7 Israeli struggles that are actually blessings in disguise

Written by
Jennifer Greenberg
The Holy Land can be a tough place to live, especially if you did not grow up here. While Israelis love to complain, sometimes, the everyday struggles turn out to actually be blessings in disguise.
The overcrowded buses encourage you to meet new people. Don't let the lack of CO2 cramp your style. Take the opportunity to start a conversation with the cute Florentin boy whose face is literally centimeters from yours, heck, you can even go in for the kiss if you're feeling confident. 
Chaos becomes the norm. No matter how organized you claim to be, the 'balagan' of Israeli society is inescapable. At first, the lack of lines at coffee shops and hoards of screaming mothers at the Shuk on Fridays will drive you crazy. However, it is only a matter of time before you learn the most valuable lesson to surviving Israeli clusterf***s: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Your obnoxiously successful friends are actually inspirational. They don't call it the Start-Up Nation for nothing. With an endless amount of career opportunities and a constant stream of new ones surfacing every day, don't hate on those overachieving go-getter friends...they are the ones doing it right. Follow suit. If it doesn't exist, create it. If it does, advocate for yourself until you get it.
The limited public transportation, closed stores, and decreased wifi on Shabbat forces you to spend time with yourself. Even if you don't shut your phone off completely for Shabbat, there is a decreased need to be glued to connectivity on the weekends. When physically escaping your problems is out of the question due to a very minimal bus and train system, you have no other option than to spend some good old quality 'me time'. Slow down, sit with your thoughts, ponder life's greatest conundrums.
Having friends in Gush Dan puts your organization game on point. While distance-wise, Herzliya, Ramat Gan, Bat Yam and the likes are pretty close, the bus system tries to convince us otherwise. You can't just "pop in" on a home in the 'burbs'. Getting together with friends from Tel Aviv's perimeter involves weeks of advanced scheduling, a very detailed map of alternative bus routes when you inevitably miss your connecting bus, and a whole lot of willpower.  
Your tiny kitchenette teaches you to master the art of the toaster oven. No oven and limited counter space bring back that university dorm-room nostalgia – think microwave mug cakes, one-pot meals, and toaster pizzas. Who needs the glitter and glam of a full-sized kitchen. You'd be surprised how much you can make with a toaster oven and a little innovation. I cooked a seven-course meal in there just the other day.
The insane traffic, especially in Tel Aviv, encourages you to exercise. There's no reason to own a car in the culture capital of Israel. It is ironically the slowest mode of transportation in Tel Aviv due to the constant pileups caused by an unnecessary abundance of one-way roads and borderline-institutional bus drivers. Buy a second-hand bike and join the local hipster community or walk to work; either way, you'll be reaching those 10, 000 steps before sunset. 
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