There are several other states I'm in, but the most important one is: Israel.

The last time I studied Hebrew was nine years ago; the last time I was here, eleven years ago; the last time I was here with my father, nineteen years ago. Az shachachti harbei dvarim (so I've forgotten many things), vhaivrit sheli hi lo col cakh tova (and my Hebrew's not so good). Listening to the natives is maddening, in a way. I can keep up pretty well with their velocity — I'm hearing all the words clearly enough — but my decimated vocabulary prevents me from understanding much of it. All the stories my relatives have been telling each other are, as near as I can tell, cliffhangers.

Speaking of cliffs, we drove around the Golan today. Also the upper Galilee. We're back in Haifa now, and have also already hung around Ra'anana (my father's hometown) and spent a full day in Jerusalem at the new Yad Vashem. The Golan I remembered quite well from a weeklong bicycle tour during my last visit. I'm trying not to affect my father's travel plans, but when he wants to show me certain important things, I then want to see them. The time I spend writing this is time spent not sitting with our host, which may be rude, but also it buys him some alone time with her. It's all a balancing act.

I'm here and it is now, and I'm soaking it all in, but my mind is more than a little preoccupied, not least by the realization that my horridly lapsed Hebrew is a real barrier to conversation. I can't stand forcing people to speak my language when I ought to know theirs. It's my language, too. But there's more going on lmalla (upstairs) than just that. Other states I'm in:

  • Pre-satisfaction. My first year of college has ended and ended very well. That this has occurred still does not quite compute. When it eventually does, I'm sure I'll feel satisfied about it.
  • Poverty: Nothing new, but this credit card and school loan debt is still hard to fathom and a little frightening. This by itself merits a future entry.
  • Anticipation: I have the right summer employment awaiting me. The details are not yet solid, but the broad outline is very good — I'll be an IT consultant specializing in being a generalist — and I'm expecting to start when I get home.
  • Semi-excitement: I didn't get into the overstuffed coed Ultimate summer league in Westchester, which means I'll be playing in the men's league instead. Coed would have been more up my alley, but mainly I want to play. I'll get to play. Sprinting and jumping and diving, oh my!
  • Nervousness: I dumbly didn't bring my American passport, so I might have trouble exiting JFK Airport next week. Dumb. And I don't have time to see how interrogation goes, as I need to be at LaGuardia (via home) 12 hours later. Hoping to have this solved before departure. Did I mention dumb?
  • Disappointment: I didn't finish everything I should have finished before Saturday.
  • Happilaziness: I've never enjoyed not finishing things quite as much as I did all day Friday.

Wish me luck with the passport and mazal with the Hebrew. Speaking of which, the university here in Haifa is in a stunning location, all the way at the top of everything. It gets me thinking about when and where I ought to study abroad.