Our trip back to Israel-Palestine, the first since my daughter’s birth, was also the first time our family would be separated. The Israeli border, the crossing to the place where her father and I met and fell in love, would be the first thing to come between us.
I didn’t get a haircut in 2017 and it’s unlikely I’ll get one in 2018, either. Nobody touches my hair but Yossi and, unfortunately, Yossi’s salon is in Tel Aviv’s Neve Tzedek neighborhood.
Even though it’s bad for his business, whenever I do manage to get to Tel Aviv and see Yossi, he urges me to give up on him, to find a hairdresser in south Florida. He laughs, shakes his head, gently scolding me, telling me that I can’t get a haircut only once a year.
He examines my split ends and then asks, “And what’s going on with your color? You’ve got no less than three in here. There are big spots that you missed…” he sighs and doesn’t finish his sentence. My hair is in such bad shape, there’s nothing left to say.
I’ve tried to find both a hairdresser and a color here in the U.S. To my surprise, the color I used to buy at Superpharm in Israel is not available in the U.S.. I would have to order it online and have it shipped from New Zealand. As for the hairdresser, I’ve tried half a dozen. But no one seems to understand my masses of curls like Yossi does.
My first two years out of the country, I got annual haircuts on my annual trip back. I left in 2014, towards the end of the summer war, coming back to Tel Aviv for six weeks in 2015 to update my research for my book about migrant workers and African asylum seekers in Israel. And then, in 2016, a family emergency on my husband’s side brought all of us back — him, me, and our daughter, who was 10 months old at the time. Not to Tel Aviv. To the West Bank.
But, first, we had to get there.
No matter where we were going, we wouldn’t be able to fly to Ben Gurion together. My husband is a West Banker with a green ID, which means that there’s only one way in for him: Allenby Bridge — the only crossing that is off-limits to me. This wouldn’t be...Read More