My Childhood in Israel

Hilla is from Tel Aviv, Israel. Below she talks about her childhood in Israel.

Tel Aviv, Israel

My Childhood in Israel

I was probably 3-ish years old, it was in the late 1980’s. The independence eve’s in Israel are celebrated in the main streets of each city: live shows, fast food, fireworks, etc.

I was having fun with my parents…and then it was the time for the fireworks. I became grumpy and complained about the noise, it was way too much for a 3 (or maybe a 2?) year old. I didn’t even bother looking at the sky. We stayed a few more minutes, and then went home.

It didn’t take long for me to change my mind about the fireworks. Now days I stare at them just like everybody else.

I’ve had HORRIBLE food habits until my mid-20’s. As a kid, I’ve had a few cookies for breakfast. As a teenager – I’ve had nothing.

however, whenever I was on vacation, I’ve had pancakes and such. Again, bad habits.

These troll dolls in the early 90’s. I really loved those.
It was just me, my brother, my parents (and later – just my mom, since my parents divorced) and our cat. We lived (and my mom still lives there) in an apartment building.
Other than Hebrew – I could speak some English: My brother taught me some and I also learned from a few TV shows (some educational, others were in English but with Hebrew subtitles).
I’ve had many phases in my childhood, at some point I even wanted to be a vet.
however, it always came back to me wanting to be a musician. Now days I’m a music teacher.
Wars, I think. One of my earliest childhood memories is me and my family sitting in my room – during the first gulf war – with gas masks, waiting for a radio announcement about being safe. I panicked, and managed to get mine off.

I was 4 years old back then, and managed to get it off TWICE, the 2nd time my father and grandmother held the gas mask on me…and I got it (and them) off of me. A few minutes later, we’ve heard the blast from the city of Ramat Gan.
a few years later, I grew up in a strange reality where public transportations and malls were kind of dangerous because of the suicide bombers.

I had lots of barbie dolls, my friends and I dressed them up, pretended they were real people.

My father was travelling a lot because of his work, and he came back with gifts for us. One time he came back with an expensive gift: a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), my brother and I just LOVED it, especially the classic Mario games. I still have the good ‘ol SNES in my room, it’s in a good condition and I get back to these games every now and then.

I also liked playing ball games – such as dodgeball – with other kids from the neighbourhood.

We’ve had a local version of Sesame Street. But i also loved: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Thundercats, She-Ra…
When I got a little older, I loved Married with Children (although I probably didn’t get about 50% of the jokes back then), The Nanny…
I’m ashamed of this fact: I didn’t bother reading books unless I was forced to (homework, etc…).
My mother wasn’t very strict about this, so I went to bed late compared to my friends. it didn’t change, and I later discovered I was more of a night-person.
I’m probably similar to other people who grew up in the bigger cities and/or in the Central district during late 80’s-early 90’s. I don’t think I’m similar to anyone who grew up in a Kibbutz or in the smaller towns.
I wasn’t an out-going teen. I usually went to my friends’ places. Sometimes we went to the movies, bowling or just going on walks in the streets. I did not enjoy these dance clubs for teens.
Everywhere. I didn’t care much about the destination, I just wanted to have a nice vacation/travel somewhere.
I’ve been a few times to the US (west coast, mostly), since my uncle and his family live there. I was 4 years old in my first visit. Other countries that I’ve visited as a child: Turkey, Cyprus, UK.