Step-by-Step: Making Aliyah to Israel

Documenting the very personal process of making Aliyah (immigration to Israel) by one very atypical Israeli-American girl. Aliyah on 17, August, 2005. Roadmap: What do you mean there's no roadmap?! Hang on, we're in for a bumpy ride! Ole!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

First day of ulpan down. I totally impressed myself by actually waking up. That is my biggest accomplishment of the day. When I got to the ulpan I went to see the secretary to get the room number of my class. She told me that, instead of bet they were going to try me in aleph plus. Beseder. Just before class I got to meet Katherine! She came up to me on the stiars and said, I hope this doesn't freak you out but is your name Yael and do you have a blog? Yay Katherine :) She's really kewl and it is going to be much more fun going to ulpan now.

Then it was off to the class and, while it was fun, it was also dead easy. So after class I trotted down to the secretary and told her I definitely need to be placed in the bet class. She was like, oh no that is very much too difficult for you. I argued that this class was very much too easy for me and I more than knew the material we are covering --not to mention that I'm coming in just 3 days before this particular course _ends_ and starts again at the beginning on Sunday and so if I know the very end of the course information already, it is really pointless for me to sit there... They are nowhere close to the future tense. Finally she threw up her hands and said to come early tomorrow and talk to the principal and that she would decide. Fisticuffs coming out tomorrow :)

Monday, August 29, 2005

I sound like I'm dying: sinuses make me talk like dis, deep cough developing. I feel great :) Was up early and got moving. Hit the Misrad ha'Klita --wasn't feeling up to it yesterday --and conducted the entire process in baby hebrew. I gave them my banking information, got some pamphlets, set up a follow-up appointment for Sept 4th, and got the registration slip for Ulpan Gordon. I was so proud that I got a compliment on my hebrew from the woman there. Then I walked over to Ulpan Gordon and spoke with the people there: my hebrew completely escaped me. I was like uhhhhh. Don't know why I do that whenever I feel like I'm being sized up (as I was --what level to put her in?). They are starting me in ulpan bet but may move me up if it proves too easy. It is back to school again tomorrow at (gulp) 8:15 a.m. I haven't gotten up regularly or gone to a class that early since I was in beit sefer! Definitely going to be a shock to my little system, heh.

I'm prepared. Bought a new notebook, am going to pack my bookbag tonight with dictionary, pens, pencils. I'm excited. I'm terrified. :)

I'm watching the news like a hawk: this hurricane bearing down on my old hometown is making news even on the hebrew news channels. Just heard from my brother that my father, sister and step-mother have headed inland and so are out of danger. Whew.

Now back to the regularly scheduled apartment hunting...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Youch, pigua in Beersheva. I'm safe, obviously, folks back home. Very brave security guards saved a lot of lives. This is why we need the fence. Beer Sheva is going to continue to be a target because it is just too easy with no fence to deter them there. I'm just hoping those security guards will make a full recovery. They are heroes, without a doubt.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Aliya-itis (heh thanks for letting me know what this is called!) is kicking my tachat. Yuck. I am so not a good sick person. I really like to whine and moan :)

Yesterday was a quiet day for me. I ventured to the beach for a short period in the late afternoon and sat in the shade mostly, but did go in for a short dip. Just before I was getting ready to leave I heard a loud bang and jumped a mile. I looked around, along with everyone else, and we saw the police had cordoned off the street and there was smoke drifting along the beach. Then another bang, bang and more smoke. The robot zapper was at work blowing up a suspicious backpack that had been left sitting on the street. Reminded me of my last few weeks in NYC when, four or five times, I had to make a big detour around Times Square while the police dealt with suspicious packages there. Just like home, heh. It was neat to watch as the robot (looks kind of like a baby tank) drove itself up into the waiting truck after everything was declared all clear. Wished I had had my camera along.

I treated myself to dinner out last night because, while I love hummus I just couldn't eat it again in my hotel room. 5 days in a row is just a bit much even for me. So I splurged and had my favourite: toast gvina zihuba (grilled cheese :) --comes with a salad --and a large juice and then coffee (a lovely latte) afterwards.

I'm really hoping the people with the screaming baby check out of the hotel later today, heh. Not only did I have 3 cats wanting attention all night but the baby decided to scream non-stop and loudly between 2:30 and 4 and then again from 6ish-7 this morning. Oy!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Woo hoo I now have a bank account. Bank Hapoalim is now my happy little money-taker (and yes, they do seem to take more than they store!). For the banks, the only fee that gets waived is a 1.26 shekel charge a month for ...something. I discovered today that banks charge for everything short of staring at their building. It took two hours to fill out all the paperwork for it. My hand got so tired of signing my name --never thought my hebrew signature would get sloppy but yes! My card is coming in the mail next week. I went ahead and converted my dollars into shekels in the account and will leave the amount that I wire in in dollars.

I do not have the apartment. The woman at the bank told me not to agree to doing the insurance thing through the bank because it would cost me 4% interest over the year. Definitely don't want that.

