Summer is almost here

And I love the summer.

Though it is going to be super hot, everyone here says so.

Five months ago, I got rid of 70% of my “stuff”, sent the rest by boat to my parents and left my apartment in Jerusalem feeling a bit unsure about a lot of things related to the past, the future, and the present.

I am still a bit unsure about things, but I am working on thinking less about the past, not worrying about the future, and most definitely enjoying the present.

Because I made it to Japan, but more importantly, I took off for another adventure.

The postmen here call me “Peregu” and it’s a refreshing identity. I look at the envelope they handed to me, it’s from the bank account I just opened or the phone company I just joined. Everything is in Japanese, it makes me slightly nervous. Then I look at my (hebrew) name written in Katakana; it’s funny and different. And I like it.

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies is where I am studying the Japanese Language until September. Then, I will move on to a totally different part of Tokyo. Everything will be new again: my university, where I will be living, where I will go to get groceries, the people I will meet and encounter.

There are some unknown obstacles ahead. Sometimes my head is full of questions of how things will be like. But I am learning to count on myself. It will be ok.

And more importantly, I am here now. On this part of Tokyo for the time being. And I go to my university every day. Sometimes, I almost forget that around it, there are some very nice places I should indulge in before life goes on.

TUFS is located at the depths of residential Western Tokyo: Neighborhoods, parks, locals who really like to grow cucumbers in their gardens. They are very surprised to see me walking around. I can relate.

It’s quiet. Peaceful. Foreign to me.

Crazy Tokyo itself, The City with no ends, is looming just a short train ride away. But I like being a bit far from it. Close enough to reach, far enough to withdraw.

Some photos from a walk I took after uni today.

 

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Summer and late updates

I love the summer.

And even though I have been out of school for a while, summer still feels like it breaks the rhythm of the year: a time to do something different from “sitting in class” all day.

I wish for summers to always be special.
A lot has happened since last summer: I visited Berlin(October) and the New York(Twice! December and May). I haven’t written anything about my travels even though I was planning to. Therefore, I will do it now J
I was very impressed with Berlin. I managed to fall in love with most of it (mainly coffee places, bookstores, galleries). I visited a few dark history memorials as well. I didn’t like the Holocaust memorial (those large black stones in the middle of the city), but I loved the Jewish Museum! It was truly fascinating to visit.  So many details about the life and traditions of different Jewish communities across Europe and during the ages. Israel doesn’t have anything quite like it.
Shada came to explore some street art with me, and we visited her cousin who recently moved to Berlin with her husband (she is a Palestinian Christian and he is Jewish Israeli). They reported that there is a community of young Israelis and Palestinians in Berlin who know a lot about each other. They also admitted (with big smiles) that life is much more peaceful for them in Berlin. I don’t doubt this for a minute.
New York was an adventure both times. There is something I really appreciate about New York. I do not feel at home there, but I am not a stranger to it either. It always feels too big and too exaggerated, but I find it very intellectual and liberating as well. 
A week after I returned to Israel, my parents and sister came to visit. 
It was the first time we were all here together since forever. We visited many people and places. My head was spinning a lot. My parents always meet with everybody when they come here, it’s like they know everyone.
Their presence attracts conversations from the past and people I don’t see often. As well as an old me that I have been trying to let go of.

I am not going anywhere this summer. I will be taking care of all sorts of things I hope I can tell you more about in the future.
The photos are a bit unrelated.
Recent Woodcut Prints I’ve made 

A display in New York

The Painting at the Seeds of Peace Office. I worked on it with lovely seeds last year but it recently moved to a new wall. So here it is!

Sondos and Sam who usually invite me to spots in Jerusalem I never get to on my own