Friday, 21 December 2012

Shabbat shalom!

The sun is slowly going down, Shabbat is coming. The candles have been lit, the TV is running in the background.
The kettle is on, everything is peaceful. If I compare it to home it'd be one these Sundays when you stay in your pyjamas all day just wandering about, reading, watching tv, drinking tea but not doing anything productive. The atmosphere is very still.

It's raining. Not like the Indian monsoon but like a heavy rainy day in Britain or Brittany.

"I can't remember the last time I was stuck at home because of the rain! We haven't had rain like this in ten years! This is very good for Israel!"

I have been put under house arrest by the Jewish Mother Police. I only have Converse AllStars with me and a pair of crocs and I don't have a good enough raincoat.
It doesn't matter that the world is ending and that it is our last chance to go out ever, I'm not going out because my feet would get wet and cold. There is no arguing with a Jewish mother.

Have a great shabbos everyone!

Jaffa anecdote.

20/12/12, Sderot Yerushalayim, Jaffa.

I'm walking in the street, on my way to buy a SIM card and like a two-year-old, I miss a step and fall on my knees (they still hurt today), I make a whole in my trousers, I'm on my hands and knees.

Opposite me a lady who sees the whole scene:

"haaa! (Shock) HaKol Beseder? Looooooo!" she smiles and leaves. ("Everything okay? Noooooooo!)

LOL. This is a perfect reflection of the Israeli mind (No offence any Israeli readers).

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Shalom Israel!

After many hours of travelling, I finally arrived in Tel Aviv this morning.

Yesterday I left my family behind to embark on this hopefully productive journey that will be my trip to Israel. I flew to Zurich Airport where I waited for about 4 hours before getting on their intra-airport underground train after they finally announced my terminal. The airport is just that big. So after that train ride I get to the end of terminal E where I undergo the El Al security questioning which went quite well, far better and shorter than last year. Maybe I look better.
Then of course I get taken to a room where I empty my entire cabin luggage and it gets checked for trace of [explosives? I really have no clue]. Then my shoes. And my passport. Then I am released from the room where my bag has to stay until boarding, in case I was planning to go get that bomb I'd hidden in the toilets. FAIL.
On board are a large group school kids going back home after a cultural exchange in Switzerland (from what I gathered). And of course when I got of the plane one of the teacher almost mistook me for one of his pupils, I look that young...

We arrive in Tel Aviv, we land, the children take hours to get out, delaying my getting out of the plane.

Then I get to the funniest part of travelling to Israel. Passport control. Passport control is really fun, you arrive at the agent's cubicle, the agent never smiles and almost never replies when you say a shy "shalom" or "boker tov". Why am I here? Where am I going? What is your father's first name? What is your father's father's first name? Okay, your passport stays here and you go over in that room and wait for them to call your name.
The room in question has two security guards at the door and one inside watching the chosen people. I too was chosen. I sit opposite two girls, one of them crying on the other's shoulder. A bit further, a girl called Anna trying to call someone before one of the female door guard tells her in a very condescending tone "Anna, we talked about your phone". Anna puts the phone away. On my right, a weirdo sleeping. On my left a tired couple. Khadija, the cried on girl gets called out. After a while she comes back in and goes back out.
I pretend I don't give a shit, I read nonchalantly but on the inside I'm pissed because it's 2.30am and I really want to get some sleep and I don't think this is justified. So I read and get called out. A nice security man holding my passport asks me why I'm here (I'm here to visit friends and family by the way *cough*) and what my father's first name is. I don't get this obsession with fathers' and grandfathers' first names but yeah... He goes somewhere, comes back and gives me my passport and freedom back.

After a short night's sleep in the nice Old Jaffa Hostel I bought a phone and made way to my really amazing host family in Holon where I will be staying for the following two weeks.

Tomorrow I will start arranging my interview in Efrat and when I'll be on my way there transferring in Jerusalem I will pay a visit to Ziad who will hopefully agree to be part of my project. I still need to find a fluent Arabic/English speaker because Ziad's Englishis as good as my Arabic. For the record, this is nod very good.

Kol tuv!

Surya

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Orbis edition one.

As part of our assessment we have to produce a magazine every three weeks called Orbis. Here is my story for the first edition for which I also did the layout. Enjoy!




Reflections on journalism studies and studies in general.

I think it is safe to say by now that I have found my call. This might shock some people who think I have no secrets to them, when I was applying to university I was seriously considering the army path in my head it was always the army or journalism. In the end I chose the "safe" path (note the quotation marks as my aim is to become a war reporter).

Studying is great, I love it. In fact I wanna do some more after I graduate (hopefully) next summer.
And when I say studying, it is a tricky subject for me because yes I study international journalism but not much actual studying is done on my part (I still get excellent grades so I will not change my methods).

I feel university has taught me many things but has failed to teach me other things I wished it would have or more like it failed to force me change my methodology when it comes to actual work. I love what I do and I honestly think I am better at what I do now than I was two and a half years ago thanks to my "studies" and most importantly my brilliant lecturers who are in my opinion amazing admirable people (I hope they don't read this) but that is besides the point. I have been taught how to write and basically be a journalist but I have always been able to do everything last minute which will not do me good in my near future, when I actually start working (assuming I ever do). The thing is I get good grades so my brain doesn't see the problem with writing fully referenced essays in twenty-four hours or less.

I guess university has also changed me into a bit more of a sociable person than I was before even if I still like the quiet of my flat and I love being alone. I am now less afraid to speak in front of a group of people and I think I have more confidence in general (people always think I'm really obnoxious and I like people to think that about me, it keeps unnecessary social interaction away from me but it takes very small things to bring me down). I have just grown in general. Being at university has brought many opportunities my way and I have done things I would have never dreamt of doing before like travelling all the way to Delhi, knock on a few doors to see who would take me.

I feel old now.

I have a new page by the way, it's just my CV, photography, published work and stuff: http://suryajonckheere.wordpress.com/

P.S. I haven't written in a long time and I am sorry I have left you all down but I promise I will write more, I have to, it's what I do, it's what I love to do, funny news rants coming your way soon!