Musings from the Grocery Store Parking Lot

I had to laugh when I came out of the grocery store yesterday. This was the “car” that was parked next to me.

Now, I’ve been in Israel for long enough that this shouldn’t even make me bat an eye. There is nothing unusual about seeing a major military vehicle on our streets, in our neighborhoods or (yes) even at our grocery stores.

But, as the girl who grew up in West Los Angeles, these images still make me laugh and still remind me of how far I’ve come – and how far I am from my first home.

The grocery store that is five minutes from my house, and right next to my work, serves the 30,000 Jews who live in Gush Etzion and it also serves the thousands of Arabs who live in neighboring towns. It’s a fascinating study about Life in Israel. Sitting at the falafel store outside of the grocery store, you’ll see a bunch of Yeshiva boys taking a break from their studies, some Jewish high school girls, a few soldiers and a couple of Arab men grabbing lunch.

Growing up in LA or living in Maryland, I certainly don’t recall ever parking next to a vehicle of this sort (or ever even seeing a military jeep!) In LA, for instance, it was more likely that I’d be next to this one.

(Incidentally, since we really don’t have convertibles in Israel, Zeli was enamored of them in LA this summer. He absolutely did NOT know what to make of these funny cars all over the streets, and he kept yelling, “Wook! Dere’s another car wid no top! What happened to its top, Mommy?” And he was in heaven when my cousin, Nancy, pulled up for a party in this car.)

The closest I would have gotten to an army jeep, filled with hungry soldiers, at the grocery store in LA as a child would have been if they were filming a movie at Ralphs, Vons or Gelsons!

And so, this moment reminded me, yet again, how far I’ve traveled in my life and how different my daily experiences are today from what they were in the States. While thinking about all of this, I had an even better thought – maybe I could get these boys to help me load my groceries.

Hmmmmm…now that’s a universal request!

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