I'm not stressed though. First, because I've now come across two really great apartments which means there are more of them out there, or will be more of them shortly, and so I just need to be patient. Patience is not my strong point but I'm working on it. Secondly, Natan (this guy is really a really nice guy) offered me the apartment in Yaffo until I find a place so that I don't have to pay the high cost of the hotel. He offered to let me stay there totally free but, of course, I fully intend to pay him for the days I'm there. The poor guy is working 80 hours a week and I'd so much rather him have the money than the hotel. So, most likely, on the first I will move myself and the cats to Yaffo for a couple of weeks. The one thing I am stressing about is that I start work in the beginning of October and really did want to be settled in, rather than moving in, by that time. I think starting to teach a brand new class in a completely new setting is going to be stress enough. Building desks and bookcases and unpacking G-d knows what (but a lot of it) is not what I wanted to be doing simultaneously.

A lot of people have asked about government assistance for rent. Yep, new olim do get some. In fact, we get a good bit. The first year you are here you get assistance in the form of the sal klita --when you arrive at the airport they put 1,250 NIS into your hot little hand. Then, every month, they put (I forget how much) into your bank account. The total amount of the sal klita is 15,000 NIS --or about 3,000 dollars. Definitely nothing to sniff at! After your 13th month you get what is called rent assistance --it works out to be, for a single person, about $30 a month. Now, if you choose to buy a place within your first 5 years (I think it is 5 but could be 7) then you also get assistance from the government with your mortgage --obviously in lieu of the rental assistance, and it works out to be a good bit more than the rental assistance amount (for obvious reasons they prefer you to purchase than to rent). The sooner you buy, the more assistance you get as well I believe because you haven't used up some of your benefits with the rental aid.

On Sunday morning I need to go to the Ministry of Absorption and give them my bank account information so they can start putting that money in :). Because it took so long at the bank, they had just closed for the day when I got there today (they close at 13:00 on Thursdays).

On not such a happy note, I am coming down with a sore throat and the sniffles and starting to feel like I've been kicked across a room :( I don't know why I always get a summer cold in August but it happens every time. I was sure I had escaped this year...just a few more days to the end of the month but those germs were just determined to squeeze in under the deadline! Well, at least it is the weekend and so I can rest a lot without feeling guilty :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The woman who owns the apartment I fell in love with yesterday called and said it was mine if I wanted it cats allowed. I could have cried. But, beseder,
there are other apartments. Then I found, I hope, the apartment. As in the apartment. There are two problems, however (oh, wait, 3). First is that it is not
available until Sept 20th and so this means a lot of expense staying in the hotel until then.

Second problem is the bank account. You have to have a bank account already
in order to rent because you have to have the bank sign some insurance form (for like 20,000 NIS), not to mention being able to pay for the first two months
(one month security deposit like in the States) with an Israeli check and not an American one and not US cash, plus the ability to give them your checking account number so they can auto-remove the funds (I think that is what he said
--it was all b'ivrit) for the rent every month after signing the contract. So tomorrow I go miyad (immediately) to a bank and open an account. I only brought 1k in cash with me though to
open it with (had planned to bring along 3k until Michelle terrified me
about what if I lost it) and so I think I need to get my brother to wire me money to it immediately and then send him
a check because I called my bank about having money wired and they said they can't wire without me being there in person to request it. Great. So even if he wires early
morning his time, it won't get there until Friday morning and another day is lost before I can close the deal.

Third problem --what if they say no pets at the last? This is absolutely the most awesome, stunning apartment. I was salivating as I walked through it. I knew I wanted it
well before I hit the living room and kitchen, much less the balcony and off-the-balcony room for the laundry (not even mentioned in the ad!). It is a gargantuan
apartment, by Israeli, New York, or any standards. It is right on Allenby yet, because it faces the back, it is quiet. Sunlight floods it. It has a bathtub and not just any bathtub but a big old-fashioned one you can lay down in! It is
amazing. Beautiful tile floors. Clean, newly painted. My mother could come here and not freak out (unlike my NY apartments, heh). Getting a non-freakout-the-Ema
apartment is of serious importance (hi Lynne, I know you are reading this and thus can see your daughter is being very careful here about choosing the apartment
for your benefit!). I think I've mentioned that my mother (hi Lynne!) is an exact replica of Aunt Josephine from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. So I am
on the lookout for an Aunt Josephine proof apartment and nothing else will do! This apartment will definitely pass Aunt Josephine muster :)

P.S. I tried to upload pics of my aliyah but blogger wouldn't cooperate. In lieu of that, I'll leave you with this little treasure of a comment I just got when I checked my email from my mother: "With the traffic problems in Israel, not too advisable to be running around on a scooter. You have ADHD and therefore do not recognize risks. You haven't changed since you ran off in the park and fell down a ravine at age 8 months." I laughed so hard when I read this that everyone in the net cafe turned around and stared. I love my mother! I really and truly love her and she always keeps me smiling (or on the floor giggling :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Early this afternoon, while I was sitting in the hostel with the Internet connections emailing my mother, someone from Misrad Ha'Klita called me. It was an important call. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea what the woman told me. First, it was loud in here and I could barely hear. I ducked up some stairs trying to get to a quieter spot, with some success.

