Donny had his driving test this morning, at 7:00, and as of now, we are still awaiting the results. They can't tell you right away if you passed, because it would violate Law 1777.234, which declares that if you have the opportunity to make someone sweat and suffer, you should prolong such a state as much as possible. I mean, come on, it's not like the guy didn't know then and there if Donny passed or not. It's not like he has to calculate points or something. It seems pretty simple to me - no dead pedestrains, pass. But apparently it is not so simple. So we are very anxious because we really need to buy a car and we can't do so until we have Israeli licenses. I am still waiting to hear from the driving instructor about my second lesson and test.
Homework assignment: In an essay of no less than 5 pages, discuss the pros and cons of consuming an entire container of rice cakes for lunch. Please include footnotes where applicable.
Fees: When I went to pick up Ariella, I brought my 3 post-dated checks for the "va'ad horim." The note said to leave it with the ganenet and the head of the va'ad horim will pick it up from school. I am starting to doubt the veracity of the note. I mean, is this fee thing for real? Or did the High Commissioner of the Va'ad Horim just put that item in about the fees for fun, wanting to see which suckers would actually pay random amounts of money to someone they've never met? I'll bet the va'ad horim gets together at night and laughs at us poor olim, paying fees all over the place because we don't know any better, and then they come up with new and better ideas for fees to extract even more money out of us. A Coloring Fee! A Dress-Up Corner Fee! A Chair Fee! The ironic thing is I would feel better about letting go of 950 NIS if I knew it was for coloring, dress-up, or for the use of chairs. But the note didn't even say that! It just said, "This fee was decided by the va'ad horim. Please pay it." It would not surprise me if one of the members of the va'ad worked for a bank.
Shopping: Ariella and I did a little more shopping after gan, because this is a month of Thursday nights - every time you turn around, it's time to shop, cook, and clean again. We're getting into more of a routine with our shopping, plus I'm getting better at knowing which things to buy and where to find them. For instance, rice cakes are not in the snack and cracker aisle - they are near the bread. And pasta sauce is not in the aisle with tomato sauce - it is hiding in the back, on the bottom shelf. We did, however, solve the Bread Crisis. See, Ariella has to bring a sandwich and a fruit (and NOTHING ELSE) for snack/lunch every day. So I was buying a loaf of bread every week. The problem was that the bread gets stale after 2 or 3 days, plus she only went through half the loaf in a week. But on Monday we bought some awesome pita from a bakery. I froze it, and then last night defrosted a piece and gave it to her for lunch. She approved! So now I have frozen pita waiting to be defrosted every night and turned into a delectable, mouth-watering peanut butter sandwich. Thank God she's allowed to bring peanut butter to school - she's eaten it every day for the last 3 weeks.
Hot water: In our apartment, we do not have the famous "dude shemesh" that you hear so much about in Israel. We have "instant hot." The problem with "instant hot" is that it is not so instant, although it is quite hot. I think the idea is that as the water comes through the pipes, it is heated instantly. So there's no water boiler or anything like that. And all of the sinks are the kind with just one faucet, that you have to adjust to be colder or hotter. I prefer the two-faucet system, one for cold and one for hot. Anyway, giving the kids a bath every night has become a showdown between me and the water. I waste liters and liters (see how I have converted to the metric system so seamlessly?) of water every night getting the water to the correct temperature. It's either too hot, and the kids come out looking like lobsters (cute lobsters, but still...), or the water is freezing. Just when I think I have inched the faucet to the exact right location so the water will be warm but not scalding, it turns on me. I sit there adjusting the temperature for at least 20 minutes. A little to the right, a little to the left...whoops! Too much, too much! Back to the right, quickly! And so on. Not much else to say about that, but there you go.