Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Pro's and Con's of the Holy City

Jerusalem may be beautiful, and I do enjoy living here, but more and more often, I have the feeling that I need to get out. Everywhere I turn, I hear English. On Saturday night I went to an Idan Raichel concert, had a great time and enjoyed the live music. Between songs, Idan Raichel shared some stories with the crowed, and there was a circle of laughter, twenty seconds later, there was another after the Anglo's in the audience had the tale translated to them.

Yesterday I was in Rishon L'tzion for lunch, there wasn't an English speaker in site, and the fellow travellers on the Jerusalem - Lod buses I travel on certainly speak mother tongue Hebrew. Sure, most of these people are born Sabra's, and it takes time to learn a new language. I have no qualms with people that make the effort to learn Hebrew, but I that the proportion of non-Hebrew speaking olim hints a lack of effort rather than a true inability.

I wrote about this subject back in 2005, and it still annoys me today.

There is another reason to get out of Jerusalem. Municipal taxes are insane. I paid my arnona bill today, it stood at close to 7000NIS, which is higher than the average salary here. Co-workers of mine in Yafo, Tel Aviv and Modiin pay a third of the taxes those of us in the holy city pay, and once the discount for olim runs dry, that's a very large extra expense. Jerusalem was never going to be my home forever. I have no immediate plans to leave either, but when Arnona is due once again, we'll have to think if it's worth paying an extra $1500 a year to live in the midst of an island of English speakers.

The plus side is the history, the views and the environment. Some of which I was able to capture as I walked through Gan Sacar at 7am the other morning.


Kitchen Window View


Light at the End of the Tunnel

Gan Sacar, Morning View

Check out the rest on my flickr pages.

No comments:

Post a Comment