She was like (b'ivrit), do you speak hebrew?
Me, "kzat aval lo tov" --a little but not well
She: "At medeberet Anglit?" --You speak english?
Me: "Ken"
She: Ani lo mederet Anglit. --I don't speak English.

Then, in a rush of hebrew she told me I need to come ????? in order to do ???? and I need to ????? Beseder? Ok Bye.

Right at the time she hit beseder I was like "lo beseder, rak rega!" Not ok, just a minute! Wait! But no. She rang off. Hmmmm. Hmmmm???????

In order to keep the Misrad Ha'Klita police from coming for me, tomorrow I've got to a) find out where the heck the Misrad Ha'Klita is located and b) try to find out what they want/need. A is definitely going to be easier than B.

I had my first (and successful) post office experience today. First, found the post office (grrr right across the street from the fantastic apartment that I didn't get) and sent a registered letter to the States and bought some (5) New Year cards --needed the envelope to mail the check to Strand. Was surprised that all together it only came to 17,70 NIS. Wow, not bad!

Had a tour of Yaffo on a scooter this afternoon. Amos the Architect called and asked if I wanted to go see the old city (why do all the guys I meet want to show me Yaffo?) and have a cup of coffee. So at 4 we met and set off. Riding on the scooter was really fun (kef meod!) and Yaffo was just as pretty as it was when I saw it yesterday with Natan (heh). The coffee was good. It was really interesting hearing about the architectural development of T.A. and surrounding areas. Amos was well-behaved all the way until we said goodbye and then he attempted to octopus and suck face. I was like, ahem, I don't suck face on a first date, heh. Yeah, ok, I'm a prude. He said he'll call and we should get together again. Maybe he will and maybe we will but I've put him on my "possible-to-very-likely shark" list.

Going now to check out the site again. Only a couple of new listings earlier and neither of the two in my price-range sounded good when I called about them. Hopefully there will be more for me to look at tomorrow!

Oh yes, in my 20-minute dip in the sea today I got a mini-ulpan lesson from a 9 1/2 year old and gave her a mini-english lesson in return. She was adorable. I want one of those. Where do we order them from again?

Update 9:38 P.M.

EVERYONE CROSS YOUR FINGERS. NOW. heehee. I've found a beautiful, huge, clean, lovely, amazing apartment on Rechov Geula for $600. It is a 2.5 but bigger than a couple of the 3s that I looked at today put together. It is awesome. There is a real bathroom with an actual bathtub. The bedroom is gigantic. It has a separate kitchen. It has a HUGE (huge huge) mirpeset. The only problem is that about 20 people saw it ahead of me and just about everyone wants it (you'd have to be crazy not to, compared to what I've seen out there today). So I'm on the hope I'll be called and told yes list.

The apartment in Yaffo was also really nice and very large. But lemme tell you it is faaaarrrrr away. The good thing is, and the thing that makes me feel better, is that Natan is not actively showing it yet (won't start until september) and so if I don't find anything else I can take it. It is a fall-back. Not sure I really want to live in a building full of elderly Bulgarian immigrants from 1952 or whenever they came over -- I met one of the neighbors who looked me up and down and pronounced she hoped I don't play my tv or music loudly. Ahem.

My little toes are blistered to heck and back. I saw 9 apartments today. I was kicking myself for not taking one I looked at on Dizengoff earlier --not great, technically a 3, nice exterior but the interior was in dreadful condition. Still I could have fixed it up (I think) if I got some plaster and paint. The layout wasn't bad and it was the best I saw until I looked at the 2.5 at 9 p.m. tonight. The one Ammon showed me rented to the couple who saw it with me because I told him I had to think about it and if they wanted it to give it to them. They took it miyad. So then I was like, yikes, if an apartment in that condition goes that fast...

Ok, so lemme write about yesterday before I forget. It was a really interesting day, not least because I got to meet John in Yerushalayim. I left around 11 for the bus station and my luck was with me as the bus was just ready to go right after I got my ticket. It was a nice, quick ride with no traffic and then I was able to quickly find the #29 bus that was supposed to take me to rechov Nachum Hepzibah (or something like that). It too was just pulling up as I reached the stop, I boarded and asked the driver to tell me where to get off. Then I settled in to look at an unfamiliar part of Jerusalem (heh most of it is to me). After about 15 minutes, the driver said ok this is your stop. I got off and looked around and...uhhh, it is?

The bus was, of course, already well on its way away. I stopped a nice looking family and asked for further directions but they had never heard of the street. Not good. I went along a ways and asked everyone I came across and nobody had heard of the street. I went into a gas station and got blank looks there too. Half-hour of walking around goes by and I'm still more than lost. I was now in tears. I had a half hour to get there and get my Teudat Zehut, I hadn't seen a taxi anywhere at all, had no idea where I was and no one had any idea where I needed to go. Finally, I went into a bakery to make my last stab at asking and...there in line was a guy with an AACI tag on. I nearly fell into his arms in relief. My luck was back! He took me in his car to the T.Z. distribution place --a good 10 minutes drive from where the bus had let me off and up hill and over dale.

