From the minute they touch down in Natbag, the pictures, questions, and demands don’t stop: Let’s have someone take a family photo in front of your office! What do you mean you don’t have health insurance yet? Call my friend Barbara’s son, you need to find a nice Jewish boy. There’s no escaping these visitors, but after an all-expense paid trip to Taizu and a joyous reunion with your childhood pillow that they stuffed in a carry on, would you even want to?
No one in your family knows how they found out you were in Israel, or got your phone number, but this unlikely visitor is messaging you as though you’ve met far more times than that one Hanukkah party. Sure, you have 55 mutual friends on Facebook, but does that mean they should crash on your couch for a week? Why not–it wouldn’t be Israel without a little combina.
This sunburnt, hungover group of pals just made an impulse decision to extend their Birthright trip, and despite not talking since college, are ready for 10 more days of fun courtesy of you. Good luck explaining that yes, you have a full time job, and no, you won’t go to Shalvata. It’s all fun and games catching up, until someone throws up on your floor.
Counting down the days doesn’t even begin to explain this reunion when you’ve been planning to meet up in the Holy Land since the seventh grade. From one Happy Hour to the next, and all the beach and rest(o) stops in between, you’ve scheduled this trip to maximize the fun and sun. But hey, if you just end up sitting at the same bar on Dizengoff until they close and kick you out, then so be it.
Your mom swears that you’re related, but can’t exactly explain how. You don’t blame them for not flying the 10+ hours to make it to your bat mitzvah, but the four-hour bus ride to their home “just outside of Haifa” is pretty confusing. When you finally make it to their moshav, and are immediately bombarded with personal questions and plates of food, you forget the time when you ever doubted that they were family.
By Kayla Levy, who absolutely loves visitors.
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