Double Life – South

fubiniBy Daniela Fubini*

There are many types of double lives.

Some are a bit sketchy, and usually involve a job that should not be known to the wide public: like many, I too know a few people who might serve in secret service or something similar, and they wouldn’t say it for obvious reasons, but they cannot be as many as we tend to think just by binge-watching series on Netflix.

Some are ethically despicable, and usually involve a lover and even children from two parallel families who don’t know of the existence of the other. And no, I don’t know anyone running such a tiring and expensive life.

In my case, the new representation of a double life is plainly geographical. It involves commuting to the Big City for work, and living in a tiny village out of a Smaller City in an area that is often described as “The South of Israel”. Now if you were to ask to anyone who lives along the coast south of Tel Aviv, from Bat-Yam to Holon, Yavne, Ashdod and all the way to Ashkelon, they will say they live in the center, below the Gush Dan. They might add, a bit puzzled, that the South of Israel begins at Beer Sheva, and is not at all along the coast. Yes, we get quite often that very special rain of missiles that hits Tel Aviv only every three or four years. And yes, the vicinity to Gaza is not the best part of our lives, ever since Gaza became a closed compound that not only no longer provides manpower and even produce to the surrounding areas, but provides instead rounds of mini-wars that shatter our windows and nerves, make physical and psychological damages, and sometimes kill.

So I learnt that my double life consists now in the fact that people, especially out of Israel, might think I have become a Southerner, but in reality I wake up every morning in a moshav located at a longitude not much south of Jerusalem. Now I dare anyone to call that south.

*Daniela Fubini (Twitter @d_fubini) lives and writes in Israel, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.