Got my Teudat Zehut, ate 6 pieces of sushi, got a free calender and some other information about health plans (haven't even thought about which one to go with yet), and was out of there. Oh yes, I asked about getting my name with the spelling I wanted (I'd changed my mind and decided to go with Canaan but ended up with Kaynan --kaf, yud, nun, nun) and they said, oh my, sorry you have to wait 7 years now. Grrr. But beseder, I'd originally wanted Kaynan so I'll stick with it and be happy. I keep looking at the T.Z. and can hardly believe it. I feel so real. I have an identity.

I had a hysterical cab driver on the way to meet John who kept me laughing. Then I got to meet him. It was such a neat feeling to sit there next to him, in Yerushalayim, and to hear his voice and see his facial reactions after having followed his blog and emailed for months now but never having met. He was exactly as I had imagined him, only better. He's got such a great sense of humour. I could have sat and talked with him for hours (actually, we did talk for like 2 hours!) And if he says his hebrew is not great, don't believe him. I was thoroughly impressed and not a little jealous of his ability. I'm also in awe of how brave he is to have moved here. The boy has got a Jewish soul!

Then it was back to the bus station, on the bus (again perfect timing) and nice ride back. When I got back I found a taxi but he wanted 40 shekels to take me. I told him (and this was b'ivrit, I'm so proud) that he was crazy and bargained for 30 (it should have been around 25!). He said no, a firm 40 and so I got out of the cab and said, fine I'll find someone else. Immediately I had 2 cabdrivers vying for my fare. One said 40 also and I jerked my thumb at the cab and said, "he was crazy too, that's what he asked for. No thanks." The other guy countered with 35, I countered with 30. Then they both wanted my fare for 30 and nearly got into a fist-fight over who would take me! I squeezed between them, and actually yelled "yeladim besheket." lol, I didn't know what else to do. Then I pointed to the guy who'd agreed to 30 first and say "itcha" and bloodshed was prevented. There were two other guys who wanted a ride just down the street and I was ok with them coming along too. They were both from NY and when they found out where I was staying asked if I had the number for the son of the hotel owner, Danny. Turns out, I did. They were friends of his but had lost his number and so I was able to give it to them. What a small world, eh?!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Alright, American girl here is experiencing slight apartment shock. Ay yi yi, I've seen only 2 apartments but they are soooo different from ones in the States. The bathrooms in both for instance: no shower stalls just a shower head standing directly next to the toilet and not enough room in the bathroom to shake a cat in. Light fixtures not exactly in the ceiling but rather hanging down by wires. Needs to be painted. Small --the total space of 3 rooms being smaller than my one bedroom apartment in NYC and definitely smaller than the 2 bedroom. How must someone moving here from outside of Manhattan feel?!

The 3-room I saw this morning (the one the guy Ammon showed me) was slightly better than the first one I saw only because it has a keypad sign-in door to the building. The couple that saw it with me were like, this is great (except for the bathroom and about that the girl said to the guy that it was "no'ra"). They said they'd let him know by 1 if they want it. He said he'd give me first dibs and to let him know around noon. I just do not know. I don't feel like I've seen enough places (two is not exactly a lot). When I saw the first one I was like noooo way. Now, with this one being about the same condition-wise I'm thinking hmmm. What to do.

I have a lot to write about my day yesterday (I met John of the blog Shalom Israel in Jerusalem and he is such a sweetheart!!! And adorable!) but it is going to have to wait. I'm calling about a new listing in and want to see if I can see it like now to have a bit more of a comparison. A guy a "know" through a friend of a friend has an apartment in Yaffo that is 70 sq meters and only $400 and I am supposed to see it this afternoon. But it is in Yaffo for G-dssakes.

Bang, bang, bang. Yes, that was my head finding a wall :)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'm sitting in the hostel down the street from my hotel typing away and listening to the TV playing the music video for the song "build me up buttercup" which is reminding me of my last night in NY spent out caterwauling away. Buttercup was one of the only ones we all scored highly on on the caterwaul-o-meter, heh. Missing Michie, Sonia, and Chanel and wishing they were here to see how great it is.

I'm finally feeling rested. Yesterday I slept for a full 12 hours when I fell into bed and last night I got a good 8 hours of sleep. I'm starting to feel human again.

Yesterday I got the paper and started looking at the apartment listings. While I was sitting at the cafe a guy came and sat down at the table next to me and started talking (mostly in english). He volunteered any help he could give with translating the apartment listings and then said that he has a 3 room apt that will be available on Sept 7th for $600 if I'm interested. That is a bit more than what I'd like to pay --$600 is my absolute upper limit--but it is also one more room than I was thinking I'd be paying for, so I said yes indeed I'd love to see it. So tomorrow I'm going to take a peek at it. I'm also going to be on the phone calling all the listings that look decent in the paper in the morning. (In the afternoon I need to go to Jerusalem to get my teudat zehut).

