Tuesday, June 30th. In the evening. I’m lying on the couch, probably my favorite place in the apartment – after my bed, of course : my legs fit perfectly, the plug for my computer not to far and I can spend hours watching the life outside, the flickering lights of Jerusalem. Sometimes I hear a bang, a little explosion, and I can see the sparks of fire lights. The parking lot of the student village is full but it doesn’t bother Israeli drivers who are famous for their tendency of parking wherever they want. Here, on the corner of the alley, right in the middle of the parking lot. Well, I’ve seen worse on Facebook : regularly, in Secret Jerusalem and Secret Tel Aviv, people post pictures of reckless drivers. I love this country.
Apart from the music mix I’m listening on 8tracks (various soundtracks, I love soundtracks), the flat is quiet. Dead quiet, in fact. I used to enjoy the silence when I had to work or just read, but now I would pay the price to hear Leor and Carmel quarrelling again, Leah’s Christian songs or Daniella talking to her Israeli boyfriend(s) on the phone. All these living noises rather than the suitcase and the baskets that are waiting in front of the door, full of stuff that my roomates left to my good pleasure before their own departure. Clothes, bed sheets, some books. For donation : a girl from Rothberg is collecting everything. But for the cutlery, the plates, the cups, I don’t really know what to do… I think I’m gonna put a note in the elevator.
Because, yes, I’m leaving soon. The last one. On Sunday, at 2 in the afternoon, I will lock the door one more time, check my mailbox (I’m still waiting for a postcard from the States) and give back my keys to the dorms’ office. Before that, I would have to clean and empty the cupboards, of course. I already started, today. In the shuk, thanks to Sophie’s advises (the French owner of my beloved Lebanese restaurant), I found a magic sponge called Blanco and, well, it’s quite impressive.
So many little objects are scattered everywhere : torture instruments for the eyelashes in the bathroom, products from the Dead Sea half opened, condoms on the microwave (not mine), dozens of bags full of spices in the kitchen’s drawers, magnets on the fridge. All that made this place a home. It’s not the first time I’m moving and have to empty a place, of course, but it’s always strange to think that, progressively, a place lose its status of « home ». During the year, when my roomates and I talked about home, it was there, our 5-bedroom flat on the eighth floor. « I bought kitchen paper for home » (me). « When are you coming back home ? (me and Leah to Daniella when we were worried). « Home sweet home ! » (everyone). But now, it’s almost not home anymore. When I think about home, France comes. My small room with the view on a graveyard, the kitchen from where I can see Paris and the Eiffel Tower. My father and my grandparents not so far. My mother, a bit farer but still close. French language, French food. I’m a bit afraid of coming back, I have to admit. Will I be able to fit in this frame again ? To have regular meals at regular hours with someone ? Oh, no, my father is not strict but… you know, « it’s not the same », said my roomates when I expressed my taste for liberty.
In the plane, I will write an article about what I’ll miss about Israel and what I won’t, I promise. With an update a few days later, I suppose.
The muezzin is faintly singing in distance. I’m sure it’s the one we heard with Daniella, during our last evening together, last Saturday. We wanted to go to Manou Ba Shouk (the Lebanese restaurant) but, because Shabbat, it was closed. So I remembered a nice restaurant in Sheikh Jarrah (a quarter of East Jerusalem), walking distance from our home, where I’ve been once. It was marvelous and we had the courtyard of the restaurant for ourselves. Well, until the muezzin started to sing. It was the strangest one I’ve ever heard, like an old cat trying to meow. Each time we thought it was done, he started again, with a less dynamic voice if possible. Definitely not attractive. Maybe he was tired because of the Ramadan.
Of course, because we were two girls walking in the night in an Arab neighborhood, many cars horned on us and some guys shouted as us. I suppose I have to get used to this again before coming back to Paris, right ? It’s so common in the streets of the City of Lights, while really less in Canada. Ô Canada… The fag is still outside, slightly moving because of the chilly wind. I think I’m gonna leave it there. I really don’t know what I could do with a Canadian flag back in France.
I started making a list of things I wanna do before leaving, as I did 10 months ago in Paris. Administrative stuff, like returning books to the library, asking for a check-out form, begging for an earlier exam in my psychology class (14th of July, I won’t be here anymore but I really want to pass. I filled a form entirely in Hebrew yesterday, on Internet, I hope it’ll work), selling some books I can’t take with me because it’s too heavy. Oh, that’s so sad. I would rather leave all my clothes here than being separated from my dear books. But, well, I don’t have a choice. I’ll manage to mail some, and, because I have less shampoo bottles than in August, it should fit and look well on the luggage scale.
I also wanna see the sunset from the Mount of Olives, go to the Beit Ticho (a long story from my first Hebrew class in Sciences Po), eat one last time at Manou Ba Shouk and buy some souvenirs for family and friends. Usual stuff.
Will I continue to write back home ? Yes, of course ! I owe you, dear readers – even though you don’t leave any comment – articles about Hebron, Ramallah, hikes I did in the country, Model UN experience, and I’m probably forgetting some. So be prepared to read new stories during the summer.
A quite and empty summer, by the way. Despite all the mails I sent, I didn’t find an internship for August, so… Well, maybe I’m gonna find a dull job in an office. I just want money, in fact. Daniella may also come to Italy and visit me in Paris. I miss the girls so much. Leah’s departure was harsh to manage : I couldn’t believe that her door was really closed, I was just waiting for her to burst suddenly in the flat, saying « hey, I’m back ! » as she did after her trips to Nablus or Jericho.
Alright, let’s go to bed. I slept two hours last night and woke up at 6 this morning to finish a take-home exam in international law. I thought I was going to cry over my keyboard of despair. I wrote so much bullshit. I won’t be a lawyer, for sure. But I did it. And, next year (well, starting in two months), I promise myself I won’t procrastinate like that. Trying at least to finish the job two days before the due date. It’s noted.
Oh, and about me writing in English… Well, as I said, I wrote quite a long piece this morning and I’m reading only in English these days (fanfictions hehe) so the words came in English. Sorry dad.