Writing regularly is harder than I would have thought. When I come back from a day in the lab and half an hour at the pool I must admit my energy to do anything productive is quite low. Which explains why my Hebrew flashcards stack is not growing any bigger or this blog is not flourishing of profound reflection emerging from the life in the desert.
The temperature doesn’t go below 30 degrees anymore but my tan has not really progressed because it’s actually too hot to really hang out outside during the day. There’s probably a place in heaven for the inventor of air conditioning but those who turn it on at 15 degrees should experience hell’s flames before saying it’s too hot.
I think that if Greeks have had computers, Tantalus’ punishment wouldn’t have been to push a rock for ever but to try to get back to a normal life after the death of his computer again and again. There are not many things that can drive me as crazy as corrupted technology. My beloved and old mac died a couple of weeks ago. I made a copy of the disk before reinitializing it in hope that it would have a second life but that didn’t work. I then accepted the offer of my supervisor to buy me a new laptop, but he only allows Windows. Soit. I was excited by the idea to recover my photos, my music and other documents. I also had an idea to decorate the big white walls of my living room and needed to print some photos with my super cool photo printer. Spoiler: nothing worked as foreseen! First I wanted to use my fancy mouse, the one designed by Apple… It barely works with Windows 8. After hours trying to find a solution I gave up. Pluged my back-up disk and… NOTHING. It’s not even visible. Impossible to get back anything. Okaaaay. Fine, I have a fair amount of photos in my iPhone and my camera, I can get those back and print them before I find a solution for the rest. Guess what? Impossible! Apparently this printer is too old and there is no driver for it any more. Can someone tell me in which world we’re living if a perfectly functioning machine should be replaced because a small piece of code is missing?? Oh and then I thought that music could ease my pain and thus retrieving it from my iPod would be a great idea. Except that you can’t do it and the only option you have is to format your device… If Apple wanted to make me hate them more, they did a great job.
Please excuse me for this geeky-first-world-problem complaint and let’s move to my preferred topic: the Israelis. I realized the other day that almost no day passes without talking about war or the army. It’s probably the third most common discussion topic after the weather and food. (Notice that discussion about weather is not that interesting, it only consists in estimating if it’s hot, seriously hot or deadly hot. The food topic is much more interesting.) It’s fascinating and scary at the same time: on one hand since they all went to the army and all experienced the same boredom/craziness/bad food… that gives them immediately a sense of proximity. But it also means that everyone has still in mind quite vividly last October war for example or the awful things they witnessed during their military service. The whole country is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and I’m amazed by how (relatively) normally they still behave. In an other hand you see rapidly that almost everyone smoke weed and it doesn’t even require the excuse of a party. I also hear about Ritalin a lot. For those who don’t get any prescription from a shrink on a regular basis, this drug is usually prescribed to hyperactive kids to help them to focus. The striking thing is that most of students here take it on a regular basis when they want to study for a few hours efficiently without being distracted. They all describe super intense sessions of 3 or 4 hours that seem like half an hour. My next topic of research might as well be the brain of Israelis. Doesn’t sound pretty at all.
A last thing that will keep on surprising me for a while: you meet someone new, you talk with this person for about half an hour. During this time, they will have asked you how much you pay for your rent and how much you earn by the way, tell you their opinion on the government and its current policy and make a joke or two about religion and people’s origin. All of this without even knowing your name.
It’s been three months already but there are still things that amaze me every day!