With globalization a trend of the past, cultures are no longer clashing but rather mixing, people are no longer stationary within the traditions that they are born into, but rather constantly evolving.
Over two months have passed since I arrived back in my apartment in Tel Aviv. Once again there is a drawer designated for my underwear and I reunited with my electric toothbrush. Almost every day, I run into friends and acquaintances on the street. After all, Tel Aviv is a microcosm for cosmopolitan urban living. They ask if I have “returned.” I don’t really know what to say. I am here. For now. I don’t know if I will stay, how long I will stay, where I will go when I go. And I am fine with not knowing.
My dear friend Aditi’s wedding in Portugal provided the perfect excuse for flying back to this rusty corner of the world. (Posts on Portugal are in the works). But I had other reasons, too. In Mexico, I realized that a year of gallivanting around the globe all the while launching my new writing life was the most foolish idea I had ever thought of. I needed at least three years. No, five. Ten…
Can of Beans and Argentinian Steaks
At the very moment of this epiphany, I was chewing on 150-peso steak at an Argentinian restaurant in San Cristobal de Las Casas. I froze mid-steak, my hands holding a spoon dripping chimichuri sauce right onto my kindle. The steak, which seconds ago had been the answer to my anemia turned into the representation of three-days worth of food. Income-less in Mexico, I could survive for a year, even if I ate steak. But for five?
This new life of mine needed planning and quick. I started making expense charts on the back of a receipt (my computer’s battery had just died) and lists of contacts to reach out to. When I got back to my room, I typed it up and saved it into a folder named “The Independence of Nathalie.”
Fast-forward a few months, I’m in the city where one can only dream of a 150-peso steak. But here is where I cultivated my professional contacts in order to make the location-independent, time-abundant life I need to become the writer I want to be. And it’s going well. I am now the proud free-lance editor of the literary section of the Journal of Levantine Studies. And there are other projects in the works.
So yeah, I am in Tel Aviv until I am not.
Meanwhile, here is how you can support me:
As I share my life, travels, and experiences in this blog, I hope to inspire readers to see the world through transcultural eyes. With globalization a trend of the past, cultures are no longer clashing but rather mixing, people are no longer stationary within the traditions that they are born into, but rather constantly evolving. I have been telling the story of intercultural living in Pack the Story and I hope to tell it for many years to come.
With this post, I am launching my Patreon page for Pack the Story. Patreon is an online platform where patrons (donors) can support writers (or any other artist producing art). Everything I write (including this blog) I publish for free. This blog and its contents will remain free, through this platform you can chose to pay for the pleasure of reading my work. Plus you will get all kinds of perks as well.
So what happened to the rest of the juicy steak you ask? A bunch of indigenous children came to my table selling little hand painted animal figurines for 10 pesos. I didn’t care for little animal figurines that my host Enzue placed next to the intention candles she lit every day. (The animals help guard the intentions).
Besides, I didn’t have 10 pesos to spare! I gave them the rest of my steak and potatoes swimming in chimichuri. Just the day before the same children had eaten the remnants of my vegetarian lunch at Casa del Pan. The kids didn’t thank me but giggled as they ate. With oily lips they walked away carrying their animals in wicker baskets. The smallest of them turned around and smiled—an expression of gratitude on behalf of her siblings.
Thank you for reading and sending you all love from Tel Aviv, currently battling a sandstorm. I end with a few pictures of indigenous entrepreneurs selling produce and craft in Chiapas.