When the phone rang I was a little nervous--I like talking to other bloggers but it always makes me jittery. Typing in front of a screen is so much easier than trying to come up with intelligent things to say face-to-face. And something about talking to someone on the opposite side of the world added to my nerves but if you should ever be lucky enough to have Robin from Around the Island on the line have no fear, she'll put you right at ease with her easy laughter and warm tone.
I had lots of questions to ask her about life in Israel--I mean how often to I get a chance to talk to someone in Tel Aviv? "Like, never," as my teen daughter would say. Though she gets a lot of questions about what's it like to live there she was so sweet and so very tolerant of my ignorance and satisfied my curiosity as I asked things like, "What would be the thing you'd most want people to know about life in Israel?"
She quickly said, "That I have a normal life like everyone else except I just do everything in a different language . . . day to day life isn't what you see on the news. It's very normal. People ask me if I'm afraid to live here but it's very safe." Robin talked about Tel Aviv's similarity to other large western cities with it's cosmopolitan flavor, vibrant night life and cultural events. She spoke about how safe the city was, how little crime there is, how children tend to be more independent than in the United States, how growing up in the diversity of New York City made the transition to Israel less of a upheaval.
I think that for those of us watching the news it's easy to think of Israel as a dangerous, violent, fanatical place where terrorists lie in wait to blow up wandering buses but from what Robin said, Tel Aviv sounds like Denver, or Las Vegas, or Seattle or any number of cities that aren't so prominently featured on the six o'clock news. She did say that Jerusalem, though beautiful, was very different from Tel Aviv--government and religion have more sway there and that just as the two cities are different geographically (she said her town is rather "ugly" though I find that hard to believe--have you ever seen Anchorage in March and April?? Now THAT'S ugly) they're different culturally and politically as well.
All very interesting stuff. But enough about her home, what can I tell you about Robin herself? First of all she's a wonderful writer and a thoughtful, generous blogger. When I asked her about her favorite posts to write she said she enjoys those with a writing prompt such as the "Sunday Scribblings" meme or the Write-Away Contest. This doesn't really surprise me because she's good at it--just look at the Honorable Mentions she's collected. Probably my favorite post of hers is "A Question too Late for the Learning?" that she wrote a couple months back though she said possibly her favorite is "No Market for Used Teenagers."
I could mention little details like she has an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. Or that she met her husband Jay in college and after the dating/marriage process they moved to Israel and have two children: a son, Itai, and a daughter, Maya. I could mention her involvement with helping and supporting breastfeeding mothers, or all their family's exciting travels: Thailand, Florence, the Dead Sea . . . but if you'd like to know more just wander over to Around the Island and say hi. She'll probably whip you up a bowl of matza ball soup and make you feel right at home.
With the Super Bowl approaching, Robin at Pensive (another great Robin) has put together a Snackalicious edition of her monthly Recipe Round Up Carnival--be sure to check it out, she's got some talent! There's still time to join in the fun too (she's offering prizes) if you link up today. Go! Go! Go! Let's move it out people! Go see!
Jordan at MamaBlogga is hosting another group writing project and the theme is "Me Time." Here's the link to MamaBlogga's entry page but look for the announcement soon.
Technorati tags: interviews, blogging, motherhood