-Where were you born?
-In which country and city are you living now?
Small village close to Netanya
-Are you living alone or with your family?
Wife and baby
-How long have you been living in Israel?
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Israel?
I met an Israeli when traveling, came to Israel, got married, had a baby and never left.
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
No, i'm Jewish so have the automatic right to live here.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
Didn't have any. Maybe not so wise, but I soon became a citizen so was entitled to National Healthcare.
-How do you make your living in Israel? Do you have any type of income generated?
I work for a London publishing company which I found through an agency. Didn't take long to find work, just lots of internet searching every day and driving the agency mad. Very happy with my job so am very lucky.
-Do you speak the local language and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
No I don't and although English is widely spoken, it's the biggest barrier to feeling settled and more often than not, it's a problem as many people don't speak English. Hebrew is not easy to master and sometimes I feel that I may as well be living in China! Also helps not getting ripped off or treated like a tourist all the time which I dont really like.
It's very important to respect customs here seeing as some of the people are very religious. It's not wise to drive around religious areas on Sabbath, etc. I once got shouted at for holding my wife's hand!
-Do you miss home and family sometimes? Describe your favorite recreational activities there or those that are available.
All the time. Skype, email and cheap internet calls are a blessing. I love going to the beach and with the amazing weather, it's all about an outdoor lifestyle.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
I love living in Israel although I can see myself living somewhere else as I am very well traveled. Not sure if I want to stay in Israel for the rest of my life. India is up there with other parts of Europe.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
I found an amazing house on a small Moshav ( like a private village) close to work and the beach. Pay about half what it is worth ($800 a month).
-What is the cost of living in Israel?
All in all, if you live reasonably, have a car, go out now and again, about 10,000 NIS a month ($2500 a month) for a couple and not much less if you are single!!
-What do you think about the locals? (also how they treat foreigners)
Maybe this questions says it all to those thinking of living here. It takes a while to really start to see the true mentality, perhaps as much as a year. Take this however you want as people find each of what I will say differently but I can assure you its accurate.
Israelis are very vocal in their feelings, they won't hold back and are in no way reserved. They are very stressful people and that is seen in no better place than the road. There are accidents all the time here; a day rarely goes by without seeing a smashed up car or two on the main highways. It's all ego and stress, nothing more. The people can be very rude, they don't really have any shame and most don't have a lot of respect but not in a bad way, it's just the way they are. They were born into a country where they always have had to fight to survive.
Ok, the good. Under it all, and it can be quite a lot to get past, they are one of the most friendly, caring and warmest people of any country I have been to. They will open their home for you, they can welcome you like you have never been welcomed before. Again i think lot of this comes down to being in times of struggle/way and all pulling together. Think of the Blitz in London.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Israel?
Weather, sea, beach, food, beautiful diverse country, somewhat exotic as it's a crossroads of Europe/Asia and Africa.
- points: Stressful people, expensive to live, low wages, major road rage.
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Israel?
Come and live here for a while if you can. Learn Hebrew before you come!!!