Posted by: RaeAn | 8 July 2010

Jerusalem: Days 1 & 2

Now that I got my own computer to the library, I can write a real post. Yay for WiFi!

It’s been a good, productive introductory time in Israel.

First off, for anyone who was keeping track, mark it: 12:45 pm, July 7, 2010. Less than 20 hours in Israel. Got blatantly hit on in the streets in Jerusalem. (In a tactful way, I suppose.) I was walking to campus, a guy on a motorbike stops and asks me for directions. I, of course, had only been here for 20 hours and so I laughed at him. I eventually pulled out my trusty map (thanks to the previous tenants in my apartment, who had left it in the drawer of my desk) and we figured out where he wanted to go… it was an experience full of a weird fumbled Hebrew-English mixture, which ended in me being asked out for that evening. I laughed again and declined, but hey, who doesn’t like a good ego boost?

He was not quite this impressive.

Speaking of the apartment, I’m definitely happy with it. It’s a decent size, and despite the lack of air conditioning, it doesn’t get too hot if you leave the doors open for airflow. I have my own room with a bed, desk, and plenty of closet storage space, and I’ll post pictures soon, I’m sure. I haven’t unpacked much of anything yet… so I’ll hold off on pictures until the floor isn’t littered with half-open suitcases.

I did get my second suitcase back! That’s a funny story. I got to Ben Gurion Airport, went to baggage claim, found my first bag very quickly. Waited a bit, saw my other bag — or rather, one exactly like it, but it said Kathi on it. So I left it, hoping mine would appear eventually. And I waited.

And waited.

And it didn’t come.

So I went to the lost baggage counter, got a receipt, got customs to sign off on it (it only had clothing in it, and luckily, I had the foresight to pack a few days’ worth of clothing in my carry-on), and the baggage counter lady handed me a slip of paper and told me to take it to the money change place. I stared at her blankly. She pointed. I was confused, but I went. Apparently, since my bag was lost, Delta wanted to give me 190NIS (NIS = New Israeli Shekel.. the current exchange rate is 3.87, so that’s just under $50.00), so I may not have had clothing, but I had some cab fare, at least. I was okay with that.

Money money money! (Free money, at that!)

I had given my cell phone number to the lost baggage counter people, but I also gave my roommate’s number since I wouldn’t be getting my phone until the next morning. A little bit after I get to the apartment, her phone rings — it was Kathi, who had accidentally taken my bag instead of hers. She apologized profusely, and we arranged for me to get my bag the next morning — she happened to be in Jerusalem as well staying with family, so they would drop it off at HUC, since I would be on campus anyway and her family knew where HUC was. So I got my bag back, and all is well. I have clothing for the year. Hooray!

Other happenings: I went to Tel Aviv last night for dinner and a walk along the beach with Chuck. I got back to Jerusalem late last night… and then couldn’t sleep… but I’ll manage. I got up early this morning to meet with some other students and head to the Ministry of the Interior to make an appointment to get my student visa. I was very lucky — I got pushy with the woman there and I managed to get an appointment for next week. (Almost unheard of. Many people couldn’t get appointments until the end of August.) Then we got breakfast at Aroma, went to campus to pick up some things from the “garage sale” (things for sale from previous students; I got a water filter pitcher, some paper & a binder, and a 3-outlet extension cord), and went on the campus tour. This place is beautiful. I’ll have to post pictures of this campus soon, too.

Now I’m off to a session on Gilad Shalit, since there’s a rally in the city tonight for him, so we’ll know what the current situation is and what’s going on politically. Then I’ll head home and maybe start unpacking. (About time, I suppose.) And tonight: dinner and bowling with HUC people! Should be a fun time.

Oh, and I won’t have internet in the apartment until Monday. The HOT guy is coming between 1 and 3 pm for that. (Yup. HOT. And before you start having bad thoughts, HOT is the name of one of the TV/phone/internet companies here in Israel.)

I hope the HOT guy comes on Monday... and that he has a big... ethernet cable?

Off to learn about Gilad Shalit and such. I’ll write more later when I have WiFi access again!


~ Rae



  1. I have a big ethernet cable… it’s in a box… in my room…

    • You would.

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