That's All, Folks
I'm home. Home, where the grocery store is open 24 hours a day, and where Hizballah can't fire rockets at me.
It's crazy to think that, just over a week ago, I was standing on a mountain near the Lebanese border, and now it's a battle ground. But that's how things go in the Middle East: calm never lasts for long, and peace acts more like an oasis in the desert than anything tangible. War and violence are your constant companions, and the threat of politically explosive events--be it shelling a beach or attacking and kidnapping IDF soldiers--stalks everyone, all the time.
So, yeah, I'm glad to be home.
On a happier note, the re-adjustment process has gone well: I went to Target, Whole Foods, and all my other "I Love America" spots, and I could've sworn that I heard a choir of angels sing as I walked through the door. Amazingly, I'm not craving hummus; however, I do miss hearing the call to prayer. The jet lag is finally wearing off, too, so that makes life easier.
However, now that my year in the Middle East has drawn to a close, it's time to put a wrap on the ol' blog. My life, which had been somewhat exciting while living amidst political turbulence, is about to become alarmingly mundane. My days will consist of the following: wake up, go to class, do homework, go to the gym, go to bed. And, as exciting as the Chronicles of a Starving Grad Student might be--what with all that riveting homework--I doubt my life will make for a particularly good read.
So with that said, I thank you all for reading. Whether you checked in every few months or every week, your attention, comments, and overall presence here has been greatly appreciated. Special thanks also go out to the staff of DCBlogs.com, who stumbled upon and featured my little slice o' the blogosphere, and made me grin in a thrilled yet self-congratulatory manner for weeks.
And of course, the biggest thanks go out to my parents, who had to cope with the fact that their daughter was going to the Middle East whether they liked it or not. After getting over the initial apprehension, they not only coped, they supported my goals with grace and good humor. And even when I'd gotten stuck in an Arab riot, narrowly missed two bombings in both Tel Aviv and Egypt, and nearly fell off a cliff in Jordan, their support never failed. I owe them the world, and I hope I brought back enough souveniers to start to repay them. :) (I kid, I kid.)
Again, I thank each of you for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed it--or at least been better informed than if I'd tried to send lame "this is what's going on with my life" e-mails every few weeks.
So, to use an Israeli expression, it's time to say "shalom ve lehitraot:" goodbye, and see you later.