July 10, 2012

Independence Days

(photo taken from the IDF's facebook wall)

I have failed as a blogger to commemorate in a timely manner the independence days of both Israel (May) and America (July). So I'm going to try and hit both birds with this one stone.
Welcome to my Independence Days blog post!

In May I celebrated Israel's independence day by decorating my apartment and the walkway outside with festive flags and balloons. My neighbor/new friend Jessica and I decided to go to the market and Jew-out our building. It turned out really nicely.

Jessica and I are both Americans who moved to Israel and were celebrating our first Israeli Independence Day this year, and it was really lovely to have someone to get so excited about it with. We're both here because we love Israel, we support the State of Israel, and it was strange and exciting to feel patriotic about a country that I've CHOSEN to live in. I hope you enjoy our decorations as much as I did.

The 4th of July (last week) was a completely different experience for me. As an American living abroad, I'm learning that Americans and America don't always have the best reputation. Even here in Israel. Of course, the bond between Israel and the US is an important one, politically. And there's for sure an American/Western influence on Israeli society. But Americans have, I think all over the world, a reputation for being fat, lazy, spoiled, and self-righteous. Its been a difficult lesson to learn firsthand. Especially when my boyfriend makes sarcastic comments about it. Anyway- the holiday...
it didn't feel like a holiday to me. Probably because here, it isn't one, and I'm so used to feeling like I have to apologizing for being American. Unlike Thanksgiving, I didn't feel like I needed to celebrate the 4th of July, cause there was no way that it could really be the same. But, some friends from school threw a bbq in a park that evening, so I grabbed a few beers and decided to give it my best shot. And it was actually really fun. 

Mostly it was awesome cause I got to use sparklers! 
My parents never let me use those when I was growing up. In your face, Mom and Dad! I didn't get hurt!

After I tired to playing with fire, Libbie (my FAVORITE American around) came out and we went with Noa for burgers and french fries (does it get much more American? No.) at Mike's Place- the "American" bar on the seafront. It was lovely. All in all, the day helped me remember what truly makes me feel good about being American- pyrotechnics and greasy, cheesy food. 

I'm looking forward to both during the month of August, when I visit America for a month and can soak up all the grease and fun the good 'ol U-S-of-A has to offer.

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