Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Hermit in Hibernation Ventures Out

It's funny how the world has changed... you can almost live a completely normal life without Human interaction. You can pay your bills and order groceries on-line. You can stay home almost 24-7 and still have full communication via Skype with people all over the world. My own personal life is rich with second-to-second updates about the lives of people I feel close to by virtue of our Facebook friendship, blogs, Twitter, and the like. Typing from my new MacBook Pro in my fully wireless house, I feel fully connected to the outside world. It only took a brief step out into the real reality to make me realize what a sheltered hermit I've become.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. In November, my brother, M., e-mailed me a very cool birthday gift - dinner for two - at a fancy steak place on the top of the Azrieli mall in Tel Aviv. DH and I decided to have a dinner out... he works a short drive from there so I took the train. Leaving was daunting. With my mom as the babysitter, I was able to take a deep breath and make a run for it, skipping out with all 5 kids still awake. My nerves got me to the train station about 20 minutes too early and I had plenty of time to sit and observe the other passengers boarding... each with their Smartphones and wired devices... each speaking loudly to various people in cyberspace and texting and listening to music, and watching movies. During the 50 minute ride I heard the Seinfeld theme and at least 10 different cellphone ringtones. I overheard a conversation about a runnaway soldier and an anorexic aunt with Cancer. I heard a woman curse and tell off some poor soul for butting into her business.... I only wished I'd had the foresight to bring my ipod on board to block out the bombardment of conversations and noise in the train compartment. After 20 minutes I got up and moved to the front train car.... up where the engines apparently are because it was so loud I could barely hear my own phone ring when my DH called to let me know he was on his way. The compartment was empty except for an armed guard and a large family. 5 or 6 young children chirped and chattered and even fussed and cried - it was familiar noise and it made me smile.

When I arrived at the station in the mall I felt like I'd arrived at a different country. Suddenly I felt like an alien! Adults and teens bustled about. People shopping. People talking on their mobile devices. What are all these hundreds of people doing out on a Tuesday night? While waiting for the elevator, a woman cradling a crying newborn and pushing an empty baby carriage looked around frantically... she asked me if I knew of a quiet place where she could sit and feed her baby. Certainly not in the train station. Not in the mall and not in the elevator. How about home? I saw an empty bench through the glass walls of the elevator on the other side of the mall and helped the new mother maneuver her carriage out of the elevator.

I made it to the restaurant and my DH and I had a magnificent meal.

In my next post I'll tell you about my adventure to the movie theater... VIP tickets. Ben & Jerrys. Champagne and chocolate.... and I fell asleep! Oops, guess there won't be much to tell.

I love my quiet life....

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