal, politics is everywhere, the air is thick with malice, people are heavy with anger and their own righteousness. East Jerusalem is a whole other city, under our control, waiting to be liberated from us. And will, one day, somehow, in a bloodshed I am pained to imagine. Sitting on a barrel bomb isn’t easy, I can feel the coming fire every morning and my head gets warm.
Yet, Jerusalem is the place I heard about all my life, but never really got to know. My visits here during my childhood were nothing like what I am experiencing now. And besides being a fascinating place, Jerusalem also has a very specific atmosphere an Israeli Jew like me who doesn’t care about knowing what God wants from us; but does care about art, culture, AND politics, can learn from. I am absorbing this, slowly, whatever it is that Jerusalem is speaking, I am listening, trying to understand, knowing I will not be here forever.
I will stay for a bit longer.