A few nights ago Gavin and I attended a music concert in Jerusalem. There were not many Anglo’s there and I felt completely alien in the environment. At the end of the concert Gavin confessed he felt the same.
We have been struggling with culture shock. We spent 8 summers in Israel, countless trips and I lived here in my gap year. Frankly we are both surprised that we are experiencing culture shock.
The difference between visiting a place in summer and moving your whole life is the difference between casually dating and marriage. We are suddenly having to deal with all aspects of life that tourism does not require.
Seated in the big concert hall where people paid for expensive tickets we were shocked at the way people talk through the concert and stand in your way etc. Looking around no one else seemed irritated by this.
I have lived in 5 countries in 9 cities in 28 apartments so I should find foreign cultures easy. Then I started reflecting on places I lived and how hard beginnings were . When I visit my country of my birth South Africa I have been away so long that nowhere feels like home.
So maybe the old adage is true “Home is where the heart is”
Originally published: January 7, 2015
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