This guy, Ammon, was really nice and we talked for an hour. After I'd finished my coffee he suggested I might want to go for a swim with him? Sure, I said, so off we went to the beach. We went to the Yaffo beach which doesn't have a shover galim [<--new word!]and so the waves were HUGE and very powerful. I think I would have drowned (I'm not a great swimmer) if he hadn't grabbed hold of my hand (and a couple times literally tossed me into the air above a huge crashing swell) when the big ones came in. It was exhilarating. He then invited me to dinner and I accepted. He cooked a really nice meal and we watched a movie at his apartment before saying goodnight. Turns out he is the uncle of a tele nova star, Hadass. I'd never heard of her but after seeing the portfolio of her modeling pictures he proudly brought out and watching a bit of one of her shows, I have to say she is one gorgeous and talented kid. And you couldn't find a prouder uncle. He seems like a really nice and interesting person and has a sad story but has really pulled through and has a very positive outlook on life. I like that :)

Today is going to be a day of rest in many ways. I'm going to walk along the beach, get some kitty food for some of the really hungry streetcats (I saw one last night that was so skinny I couldn't believe it could still walk, and I hope to find it again today to feed), and just generally relax. I'm meeting friends for dinner tonight. Storing up my reserves for figuring out how to get to Jerusalem and then find the right place once I get there to get my teudat zehut tomorrow.

(Hmm, for some reason this is not showing up? Trying again)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wow thank you all for the great outpouring of support and congratulations and wonderful thoughts!

Today I woke up stressed about finding an apartment (ok still a bit stressed but feeling very positive :). First thing I did was to call Allison who is an absolute angel! She put me in touch with a friend who offered some great advice and in touch with a good realtor who will hopefully have something just perfect (or not perfect but I'll take anyway *grin*). I also walked around pulling numbers off the neighborhood message kiosks for anything that looked reasonable (at least as far as I could make out with my bad hebrew). I called two of the numbers but one apartment was already rented (I think that was the gist) and I left a message at the other but they haven't called back yet.

Michie called me and we talked for over an hour. It was so neat to hear her voice and talk like usual!

Then I went to the beach. Generally going to the beach alone is a somewhat awkward lonely feeling. All around you are groups of friends having fun, families having fun and here you are levad. But this is Israel. People don't let you be alone here for long :) Minutes after I plunged into the fantastic bathtub warm sea a little water sprite appeared beside me and struck up a converstion. Adina, aged 14, wanted my agreement on how fun it was (kef meod!) when the bigger waves came in and how warm the water was. This is my favourite child in the universe because she then wanted to know what year I was in school and when I told her I was old enough to be her mother she didn't want to believe me.

Not long after Adina the water sprite was called from the water I got hit in the head with a tennis ball. Looking around, I found the thrower and tossed the ball back. Thinking it was a toss gone wild, I was surprised when, a second later, sploosh it landed beside me again. Again I tossed it back. I watched it go from a saba to his early-mid-teen grandaughter to another grandchild to him and then...back to me. I caught it this time and lobbed it to one of the kids. For the next half hour I was adopted into the family fun. Then the kids got bored and I talked with the saba for awhile in a mixture of hebrew and german but mostly hebrew. I learned that he has 9 grandchildren and five children, one of whom lives in Manhattan and a daughter who lives in L.A. He lives in Holon and is visiting his brother and one of his children here in Tel Aviv. We stayed out in the water, bobbing in the waves and talking, until the lifeguard called that everyone should come in because he was going home.

The only non-working part of my day was when I found a cafe with free wireless access and couldn't get my computer to stay connected for more than 10 seconds. For some reason it keeps trying to have the ipconfiguration of my old network system from the ny apartment, assigning the ip number and dns number from there. I couldn't figure out how to change it so it will connect to whatever network is available. Hmmm. Really would like to get that fixed because it gets expensive going to the netcafes and I want to be able to upload the pictures I took of my trip here!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I'm here! I'm half dead but here :) Everything went really smoothly. Nefesh B'Nefesh did a really fantastic job of streamlining everything. Check-in went like a breeze. The kitties did just fine in cargo. Once on th plane I fell into a deep sleep about two hours after take-off. I was awoken by the woman who was there to fill out the name-change papers --I think, but am not sure because I was so out of it when she woke me up, that I mispelled my new name. I have to call tomorrow and find out. Yikes. They served dinner right afterwards and then I dozed fitfully the rest of the night (having a cat where your feet should be leaves something to be desired for comfort in an already tightly packed space!). The plane was completely full of olim and that was a really neat feeling.

When we landed and I walked off the plane I had this incredible and indescribable feeling. Partly it was still a sense of disbelief --I'm really here?! Partly it was happiness and a sense of rightness, a YES. And partly it was a sense of dear G-d what am I doing, am I up to this? I wanted to hug just about everyone I saw and I wanted to hug all those dear to me I left behind.

Everything went very smoothly on this end too. We went with buses from the plane to the old terminal where they had a ceremony for us that was very nice. The one exception was when one of the speakers was talking (he said, "Perhaps if you had come sooner we would not be pulling out of Gaza") and a few other things about the pullout and several people in the crowd (don't know if they were guests or new olim) yelled and booed at him. One guy sitting on the same row with me kept yelling insults loudly at the guy the entire time he was on the platform. I wanted to throttle him because I couldn't hear what was being said and it was just plain rude.

