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So excited to be a dual- citizen!

The next day I make my long-awaited return to the mall. I have mentioned in other posts that back in the States, I was an avid and skilled shopper. Since moving to Israel, my interest in shopping has waned, both due to the lack of stores and styles I like as well as the exorbitant prices for clothes here. I may pick something up once in a while, but my “shopping addiction” has definitely been cured by the Holy Land. Add that to the theory that I began developing this past trip- Americans are much more attached to buying. Now, before you Americans get all indignant, hear me out. You live in a place where malls are huge and everywhere, every third week is a blowout sale, and every item imaginable is available, both in- store or at your doorstep via the internet. In Israel, the most popular mall in the country, Malcha Mall in Jerusalem (you can look it up, Israelis, it’s true) would fit in my mall’s east wing. In the States you have the affordable shipping (or free shipping!) available online, the clearance sales and the outlet malls. You have a Target and an Amazing Savings for crazy value. And you have a car to shlep it all home with. It makes for a very comfortable shopping experience. In Israel, I have to agonize over buying one item, already marked down, and carve out a time to go pick it up and get it back home. It’s a production, so I don’t do it all that often. In case you were wondering, a shopping addiction can be cured, but it never goes away. Just going back into that mall with my mom was crazy- so many stores and everything on sale (obviously, because it was pre-Easter, post winter-whatever.) I rationalized everything by saying I was getting ready for Pesach and stocking up for Israel, but in reality, I was probably just relapsing hard core, and there was no stopping me. How is everything so cheap? Later that evening, I headed to Manhattan. I know that people who don’t live in New York (and many who do) are dazzled by Manhattan, but I’m over it. It’s fast and loud and crowded and (in my opinion) overrated. The subways are a hassle and driving is a nightmare and parking is impossible. All that said, I went in for a special reason- I had organized happy-hour drinks for some friends at a great bar where my friend works. He set aside a section and even made a special menu of drinks for my guests.

Interestingly, the Bar-Lev is a drink that has nothing to do with me being Israeli

It was the perfect way to see a whole bunch of friends I adore in one place at the same time. As friends walked in throughout the evening, one face after another made me light up. I realized again how much I love the people I had to leave.
Coming back is a lot of the same conversation, many times a day, for 3 weeks. Where do I live, what do I do, who do I hang out with and how is it all (it seems as if people are not keeping up with Jordana in Jerusalem as diligently as I hoped)? I must have answered those questions a hundred or more times over these past 3 weeks, but I didn’t mind (that much) because those would be the same questions I’d ask them if the roles were reversed. And it’s always a beautiful thing to be able to talk about how much I love Israel and the new life I’m building there. I think if I didn’t feel so secure in my decision to make aliyah, these questions would stress me out, but it’s awesome and empowering to get to say “I love it every day,” and mean it. Oy, this is getting long. Okay, more to come in Part 2- see you then! Dasvedanya!

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Jordana is a right wing, Zionist young woman who made Aliyah single from NYC in the summer of 2014. Follow her adventures through Aliyah and life...

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