Something I will NOT miss when I’m in Israel.

August 4, 2011

There remain 25 days until my departure for Israel.
I downloaded a nifty countdown app for my iPod. 

I pride myself in the fact that I don’t do much complaining at all. But this has gone too far without my saying anything.

GAS PRICES. I think the next time I see the orange glow of my gas light creep on, I may weep. I pay $3.59 per gallon. If the gas station I go to happens to be cash/credit, I’ll pay up to $3.89 a gallon because I always neglect to carry cash. Buying a full tank of regular gas devastatingly exceeds $50. So filling up with $20 doesn’t even satisfy HALF. I remember the days when my mom would hand the attendant a twenty and get change back!

Oh yes, and remember that they do pump your gas for you in New Jersey. I guess I should be glad I don’t have to pump it myself.

Gas prices are a superficial thing to gripe about. The real root of this problem is having to commute. July was a tough month because I lived in New Brunswick, took ballet five or six times a week at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio, and also worked in Edison. I oftentimes had to do both in the same day!

I’m so grateful to have been able to carpool with Will to Princeton. That eased the blow to my gas budget a bit.

I do enjoy the time I spend driving someplace by myself. I can be alone with my thoughts, enjoy the scenery of the places I’m driving through, and I get to sing as loudly and terribly as I want. However, when I look around me on the road, I realize that every other driver is also driving alone–hundreds and hundreds of vehicles, carrying solo drivers, yet designed to seat at least three more people each. I’m always mindful of the effect our daily driving practices have on our carbon footprints. So much heat generated by these cars, and these paved roads. So many natural resources wasted. So many carbons generated. Etcetera, etcetera. I’m no expert, but I still feel guilty.

We’re doing ourselves grave disservices continuing these unsustainable practices. Creating cities that are flat and have many roads. Burning unnecessary fuel by speeding, driving solo, or driving more than we need to. Our individualistic lives just have us rushing around by ourselves, and so driving this much seems to be the only option. It’s a poor quality of life. Stress abounds. Cars. Payments. Gas. Gas Prices. Commutes. Traffic. Having to leave early.

When begin my studies in Israel, I will live on campus at Hebrew University, and probably walk to school everyday. I will take public transportation to places I need to go, near and far. I feel my stress level lowering already just thinking about it.

For the next twenty-five days though, I’m still a slave to the open road. I’m trying to maximize my gas mileage by working on my acceleration technique, staying away from the left lane, and suppressing all urges to race and rage.

New York City is calling me. Living there when I’m finished with school will give me the quality of life I want! Work, dance, shopping, food, friends, family, entertainment… all accessible by walking or public transportation!


  1. living here in rome has more then ever made me want to live in NYC when I graduate so badly. There is more then you could ever want, and its all within walking distance. I feel like i’ve spent such a ridiculous amount of money while i’ve been here, but at least not a penny has been on gas, and barely any even on public transportation, with most bus rides being able to be taken for free (though illegally) and most local train rides costing from 1 to 3 euros. Thanks for putting things in perspective 🙂

    • I’m so glad we can share this experience. I hope that when I’m in Israel, we can continue to have a back and forth about each other’s study abroad adventures!

      By the way, thanks for subscribing! Look at you, setting a good example for all of our friends! (Remember, all you have to do is scroll down and enter your email, folks!)

  2. that will defly cut down the stress.. btw im still working on finding that money tree for you haha j/k its kind of unfortunate that i won’t be able to see you before you leave tho =( but i hope you have a safe trip =)

    • Well thanks, Jerry! We’ll see each other again, someday. And thanks for subscribing. I’ll make sure to keep it interesting!

      • Yur welcome n yur never boring so there’s no need to keep it “interesting” haha

  3. I like my shout-out.

  4. i hear you, carlo, i felt the same way in frankfurt as arielle feels in rome. but jerusalem will be great in that way… such a walking and walkable city. just be aware that on shabbat evenings, wear appropriate clothing so you don’t get little stones thrown at you…

    • Great advice, Jeff! I’m in the middle of packing right now and I’ve got my shabbat-appropriate clothes ready. 🙂

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