It’s been actually more that two months already. Things are going so fast here.
First at work: my supervisor is still super nice but maybe slightly too enthusiastic. He gave me four projects for my Ph.D, and I am not sure how I will be able to handle all of them. Mostly because each of them requires to read dozens of papers and it takes so much time. But as my professor says, except for sleeping and a bit of sport, what do you need time for outside of the lab?
Not that easy to spend your time studying when there is always something going on. The weekend here being on Friday and Saturday, you’d expect Saturday night to be like a Sunday night… Well no, Saturday night is still Saturday night! And someone will call you on Sunday night to go to a concert, the Student Day will be on Tuesday, there will be pool parties on Wednesday and Thursday etc… little to say that when Shabbat finally comes and there’s absolutely nothing to do, you end up being kind of happy.
I don’t know exactly where all this energy comes from but what I realized is that I’m always thinking I should enjoy the sun as much as possible. You know, like when it’s spring and you have some really nice days and most of the others that are not. An old habit that I don’t need to keep given that it has been 35 degrees every day since I came back two weeks ago, and it will certainly last for at least four months. But I still feel bad for staying inside during the week-end instead of spending the whole afternoon by the pool, although it’s probably wiser. Oh that makes me remember: here when they see someone who got sunburned, they ask him if he’s “Frenching” because French tourists are known to spend way too much time getting a weird burned tan.
I’m still meeting a lot of people but since most of the time I’m the only non-Hebrew speaker of the group, they often get tired to do the effort and end up speaking Hebrew. Which is good for my integration, but not so easy when it’s already late for example. So social interactions have been so far easier with the international people.
The Israeli hospitality continues to impress me and at the same time surprise me. People you barely know will invite you at their place for a dinner or even for a couple of days, and the parents will be so nice with you that you will wonder if they want to adopt you. But the disturbing part is that when they say “feel like home”, they really mean it, in the sense that they won’t pay more attention to you than to any other member of the family. They will go back to their occupations, sometimes leaving you in front of the television since you don’t have anything better to do. They will probably offer you a snack at some weird time, like 11AM and you’d think that you shouldn’t eat now or you won’t be hungry for the lunch. WRONG! Eat whenever you’re offered to eat. You don’t know when the next meal will come, it might as well never happen.
I shared some other impressions here but all in all, the most disturbing is that since there is so many things going on all the time for everyone that I have the impression that I never get a chance to spend some really good quality time with people I appreciate. And this makes the development of true friendship not so easy.