Healing at Herzliya
Giv'atayim, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
After yesterday's brutal evening, we were very much looking forward to an afternoon trip to the beach with Nir (one of our prior CouchSurfing hosts). We both needed to take some time to regroup emotionally, and to speak candidly about jumping back into their apartment for a few more days.
I'd already e-mailed them about the incident, and Lee, his sweetie of a girlfriend, had this to say:
Listen Craig- you all are more than welcome to come back. It's really cool that Sara can host two days after moving her house, but if you don't feel confident with Aidric running around with all those disinfection materials in his range then nothing else matters.
The simple truth was no matter how much I cleaned and helped organize Sara's apartment, Tatiana was never going to be comfortable there—she was just too emotionally traumatized from her first impression. When it came to hosting an infant, Sara's place was just too far below our thresholds.
Nir picked us up and drove us just north of Tel Aviv, to his choice of local beaches. Herzliya, he explained, is known as a place get away from the crowds of the city, and to pick up idling hookers in the dunes above the beach.
Aidric absolutely loves the beach, and hanging out with Nir. He's been very slow at coming out of his shell since departing the Americas, but somehow he's found the safety, comfort and love with Lee and Nir needed to actually forget about Tatiana for a welcomed handful of minutes.
The hardest part of the day came when it was time to actually leave Sara's. She stepped out briefly to escort a visiting friend back to the mass transit, during which time we grabbed our stuff and loaded it into Nir's car.
Sara returned found us waiting for her outside the apartment, not knowing what we'd decided or been up to. For a moment she was worried that we'd gotten locked out of the flat again, but understood what was going when I started explaining that we just couldn't stay with her while her apartment was in its current condition.
Now, I'm recounting this conversation in a rather emotionless manner, but you should understand that this was a terribly embarrassing moment for us (and I'm sure her as well). We completely understood that this woman opened her home to us, and of course we'd never take that fact for granted, but as uncomfortable as the conversation was to have, it would've been far more uncomfortable for us to have stuck around (for purposes of saving face).
Lee was back at home, waiting for us when we arrived, a big smile on her face (and ours as well). Later, she went out and surprised us with a giant takeout container full of Italian gelati. She "wanted to get us something sweet, to take the bitter taste out of our mouth" from our experience at Sara's. Damn, these two are the best.