Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Longest Two Weeks, Part III (we're almost there...)

Gan on Sunday, kids! Up and at 'em! Donny and I decided long ago that Sundays in America are not all they're cracked up to be. The mornings are nice and relaxing, but they quickly become whine-fests and by the time Sunday night comes we're wondering why we love Sundays so much. So we were not too upset by the whole 6-day week thing, especially because on Fridays schools are open, stores open, but you don't have to go to work. The best of all worlds!
Ulpan: I started ulpan on Sunday. At first I was in "alef plus" but after an hour I realized that I needed the next level. So I switched to the bet/gimmel class. It's a nice small class and I like the teacher, excuse me, the morah. It's just very intense - 5 days a week, 8:30 - 12:45. But it's very laid back - people leave to make phone calls, come late, leave early, don't show up - what are they going to do? Kick you out? Send you back to America? "No ulpan for you!" Meanwhile, Donny was going to go to Ashdod in the morning to take care of the paperwork for the lift, but about halfway there, they called and said, Oh don't come until 2:30. So he turned around and took care of some other things we needed to do in Modi'in.
Lift: Donny went back to Ashdod in the afternoon. They had to go through all of our things and decide what we needed to pay tax on. In the end, the only item in our lift was we had to pay tax on was the elliptical machine. Because the import tax can be as high as 30%, we performed a thourough analysis and found that that the elliptical was worth $100... if you know what I mean. They also said they would deliver it on Wednesday, and charge us port fees until then. Donny said, "Well, can you deliver it earlier?" They replied, "Alright,we'll deliver it Tuesday." Ariella and I walked to pick up Yaakov from gan. We ate something for dinner; but I don't remember what.
On Monday, we got into our first car accident. We went back to the eye store to get my tofes yarok (successfully this time). As an aside, we had another OI moment: in America, whenever I needed to get an official picture like for a license or passport, I wore my sheitl because they would give me problems if I showed up in a hat or scarf. In Israel, no one blinked - it's totally normal to get your official license picture in your scarf. Now my purple stripey scarf will be forever immortalized in my license picture. Ok, back to the car accident. When backing out of the space at the shopping center, we backed into someone who was driving behind us. Unfortunately, it was an hysterical Israeli lady who was convinced life as she knew it had ended because we dinged her car. She had to run, so she took our phone number and fled, in tears. Oy vavoy. Donny called Eldan, the rental company, and they wanted him to bring the car in so they could take a look at it. In the meantime, we needed to take Ariella to a doctor because she'd had a bad cold and we were worried it was becoming an ear infection. Someone actually offered to give us her appointment time with the Anglo pediatrician in Modi'in, and we were supposed to meet her at 4:00. So after picking Ariella up from school, Donny drove to Eldan office at the airport (where he was told, "Oh, that? That's just a scratch! Are you sure it wasn't there before?"), came back, we picked up Yaakov, took Ariella to the doctor (where we got a prescription - yay!), went to a park (because we promised Ariella we would), ate dinner, and got everyone into bed. Then we had to clean up in preparation for our lift arriving! Yay! Our first week, we deemed the third bedroom the "cheder klitah," and that's where all the suitcases, and piles of clothing, deoderant, medicines, socks, shoes, random kitchen toys, etc. went for processing. Now we had to clean everything out to make room for our actual stuff. The mirpeset filled up quickly with stuff - it is amazing how much stuff we had even before our stuff came. I was very excited to be sleeping in my own bed soon, something I had not done since the end of June. Oh blessed bed.
On Tuesday, ki tov ki tov - our lift came! Donny called me around 11:30 when they called to say they were leaving Ashdod. I raced out of Ulpan and came home to finish the clean up. We swept and took the last minute things and threw them on the mirpeset. I was in charge of going downstairs to watch them take the stuff out of the lift. It was truly a miracle. You cannot even imagine how stuffed this little container was. It was like Mary Poppins' bag - things just kept coming out, for 3 hours straight. It was an unbelievable sight. Luckily, the mattresses did not fall on anyone's head as we had predicted they might. The best part was, like the miracle of the Israelites bowing down at the temple on the day of atonement, the washer and dryer fit! Without any problems! They just slid right in. The lift dudes were also really nice and assembled a lot of our stuff for us - beds, the dining room table. We unpacked for a while and then went out to dinner at an expensive shwarma place in the mall. Fact: Eating out in Israel is expensive. Fact: Our kids have yet to acclimate to Israeli food, especially Ariella. In conclusion: We spent a lot of money on 2 plates of meat, salad, chips (Israeli for french fries), and pita - separate, of course, I was not fool enough to think they'd eat it b'yachad - and they basically dined on chips and ketchup. Oh well. Donny and I enjoyed our shwarma very much. For those of you who don't know, shwarma is basically the reason I made aliyah. If we'd found a comparable pita place in America, who knows what this blog might have been called? Anyway, we came back and unpacked for a while - the most important thing was that we got our BEDS ready! Whoo hoo! BEDS, do you hear me? BEDS! Now I will digress for a treatise on moving.

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