I spent last week in Israel for work.
For the past year or so, since moving to London, the geographical definition of Home has been getting blurrier. In Israel we use the term “ha’aretz”, literally translated as “the country”, but meaning Israel; “when are you coming to ha’aretz” means “when are you coming back home”.
But I’ve been living in London for over a year now. I’ve had two jobs, two flats, I even have two coats (both completely unsuitable for an English winter, unfortunately). I have a favourite supermarket, an account in every major takeout website and a clear opinion about marmite. And possibly most telling of all, when I was back in Israel just now, I found it quite peculiar that they all seem to drive on the wrong side of the road.
Israel will always be my home country, where my family and friends are, along with the first half of my life. But for now, when I’m “coming back to ha’aretz”, I’m most likely headed for Heathrow.
To get back to my original point: I spent last week in Israel, which is about 4-5 hours away by plane. I usually spend the time staring at the screen or failing to sleep, but this time I tried expressing my frustrations with the latter through doodles. Now that I have a cast of characters to work with, It’s so much easier to draw “slice of life” anecdotes: there’s no need to come up with a new character design just to get the point across, or attempt a half-arsed self-portrait. If I want to convey my grievances about air travel, Rotem can go through it in my stead.
It’s worth pointing out that the flight was really quite enjoyable. But as a comic artist, I don’t let things like reality get in the way of a joke.