The day I left India, a friend of mine who moved there six years ago told me that it takes about three weeks at home for the novelty of the first trip to wear off and to get swept back up in daily routine. Two months later, I'm back in my daily routine, but I think the novelty of the trip is getting stronger. The grass is always greener somewhere else, and in this case, the grass really is greener in India. This does not mean that I would rather be in India - I just miss that grass, and also the trees, and the mountains and the weather and the flowing freedom that comes with taking a trip out of time.
I spent the first few weeks back in Israel housesitting for my sister Shira while she and Ben were in the States. It was a good readjustment phase - not yet working, no real responsibilities, just bureaucratic errands and long walks in the park. I moved back to Tel Aviv in mid-August, dragging my friend Eytan away from Chava V'Adam to come live with me. My apartment looked like it had been attacked - overflowing ashtrays all over the place, dirty dishes on the porch, furniture stuffed into one room, tons of my stuff dragged into the stairwell, maggots, holes in the wall. We spent the first couple of days just cleaning and trying to force the subletter to come and fix the holes.
But everything worked out, and now my apartment is super clean and feels more like a home than ever. I started school the day after we moved in, and I guess it's been a while since I last posted, because there's only one class left of the summer session. It's been great. It's forced me to write and to rewrite and to become absorbed in my stories in a way I've never done before. I'm back at work also, so I guess my friend in India was right: at some point, we all drift away from vacation and back to the daily routine. But this doesn't mean back to a grind. Stepping away for three and a half months gave me a different perspective on the things that I want in my life. Now that I'm back in Israel, I just have to remember that perspective and make it part of my routine. Keep the novelty alive.