I woke up too late. Maybe these were still the emotions of yesterday, maybe I was really exhausted. And maybe the fact that I spent the two last nights in Jordan talking on the rooftop instead of sleeping also didn’t help. But it was a fact – I was late.

My act-in-crisis skills are always helpful in such situations, so I quickly figured out a new plan, contacted who needed to be contacted, cought a bus, cought another bus and as soon as possible found myself on the way to Tel Aviv. Yes, I was leaving Jerusalem with quite a relief, but Tel Aviv was luckily also not a destination this time – it was just a stop on the way to a Kibbutz Nahal Oz, situated one kilometer from the Gaza strip.

I came to Yaelle’s parents flat, met her granny, who since the very first moment I saw her looked like the loveliest granny in the world – with this cigarette in her mouth and cup with a coffee in her hand. This is where this new story has started. Yaelle with Stas came very soon, then Magda just joined and with Granny Rachel behind the wheel, we were already driving a car to Nahal Oz.

Granny Rachel with her cigarrete, coffee and (!) and ipad! <3
Granny Rachel with her cigarrete, coffee and (!) an ipad she is using to be in touch with her grandkids! ❤

It was a wonderful time in this kibbutz. And although I was still very emotional, I could handle tit over there. And even though an expression “peaceful and quiet” seemed so inappropriate being geographically one kilometer from the biggest jail in the world, I still kind of felt that way. I got my own room and we baked vegan carrot cookies which everybody loved. And we kept sitting on the porch and chatting for hours. Yes, these were peaceful and quiet days.

Magda, Kasia & Yaelle baking carrot cookies in Nahal Oz, Israel. Stas is taking picture.
Magda, me and Yaelle baking carrot cookies in Nahal Oz, Israel. Stas is taking picture.

But at the same time I found myself in this quite ridiculous circumstances. I woke up early in the morning the next day after we arrived and while checking my FB wall this article about selfdiscipline by “Polityka” magazine appeared and I decided to read it. So I was lying down in my bed in a kibbutz, one kilometer from me were 1.5 m people who couldn’t leave the place just simply becasue they were born in there, I was surrounded by double barbed wire fence, I had at least two baloons with a surveillance system above my head and additionaly there were two soldiers in a kibbutz whose job was to stand and look into Gaza’s direction to make sure nobody is aproaching a kibbutz from the fields. Yes, these were the circumstances. And I was reading an article.

Sometimes we are serious, sometimes we are not! Stas, Yaelle, Magda and me in Nahal Oz
Sometimes we are serious, sometimes we are not! Stas, Yaelle, Magda and me in Nahal Oz

What was it about? It kept telling that only if you are selfdisciplined you will be succesful in your life and there are five conditions that will make that happen: 1) you have to be courage enough to start being selfdisciplined (challenge!), 2) you have to have a plan (organize yourself!), 3) you have to be tidy (don’t be clumsy!), 4) you need to work harder (harder, harder) and 5) you need to keep learning, life long (forever!). The article was summed up this way: “Is it worth to work so much on selfdiscipline? Yes, becasue only then you will overcome any obstacles in your life, you will survive despite adversity, you will earn more money, you will reach higher grade in a social hierarchy faster, you will be more healthy and you will have more free time which you will be able to plan the way you like”.

Yes, it felt quite ridiculous to read that article. But what was even more interesting was that I found myself in that article. Myself from a few months ago before I started travelling and thinking more. Travelling can be dangerous sometimes.

To sum up, I think Marta Frej whose mems I really love, was very right when she asked this question: “Decide: happiness or consciousness?”

Marta Frej

Nahal Oz, Israel, 16-17 July 2015 (written in Warsaw on 26 July 2015)