Friday, September 12, 2008

Breakfast in America

So here I am in Pennsylvania, USA.

Flew over for a work-related internal conference that is turning out to be both an eye-opener, and a warm fuzzy experience. Lots of good people in my company doing really good things, and here we are working towards getting all this goodness together. Good times.

The 12 hour flight over on Continental was surprisingly painless - their new in-flight entertainment system is awesome (gotta give credit where due), with tons of movies, tv shows and music to choose from. The stewardess' must've thought I was a goober for laughing out loud so much, but how could I not watch all 4 episodes of Everybody Hates Chris and listen to Billy Joel's 52nd Street when the opportunity presented itself?

And things are going well so far - nice hotel, good food, successful meetings. I even had a chance to take a walk along some nice nature trails this morning. The absence of noisy kids trailing behind me led me to lots of deep thoughts along the way - accompanied by a gaggle of Canadian Geese (click on photo to see them) and their honking chorus. Thought about family, and how frustrating it is that my kids so rarely see my family because we live so far away. Thought about why we still haven't moved to the US, in spite of the never-ending debate me and the Big Guy have about moving to a better quality of life, how much better the service is everywhere, how much nicer people are here. Thought about 9/11, since that's today, and how that totally changed the America I grew up in, and brought it closer in many senses to Israel.

And still, as much as I enjoy visiting America, I must say that I don't feel 100% American anymore. Nor do I feel 100% Israeli. I'm stuck in a kind of grey area between the two, where my Israeli cynicism has jaded how I see America - and my American naivete and manners prevent me from truly reaching native Israeli status.

So tomorrow, as I sit and eat a blueberry pop-tart (they have very cool breakfast add-ons here at the hotel...) I will enjoy the flavors and friendliness and nostalgia that America offers, but continue looking forward to getting back to Israel, my home.