Then it was upstairs to get all my paperwork done and be handed the first installment of my sal klita. I have to pick up my teudat zehut in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon. Then I collected my luggage and went to wait for the cab that was coming for me. It was a long wait (about an hour). My cats were a very big hit with all the children from the flight and of the guests. I got a bunch of pictures of various groups of kids talking to the cats. I got interviewed by a reporter (oy no telling what I said in my jet-lagged state!) before the ceremony started but I was so tired I didn't ask which organization she was with.

I rode in the cab with another olim -a really nice guy of American-korean descent! His hebrew was incredible. Me, I am sticking with english at the moment because when people speak to me b'ivrit my brain is not processing it at all. I just look at them blankly and think oh my, what? Well, I'm barely thinking in English at the moment.

The hotel did not have me in the reservation book. I had to pull up my gmail account and show him. Thankfully there was a room available but I had to wait until 2 pm to get into it --about 3 hours from when I hit the hotel. The room is tiny and the cats are required to stay in the bathroom. LOl, they barely fit in there. When I finally got into the room I fell into bed and slept for 4 and a half hours. I can see the beach from my balcony. It is hot though, with no airconditioning. Heh, used to that though!

I only just ventured out to get a kitty litter scoop, something to have to drink in the hotel tonight --diet coke! --because I feel extremely dehydrated. My fingers and feet are swollen up like little sausages as usual after a long flight from retaining fluids and yet I always am so very thirsty after flying. I haven't eaten yet today. I need to call Allison :) My phone confuses me -it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to turn it on, heh. And there are all these unmarked buttons that I have no idea what they do. I did finally figure out the 'send' button when I was at the hotel and called Buzz to let him know I was there and safe. He, such a sweetheart, called me back to wake me up from my crash-out because I have no idea where I put the alarm clock --which bag and where?

Tomorrow, first thing, I have got to start looking for an apartment! I need to get a bank account too --don't have any idea what bank I should open one with.

I walked to the net cafe on Dizengoff that I used in November (where I am now) and was just overwhelmed as I walked along. I'm not a visitor anymore. This is my city, my home!! It looks the same as the last time I was here, it feels so different.

Wow, I'm here. Crazy but here :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

On my way

The car will come to pick me up in just 2 hours and a little bit. I've been up all night. Michelle fell asleep but Chanel is still up and keeping me company after we convinced her to stay over.

My friends had a goodbye party/hang-out for me last night starting at 8 p.m. Buzz gave me eight, yes you heard right, 8, cards. On the back of each one he noted whether it was "cute" "humorous," "sentimental" "sentimental-humorous" or "Caution: Extremely Sentimental" or extremely humorous. I saved the extremely humourous one for last, following the extra-deadly sentimental one. I was glad I did! Good l-rd, I was close to just dissolving. He did not lie when he gave the humor caution, however, and I was nearly on the floor with laughter over the tears. Some friends I hadn't seen in a long time came also from outside the city and it was nice to see them before going.

It was strange. People were making plans to get together and talking about doing this or that activity next week or later this week and it was on the tip of my tongue to say, "kewl, so call me" when it hit me again hmmm that would be a bit hard to make. It was almost a disembodied feeling. Kind of like those dreams where you are standing outside of yourself and watching but not being able to take part or make people hear you or see you. Well, not exactly like that because they were all there to both hear and see me but you know what I mean. Hmm, maybe you don't but it was an odd feeling, I think because occasionally there is an irrational sensation that the world stops everywhere that you aren't and others only pick up their lives when you are with them again and so it is surprising and jarring when you realize, hey they are going right along without me!

After dinner half the party went home (work the next morning calling them toward an early night and bed). Sonia, Michie, Chanel and I went karaokying. It was really fun and we were really silly was 2:40 before we knew what hit us! Sonia, our little doctor-to-be had to get home and try to get a couple hours of sleep then because the poor kid had to be back at the hospital by 6 a.m.

So the three of us came home and Michelle did the most awesome packing job (hey, she put the mover's to shame!) on my suitcase. I can't believe she got everything she got in there and there was still room to spare! Well, there isn't anymore, I can guarantee that :) All those holy cow, this has to go too's after you think you are done. Then she fell asleep while Chanel and I carted out more last-minute trash, I organized my critical documents, and we set up the cat carriers.

Chanel just went home at 6:45 and I went for coffee at Starbucks (halfway through this post). I have a few things left to do --pack the computer, call to have the phone disconnected at 8, call my mother, call Buzz, take the litterbox out and sweep under it. Then carry the bags down.

It still, right now, feels unreal as I sit here. I will probably cry the entire way over (well, off and on) as I do every summer when I go to Germany and leave everything here and when I leave Germany to come back. Still, this time it is different. Wonderfully, excitingly different and also heart-wrenchingly different. And good l-rd but I'm going to miss Buzz. Ok, I'm squalling already, heh, time to check those documents again and make sure all is really in order.

