Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Yesterday, I went to get my "Teudat Zehut" or ID card. I thought it was one of the last things I had to be in the long list of filing papers. Well, I was missing a paper, and I was in the wrong office, which was a blessing, because they helped me file some back papers, which I never would have known about. Then, after getting a bit lost, I went to Maccabi Insurance http://www.maccabi-health.co.il/ and filed those papers, that was easy and the lady was really nice. I pay an extra 51 shekels (11-12 dollars) a month for extras. Things like getting my teeth clean, and I'm sure lots of other things, but they are all in Hebrew, so I don't really know what they are yet! So this morning, I got up extra early to go back to get the ID card. The woman had set my things aside and just told me to come in and not wait in line (nice!) Well, when I got there, she wasn't there. So one of the other desk guys was searching for my stack of papers, which he eventually found
Monday, October 18, 2010
I should have moved to Haifa a long time ago. When I go into a building and ask where something is in Hebrew (broken Hebrew, of course) they answer in Russian! When I went to Misrad Hapnim, they handed me a sheet of paper in Russian with instructions, until I handed it back and started speaking English. It's really amazing. And entertaining, and I'm sure eventually, it will be annoying.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The actual shrine is covered, usually there is a beautiful golden dome, but you can't see it now. They are replacing all the gold tiles. This place is truly amazing and there aren't many gardens in the world to rival it. I plan to go back many times during my stay. It is about a 15 minute walk from my apartment!
Friday, October 15, 2010
My whole body is aching, particularly my legs. I have no idea how many stairs I ascended and descended yesterday, but it was quite a few. Roi and I picked up the car in the morning, we were suppose to have it at 9, but we didn't actually get the car until 10. We took everything out of Wingate and packed the Fiat that we rented. I couldn't believe all of the things I had accumulated in just one year. Roi drove to Haifa, he stalled the car 3 times. I didn't stall it at all ;-) But Americans do drive much more than Israelis and though I was quite the backseat driver, I think he liked driving since he doesn't get to do it very often.
We found the apartment fairly easily. It's on the main road and is really a great location and it will be easy for me to get to the ulpan on the Carmelit, which is an underground funicular that goes up and down the Carmel mountain that is Haifa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmelit We started moving everything inside and started sitting up everything and putting things away. I am in a very little room which is really an enclosed porch. It's above a gelato shop, which could potentially be dangerous during late night studying.
Before we knew it it was 10pm and I was getting cranky, (go figure) because we hadn't eaten a real meal all day, just some snacking here and there. We went out and found a really nice restaurant called Magnolia and we shared a Mediterranean salad and a marinara sauce pasta. I had chia after. It was really a wonderful meal after a hard day's work. We stopped on the way home so I could pay the rent.
When we got home I signed the contract which said "no overnight guests". Since it was already after midnight, I wasn't going to kick Roi out, where was he going to go anyway. And even though they said he could sleep on the couch just this one time, it was with reluctance. So we grabbed my camping/hiking bag and headed to the beach!
We saw a nice spot of grass behind the sand and thought it was better to sleep there than on the sand. So we set up the tent and my sleeping pad and sleeping bag and climbed inside. We had tied up the sides of the tent so we would have a nice breeze coming through and then we fall asleep to the sound of the ocean.
At 3:30am I woke up as it started to downpour on the beach! As a came to from being hit with water I remembered that I was in Israel and it couldn't possibly be raining in Haifa in October, (at least it's rare). I finally realized that I was being sprayed by sprinklers from three directions. Roi and I struggled through the laughter and water to undo the ties on the tent to release the flaps. We managed and when we were safe inside the tent we couldn't stop laughing. I did enjoy listening to the sound of rain (or the closest I will get while in Israel) on my tent.
When we woke up in the morning all I could see was old people wading into the Mediterranean. It was a beautiful first site. (The sea, not the back side of the elderly.) Although, we were both exhausted from our sprinkler surprise, we had a great day. We put the supplies in the car and walked up and down the boardwalk. The water was calm and crystal clear. We had fresh squeezed orange juice and then headed out to get some more water and fill up the car before taking it down to Avis.
Avis was in the port area of Haifa, not quite in the city, so we had to take a couple of modes are transportation to get back. We took a bus, and Roi got on the train to go south and I took the Carmelit back to the center of Haifa. I went to the store to get some food before Shabbat (but lots of things in Haifa are open on Shabbat, it sounds like an American city on a Friday night, people at cafes, and car horns honking. Not like Jerusalem where you would rarely see a car moving.)
The internet wasn't working at home, so I headed out to a cafe after a shower and a nap to rejuvenate myself. I checked and sent some emails and then I heard a big group of Americans walk in. After 10 minutes I went over to the table and sat with them for about an hour. They were all volunteers for the Baha'i Temple in Haifa. I had never met someone who was Baha`i before, especially not a group of 10 who were close to my age. It was really fun and I was glad to meet some Americans. The more people I meet the better. But I need more people who speak Hebrew! Since that is the goal for the next few months!
Monday, October 04, 2010
Jack and his mommy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me and Jack!!
I had a really wonderful weekend with my family and grandma and seeing Sevgi! It was wonderful and I'm going to miss so many people. Especially Jack because he changes so much everytime I see him and this will be a very long time before I see him again. I have a feeling it's going to be very difficult not seeing my little man.