The Last Show In Tel Aviv With Carlie And Yosi

This October it will be six whole years since I moved to Israel. Six whole years since my younger backpacker-self, high on life and adventure, fell head over heals for an Israeli guy down in Australia, and ended up stumbling across the borders of this tiny country in the Middle East that everybody talks about, but nobody, including myself at that time, really knows much about.

Time flies by when you let it, and life with it. Sometimes you just need to stop for a moment. Stop and take it all in.

Where am I? How did I get here?

We are always chasing after that next step in life. Chasing after tomorrow. Running towards our next move. It brings my mind to those audio books I used to listen to before bedtime when I was a child (when there were still cassette players, oh my!) – “When you hear this sound, it’ll be time to turn the page”.

I felt as if I heard that sound recently.

Last Saturday I went to see the stunning singer Carlie Fairburn and her husband Yosi Chopen play at The Zone in Tel Aviv. I have been to a few of their shows during the past six years, and this was their last show in Tel Aviv for an undecided period of time, since they are moving away from Israel.

I met Carlie for the first time back when I first arrived to Israel. She was in my Ulpan class back then. We, and a whole bunch of other Holy Land-newcomers, including my now best friend and amazing photographer Stefanie, took our first faltering steps in Hebrew together.

“Ani Veronika. Ani gara be Tel Aviv”

Back then, Carlie used to sing and play guitar on Nachalat Benyamin for “shekels and smiles”. While I used to dance the nights away in clubs that don’t exist anymore, and drink wine with people that don’t live here anymore. A lot has changed since then.

Six years is a lot of time for things to happen. Carlie has come a long way in her career as a singer since those days on Nachalat Benyamin, and she and Yosi now make beautiful music together on stages all over the country. I go to their shows every now and then when they play in Tel Aviv, because I love the music they make, the atmosphere they create, and because it’s nice to see those familiar smiling faces. The fact that this last show I went to was probably the very last one for an unknown period of time, made me more sentimental than I expected it to, because somehow it felt like a sign – “When you hear this sound, it’ll be time to turn the page”.

As I was sitting in the audience, with a beer in my hand, listening to the latest versions of songs I heard for the first time six years ago, my mind was drifting, and I started to pay attention to the changes those songs have gone through. It suddenly felt like those newborn sweet songs from back then had gone and become all grown up, and the time has now come for them to leave the nest together with Carlie and her family, to start a new chapter on new lands far away. In a sense, this final show felt like the end of an era here in Israel.

Six years is a long time. I have stopped for a moment to look back down the road behind me, to follow my own footprints back across the lands, and along the streets of Tel Aviv – the city I never thought I would call home before I came here. People have come and gone along the way. The experiences have been many, and spread across the entire spectrum – from days of pure joy and laughter, to war and tears. I am now about to finish my second year of my B.A. in Psychology, and the time has come for me too to choose my next step on this journey – to turn the page.

While walking along the road that led me to where I am today, I have learnt that we can never know what is waiting around the next corner. As I see it, the only way to find out is to go there.

As I wave good bye, and wish Carlie and her beautiful family the best of luck in their new chapter, I turn my own eyes forward again, and continue walking down my own path, toward those strange roads yet to be traveled.