Sunday, March 1, 2009

500

About 501 days ago...I was getting on a plane in New York bound for Israel. Life seemed very uncertain at the time. Where was I going to live in Israel? How was I going to like living in a land so foreign to my own? What would my life be like for the next 18 months?

Here I am exactly 500 days abroad. In all of that time I've seen and done incredible things. On this the 500th day of my adventure I'll recap a few of the great things I've done.

I have...
Swam in the Mediterranian, and I did it within 2 hours of being here!
Lived in the Jezreel Valley, Israel's bread basket and home to many Kibbutzim.
Worked in a Screw Factory, where no one spoke English! (Oh So Many Jokes about the Factory)
Lived in a Desert climate...very different from where I've ever lived.
Learned to speak a language both ancient and modern all at once.
Drank tea with Beduins (real Beduins not the tourist ones who take you on camel rides)
Smoked Nargila on the side of a Jordainan Highway with my cab driver
Stood next to the giant temples of Petra
Ice Skated in Metulla at the Canada Center
Wandered the streets of Tel Aviv (The first Modern Hebrew City, celebrating its 100th birthday this year.)
Picked Olives
Eaten Hummus fresh (Yes it does taste better warm)
Watched the sun set over the Golden Dome and the Kotel
Strolled down the Cardo like my ancestors did thousands of years ago
Watched Military Ceremonies and watched my best friend become a soldier (albiet a lazy one)
I've visited the capitals of Europe (well France, England, Germany, Holland, Spain, and Belgium)
Slept in airports (on purpose)
Eaten French Cheeses so exclusive, its against the law to export them
Ridden the bus from London to Paris...yeah I took a ferry to Dunkirk
Seen the Mona Lisa...pretty over hyped
Watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
Ate real fish and chips...with malt vinegar and everything!
Wandered the grounds of Versalles (and yes the tour guide was angry at me for reminding him the German Kaiser was crowned there)
Stood under the Brandenburg Gate
Eaten Bratwurst at the Reichstag
Cried at Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam
Saw more Van Gogh paintings than I ever thought exsisted
Walked the red-light district also in Amsterdam
Ate Stroopwaffels (Dutch is an awesome language by the way)
Sipped German beer and found it to be not nearly as good as Dutch beer
Walked in the Placio Real in Madrid
Learned that wine brings all people together
Found that just a smile and a hello can make strangers into friends
Grown up a whole lot...


Its been a crazy ride so far. By my estimate I have about 75ish more days before I return to the United States, but it won't be for long. See there's one thing I've found these past 500 days that trumps all of these exprience. I feel at home here in Israel and I've decided to make the dream a reality. So I guess that in August when I return there won't be any need for a countdown or a count up...

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