The Peaks and Valleys of the American Lifestyle
Tel Aviv and San Diego are 12,224 kilometers from each other.
Those who don't live in the United States, in my case - Israelis, look upon the US as this sort of fairy tale land where opportunities are endless and life is nothing short of spectacular. The American Dream is alive and kickin' folks, whether it's real or not.
Having moved back and forth from the US to Israel several times, I've come to see the peaks and valleys of the American lifestyle more clearly than many of my fellow Israelis. A good example of that would be when I tell people I moved back to Tel Aviv from New York City and they give me that dumbfounded look and ask, "why the hell would you do such a thing?!". Short answer: I didn't like it, sorry to burst your bubble.
HOWEVER, there seems to be something about this whole America thing since I keep finding myself back here. To make sense of things (ya'll know I love my lists!) I've decided to create a list of lifestyle differences between the US and Israel, to keep things organized, ya know.
FACT OR MYTH - AMERICA VS. ISRAEL
FACT: Ordering anything online is better in the US.
Getting something delivered to Israel will take at least twice as long as in the US. Amazon Prime has yet to reach Tel Aviv, much to the dismay of my many shopaholic friends. I can't tell you how many times I've had people visiting the US bring things back for me because it would have taken far less time. Also, since moving here I've bought about 90% of the content of my apartment online (2-day shipping is the sh*t), and welcomed Amazon Alexa into my life ("Alexa, add 'get a life' to my to-do list").
MYTH: Movies come out in the US first.
While that used to be the case a good 10 years ago, Israel has caught up to the US, having film premiere dates match with US to the day. WOOT WOOT!
FACT: Buying/leasing a car in the US is cheaper.
One of the crappiest things about Israel is their taxes on goods. A 2017 Honda Civic will cost you the equivalent of around $38,000, where in the US you could find that same model for $18,000. Booooooo! I currently lease a 2017 Mini Cooper and pay below $300 a month. The same transaction would cost me the equivalent of $500 a month in Israel.
FACT: Rental apartments in the US have built-in closets 99% of the time, Israel's doesn't.
Looking for an apartment in Tel Aviv, which is expensive as hell by the way, usually means that you have to take into consideration the fact that you have to buy yourself a closet. That means you need to factor in cost of said closet, and space for it. Here in the US I have yet to look at one rental apartment (throughout Florida, New York, and California) that didn't have at the very least a small built-in closet. Bless you, America, for that one!
MYTH: Food in America is better than Israel.
Tel Aviv and Jaffa in particular have a foodie scene that would make any other metropolitan city in the world jealous. The variety is incredible and the quality is downright orgasmic. HOWEVER, the only type of food that Israel has yet to master and the US have an abundance of - really good Mexican food! Mexican food, especially here in San Diego, is part of the daily diet (as well it should be) and is usually very VERY good. Israel, while working on it, has yet to find its winning sauce.
This post is called peaks and valleys for a reason, though. I've made my list of facts and myths but what I have also found in my perpetually bounced around life is that in every place I've lived, whether it be Israel or the US, I have found my place one way or another. It may have taken a long time, I may have felt lonely and confused about my decisions, but in addition to the perks of convenience and culture that each place offered, the path I chose is what make the place and my decisions stand, despite comparing the place to another.