This started off as a typical Aliyah blog: a homesick blogging experiment that looks at life in Israel through the eyes of a tourist. You know the type of blogs I’m talking about. They talk about how even the simplest conversations seem to happen over some hummus and pita. Or the bus-paranoia blogs written mostly by those new to Jerusalem; those who haven’t quite moved past the intifada –days and sit on buses with sweaty palms, waiting for the explosion.
And that was almost the fate of my blog. But I’ve made peace with it. I’m on a bus every day. I’ve signed up to be an organ donor. And that puts my mind at ease. What more can I do? Should something happen on a bus; well whatever is left of me can be put to good use. But short of signing up to be an organ donor; I feel no need to hold my blog hostage to the fear of terror. Life goes on.
But I also have no intention of viewing life here through the eyes of a tourist any longer. I will always be a South African at heart. But I’m sick of this mixture of overly sentimental homesick and humus gunk that most blogs of a similar vein seem to churn out.
But have no fear. There will still be some churning. Just of a different nature. I was sitting in class today – I’m studying Hebrew at an Ulpan in Jerusalem. And today’s lesson had something to do with family. We learnt the word for grandchild in Hebrew – the word eludes me at the moment. Anyway, my teacher has 9 of those cute little critters. And then she started telling us about her kids. By the end of it, she had to leave the class and quite a few of the people in my class were in tears.
She had 8 children. Had. Her one son was killed in the recent Lebanon war. My teacher is always singing and you have to really stalk her to find her without a smile on her face. Today I saw a side of her that broke my heart; I saw a woman I don’t think I’ll ever have the strength to be. A saw a mother who will probably always grieve for her 26 year old son. And all I could think about was there how there must be something Twitter can do.
A silly microblogging service. That’s what you’re thinking right? Just admit it. I’m not crazy, I assure you. Nor am I cold-hearted. I was one of the people with tears in my eyes as she told her story. But that’s exactly why I thought of Twitter – I believe in the power of mobile technology. I think it is going to change media as we know it and perhaps the way we lead our lives. So who knows, maybe there is something Twitter can do.
I want this to become a space where I see my time in Israel not through tourist’s sunglasses but through the eyes of mobile technology; where almost anything is possible. This is going to be my space to vent and discuss all things mobile. Because I believe the future of media is mobile and that means exciting things for how we live our lives.