I feel conflicted in writing this post – part of me thinks that it’s okay, while the other part of me is kind of sick that I feel this way. So, what’s the confession you ask?
I am Western…
…and I like that.
I have loved traveling for around the past 6 weeks. I have met some amazing people and have been treated to some fabulous Palestinian hospitality for the past 4+ weeks. I have met amazing people who have lived through some of the most horrendous life experiences; and yet, they can tell these stories with smiles on their faces, and laugh about things that happened during the first Intifada. I like Bethlehem, Beit Sahour; I’ve learned my way around the cities and feel like I’m pretty comfortable here. In fact, last week, I met a British woman who was coming to Bethlehem and I felt sort of like a tour guide: “That’s Har Homa over there, a settlement; this is how to get a taxi and how to NOT get a taxi; you’ll want to get your falafel from THAT stand, and not from the one right next to it; this is how you get back to the checkpoint and how to handle all of that…etc.” It was fun.
But I’m getting ready to go home.
I am Western…I like the ‘things’ (read: material possessions…shit, this is one reason I don’t like this post) I have at home. I love the fact that I have a car and I can drive it anywhere and I don’t have to get into one more freaking taxi and try to haggle over 3-5 shekels for the price from the Reem Albawadi restaurant to the People’s Market of Beit Sahour.
I dislike so many things about our contemporary American culture – but yet, I miss it. I guess maybe I’m just starting to get homesick – obviously, more than anything, I want to be with Sarah, and that will happen soon (I mean, 23 days, but no one is counting). But I want to be with other friends, I want to be able to use my cell phone as much as I want and not worry about how much it’s costing, I want to not have to wonder about how most of what I eat is going to affect my stomach…
I know – it’s just all pretty lame when I write it out – and I’m half-convinced that I should just delete this post now, because I don’t really know what I’m really trying to say. But…I miss America and that makes me half embarrassed and pissed at myself, but it also makes me realize the blessings and opportunities that we do have in America, and should compel me onto wanting to fight for peace and justice in the rest of the world as well – not that every culture needs to be like America – no, not by ANY means. But we should fight for the rights and opportunities of people around the world, especially those who are living under oppression.