America Vs. Israel

I’m reading a terrific book by Danit Brown — Ask for a Convertible.

Here’s an excerpt from page 35 (about a couple from Israel, he’s originally American, who’ve moved to Michigan):

"Everyone’s so happy here," Efrat told him on their fifth day together. "It’s a little creepy. And it’s not just them. You’re different to."

"Different how?"

"I don’t know." She shrugged. "More relaxed. Not so serious. And there’s all the sex."

"Well," Marvin said, "we don’t have to do it."

"That’s just it," Efrat said. "I think we do."

…As the time of their flight back to Israel drew near, he could feel himself tensing up. It had been days since he’d seen anyone in military uniform, or heard anyone yelling or honking, or smelled the sooty exhaust of city buses. Whenever he made eye contact with people, they smiled. The streets were swept, the hedges a lush green, the houses brightly painted with sloped, shingled roofs and basketball hoops over the garages. He could take baths without worrying about wasting water. Even the toilets were different, quieter, the flush less angry.

I love this bit on page 53: "Jennifer was fat: she couldn’t afford to be picky. The other girls called her the Welcome Wagon. She showed new girls around until they got their bearings and moved on to better tables in the cafeteria."

Here’s a bit on page 158 about an Israeli girl Osnat feeling guilty about living in America. She meets an Israeli waiter Noam in restaurant called Ali Baba in Michigan. She takes him out to the parking lot and has sex with him in her car. When they’re finished, he calls her a yoredet (one who has descended from Israel). She gets upset: "…the one thing Osnat wanted was for Noam to absolve her. She’d had sex with him — wasn’t that worth something? Hadn’t she done her part for Israel, however indirectly, by lifting the spirits of a battle-scarred soldier? He’d given his body, and now she’d given hers. It was so noble that for a brief moment, Osnat could almost imagine it as her life’s work: f—ing soldiers. She would meet them at the airport as they deplaned and take them straight to bed. They would go back to Israel and tell their friends about her, and knowing she was out there, waiting for them, would give them hope. And it would give her a reason to stay."

From page 223: "Israelis just didn’t make friends with Americans. And why should they? Americans never stayed in Israel for long, and spent most of their time complaining and rolling their eyes in dismay over spots on their water glasses and waiters who didn’t clear their plates the second they put down their forks. Who needed that kind of aggravation? Let them be friends with one another."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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