I think several extra jobs are going to be in order to cover the phone bills!

Monday, August 15, 2005

I'm on my last day in New York and I haven't ended my next-to-last day yet. I'm cleaning the bathroom --have been for the last hour. I can't believe how disgusting it is and this I can only blame on myself (and the heat). I generally am extremely particular about my bathroom being really really really clean. It is the only room in the house that I demand uber-cleanliness of but not of late. Shudder. I have actually been showering at a friend's house since the day the mover's came.

Today was an emotionally draining one. I thought, during this break, that I'd write about it but I am too tired and too...emotionally drained. I will say only this. I spent 5 hours today I didn't really have but needed to take with my very dear friend Buzz. He gave me a necklace that he has had since he was a child --it has the ten commandments inscribed on the pendant in white gold and they are surrounded by the Shield of David all in a gold circlet. On the back, his name is inscribed. He said, "whenever you are feeling sad, or lonely, or having a stressful day get this out, hold it and know I am thinking of you...and then CALL me." Heh. I did better than that: I put it on the same chain that holds the Shield of David my maternal grandmother gave me for my Bat Mitzvah/graduation from college (I finally did it in my last year at Tulane.. hey I was a slow maturer :) and the little birthstone pendant my paternal grandmother gave me for my 7th birthday (actually, I lost the birthstone out of its little clasp sometime this past year but I'm still wearing the empty clasp :( I never ever ever take that chain from my neck. But I don't need a pendant or a anything else to keep these loved ones in my heart and my thoughts. They are there all the time. And Buzz is there too, whether I am here in NY, in Germany during all these many past summers, or at home in Israel in just two days from now.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Kitty carrier one, Buffy bag two...kitty carrier 3? Oh kitty carrier 3, where are you? Holy crud! A vague remembrance of a mover asking me if I was taking the cats and my replying oh yes, all three. Now, I'm thinking (cos kitty carrier 3 is nowhere to be found) that maybe he asked if the kitty crate was going. Well, Mischa and Pandy are going to have to share on the way to the vet (ugh, hefting 40 pounds of cat all at once!). As soon as I finish my coffee I'm shoving them into the carriers and heading out for the start of a long day of non-stop running.

On wednesday when I hit the hotel room in old Yaffo I am going to fall into the bed and sleep for 24 hours straight!

Update 8:30 p.m.:

You just can't beat good friends. Chanel and Michelle have been so awesome today and, with their help, I've gotten so much done. And we aren't finished even yet.

*Now have necessary vet papers. No cats killed each other or bit the vet or bit me.
*My old bedroom is spotlessly clean. The door is shut so it remains that way.
*Chanel and I made a trip to the Salvation Army and deposited a huge amount of stuff.
*I took down 9 bags of trash and recycling.
*All the boxes left over from the movers (17!) taken down to the recycling
*The left rug rolled and brought downstairs (can't go out on the street until tomorrow night without a fine)
*Chanel and I carried those two (heavy heavy) boxes two blocks to the Staples and UPS'd them to my mother. Whew.
*We attacked the kitchen and it is spotless now: fridge totally could be eaten off of, stove is shiny inside and out, floor was vacumned and mopped, cabinets cleared out of all food that won't be consumed before leaving (e.g., everything gone) and cleaned inside and out. Walls wiped down as far as we could reach. Window squeeky clean.

We are taking a short break and then will attack the living room.

Of course, I was wearing one of my new white tank tops and didn't think to change until too late. Oy. It was white. Now ...

Really gone :)

Everything I own now just about is sealed into a crate with my name writ large upon the sides, just waiting to set sail. Actually, it is in 2 1/2 crates and, even so, it took less space than Ilan at Strand had originally told me. I was confused (so very atypical of me --NOT). I was sure he had said one crate and quoted the price (right at 4k) but what he had said was the cubic footage and quoted me the price and that it wouldn't fill a container and so would go into crates (ahem, yes, plural).

The guys at Strand were so nice. I am really glad I decided to go with Strand. I brought Michelle along today to help me find the place (in Brooklyn) and to keep track of anything I was not getting --I'm so tired my level of attention to anything and anyone is at a serious low. Ilan met us with a smile and carefully explained things --basically what happens at the other end, how the cargo fees work and what they would be on the other end and so forth. They had everything ready. Because I was worried about the things that had fallen over, they opened the boxes with the kitchen glassware and we took a peek --everything looked in order. Whew. Then they packed those crates in the most amazing and efficient way. Every tiny inch of space was used. Our mouths were hanging open at how they were able to nestle those things together like pieces of a puzzle. They called out the number of each box as it went in and I ticked it off on my sheet, verifying it was there. When the second crate was full there was still some stuff around that needed to go in but not enough to fill a whole crate. So they made a little crate, custom-fitted to hold the rest. In fact, there was even space left in that mini-crate when they were done --but they didn't charge me for the extra space in there, only for what my things actually took up. I would have been ok with being charged for it because no one else could use that room since it was my own personal little cratelet. I kept thinking damn shoulda brought that chair and rug after all, heh.

