Today was my long workday. Leaving at 9 a.m. for B.S. and getting home after end of the day meetings with students then the train home, the bus, the walk and the stop at the store for food (which I was too tired to prepare) at 11:30. Had a lot of (random) thoughts during my long workday though.
First thought of note came, as I walked along the very pretty and new covered walkway and bridge from the new train station in B.S. to the university while listening to the music they were piping through the speakers mounted every 20 feet or so along its length --I could live here. Look, they are building all kinds of things here and working hard to make this city a real place of culture (or at least comfort) and so forth. See how nice they've made this...
Reality sunk in and I quickly corrected myself to "I should
live here." In other words, I had (and on-going) a bit of a zionistic mini-crisis. Living in Tel Aviv is hella fun. There's life and cafes and and friends and things going on constantly so that even if all you are doing is walking down the street or sitting in your apartment you feel like you are in the thick of things. It is a lot like what I love about New York. But better, because there is the beach. Oy, the beach. The weather is also not bad. In short, I love living in Tel Aviv.
But, would I not be more useful and more something or other if I were living in the Negev? Ok so the hip and happening live in Tel Aviv (not that I am claiming to be one of those, just that I benefit from being among them) because it is hip and happening and they don't live in Beer Sheva ...because it is not. But, I said to myself as I waltzed along the covered walkway, if I and other hip and happening people got up and moved to Beer Sheva wouldn't it become, well, more hip and happening? Doesn't someone need to lead the way? Is it not, as part of my patriotic duty as a socialist and a zionist, really necessary that I
plant my body and soul where it is most needed to help build this country?
Then, I stepped off the covered walkway into the uncovered sun and...melted. The heat was unbelievable. It is April. We are talking there was no spring we went straight from winter and cold and yucky to frying eggs on the pavement. I was wearing a light longsleeve sweater and carrying a light jacket with me because it was cold in Tel Aviv this morning when I left. It was not cold in Beer Sheva. Nope, not a bit of it. Those little daydreams of working to build up the Negev kinda melted right along with the rest of me. I dunno, I'm still thinking about it but I have the strong, sadly, impression that I am too darn selfish to be a truly good zionist.
On a happy note, I saw lots of girls wearing shorts in the Negev. Yeah, the heat has gotten to their sensibleness and there were lots and lots of shorts in evidence. Like short shorts and knee length shorts. And, gasp, girls were wearing them and not just guys. Maybe the Negev ain't so bad after all.
Tomorrow I will finish my random thoughts if I haven't forgotten them all by then. But no, really I heard a very interesting talk today about the gender effect on the palestinian elections by a palestinian and jewish professor team that I do want to blog about and won't forget. Too tired to do it justice right now.