Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Decompressing and Debriefing After My Trip To the USA

I'm still trying to decompress after my visit to the states, AZ, NY and NJ.  Granted, I only landed just over twelve hours ago.  And about the landing...  I flew BA, British Airways (Premium Coach,) since they have an "easy" route, Israel to London, then London to Phoenix, which the agent (Tzell Travel) recommended as best for my very elderly father.  My AZ to NY was on Delta, more comfortable than expected.  ...when the wheels hit the ground at Ben Gurion International Airport, there was clapping, just like on ELAL.  I got a kick out of that, since I've been flying ELAL for years and missed their menu about which I'll have to blog on me-ander.

One thing I "enjoyed" this visit was noticing the great variety of dressing styles you see in America today.  There was a time when my kerchiefed head and over the knee skirts made me stand out, but today there are all sorts of ethnic and fashion statements on American streets.  I wasn't the only middle-aged person with a backpack, though wheeled bags of all sizes and shapes were much more common.  There were hats and turbans of all styles and fabrics.  This was very different from the mid-1950's when my concept of "normal" and "acceptable" was formed.  And there seems to be an increase in tolerance from even a few years ago.  At times I wondered if it was safe to have my Israeli backpack with Hebrew writing on my back, but obviously, it didn't attract danger, even in Arizona where there are many more Arabs than Jews.

The large supermarkets offer everything their customers could possibly need or crave from junk food to strictly organic, kosher and halal.  Commercially, it seems to be bad news for entrepreneurs, since the large chains can easily sell more variety for less money.

On one hand, superficially, there's a very obvious prosperity, but things are different when you speak to people.  Even the successful are more worried about money and the future.  Most in my generation with adult children aren't in the financial position to help their own children the way we were helped by our parents. 

My very elderly parents are now in a wonderful "old age home" in Arizona.  It can be described as a luxury resort for senior citizens.  Some of the residents use it as a "hotel," not needing any special care packages.  For those, like my parents, there are individual care packages suited to their individual needs.  My sister did a great job in choosing the place.  Arizona has a great variety of facilities.  And if you're wondering, there are only a few Jews in the place and they quickly found my parents, happy for the increase in numbers.  (My parents aren't religiously observant, but they are very sociologically and culturally Jewish.)

Now, I must "reinvent" my life after almost a year of being the full-time care-giver for my father.  I also need some sort of job I can do part-time and when traveling.

It's so good to be home here in Shiloh, Israel.


Keli Ata said...

Welcome home:)

I imagine you're relieved that the stress of caring for an elderly parent is over but also experiencing a form of grief since he's not with you everyday.

OT: How long is the plane trip from Israel to the US in general? I'm getting closer and closer to being able to afford a brief trip to Israel.

Batya said...

Thanks, Keli. The trip was fine, thank G-d. Let me know when you're coming.

Netivotgirl said...

Welcome home Batya!!! I'm happy for you that your Dad is safely ensconced with Mom in Arizona.

BTW, I envy your "kibbud Av." The dedicated way you took care of him during his time here in Israel is "the real thing!" Tizki La'mitzvot!

Batya said...

Thanks, but I really don't think I did anything much. It was easier than it sounds, amazing. G-d is good to me, I guess.