It ended up being only $3200 and will be another $400 or so with the insurance. So still a good bit less than 4k!

Then he explained the process again because I had spaced a few steps. He asked us how we were getting home and we said, hmm we're not sure. There don't seem to be many cabs in this area (and our cabbie had gotten lost on the way over there, despite being read the directions. Michelle --if she weren't of Korean descent she'd pass well as an Israeli --screamed at him when he turned around because he saw a sign about the dockyard and we were telling him he needed to go straight ahead. I was too tired to scream). Ilan offered to call us a car service or to drive us to the subway. I'm telling you, these guys were really great! We chose the subway.

Tomorrow I have to take all 3 cats to the vet in the morning, mail two boxes of things to my mother --some movies I made her, some of my photo albums in case the ship sinks and so all are not lost, and my blender because hers died and mine is a really nice one and she'll get better use out of it than I will. Pack the 'need immediately' things for work that are to be mailed through the university to Ben-Gurion, and recycle the rest of the papers from the office now that the bin is again empty. If I can squeeze it in, I need to go to the bank and make deposits in dollars and withdrawals in shekels and hand over the $60 in quarters, dimes, and pennies to them that I've been stuffing into those little paper tubes. I have to clean, clean, clean this apartment and set up a time for the landlord to do the walk-through.

I can't believe I'm going to be 6-8 weeks without furnishings (or many changes of clothes). I hope it gets delivered before school starts in October because I didn't keep any professional attire out of the boxes. The shooting-for date of arrival in Israel is Sept 10th but, as he said, they aren't on a Swiss schedule and so give or take some time. then it takes 10 days to go through customs before it can be released to me. So Sept 20th will be the earliest I will have my things back. Whew what a day.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gone. All gone. (Almost)

They came. Three hours early. I had just finished my blog entry. Michelle emerged from slumber and we discussed what needed to be done. We were shooting for everything to be ready for 9:30 so that I could have time to take a shower before they got here and make a quick visit to Starbucks (across the street) for coffee. When I called Strand yesterday they gave me a firm 10:30 with the slight possibility they could get here by 10. So Michelle and I finish up dividing up the list of to-do's between us when bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, the buzzer rang. We looked at each other. it couldn't be? It was 7:45 a.m. But it was. We were not ready. We were sooooo not ready.

I let them in and then we corralled the cats in the nothing goes room. Then we ran around like crazy girls disconnecting laptops and grabbing clothing and other miscellaneous objects that were hers or mine but not going (definitely not going) and shoving them into the "nothing goes" room. But the cats wanted to go...out. So that room was abandoned for depositing things and we turned to the bathroom. Empty boxes for the fans (not going) my keyboard and a wide variety of other objects made their way into the bathroom (and eventually, when a mover needed to use the loo into the bathtub!) We were sealing half-full boxes. The movers were merrily moving boxes and grabbing anything in their way to wrap and take. I removed I don't know how many objects out of their hands before they made it out the door. I missed I don't know how many. Loose papers and things like that they simply put on the floor. It took them 5 hours to get everything down the stairs and into the truck. Then it was off to the office for the things there.

When we got there we discovered that most of the boxes had falled over in the truck. they had to repack while one of the guys went up with me to get the office things. The head moving guy had scared me when they were doing the original packing by saying there was so much stuff in the truck that it was going to be two cratefuls and not one and so I said, don't take the chair, don't take the rug, etc. When I got back down and they refinished packing, the stuff took up only half the truck! I am hoping this means only one crate. The guy from Strand had come out to my apartment to see what was there and I detailed exactly what was in the office, he also budgeted in a fridge, stove and dishwasher (which I didn't get). He said one crate easy. But now I am nervous. I'll find out on Friday when I go out and they seal the shipment into a crate (or, shudder, crates). I hope my dishes didn't break when everything fell over.

Then I had to go run errands and go to a goodbye get-together hosted by my hebrew meetup. (was really fun and, quite unexpectedly, they treated me to dinner). I had a really good time. Chanel is over tonight visiting and we are watching a movie. I'm trying to be civil but, on no sleep, I can barely keep my eyes open! I'm not going to last much longer tonight for sure.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Michelle, bless her heart, is passed out on the couch. She has been an awesome furniture take-aparter (tho we just ended up taking apart the desk in the living room as I can't find the box for the one in my room and there are a zillion little pieces of wood etc to it. If it won't go in the crate I'll tell them to forget it. But surely not having a fridge, stove, or dishwasher will mean there is room for it...hope hope.). I wish I were passed out somewhere. I'm in stumble around in circles modes now. Almost everything is done. I just need to

1. pull the boxes out of the closest that I'd shoved in there back in May when I packed box #1.
2. Take out some trash (the trash and recycling is taking over the apartment)
3. Pull out the papa san chair from the "complete disaster" room (aka the room with all the stuff that will theoretically go into 4 suitcases --two for Michelle when she goes back home in two weeks and my two). You can't walk in there.
4. Seal the still open boxes
5. Put all the glassware on the table for the movers to pack up
6. Hide the microwave somewhere since it isn't going and is sitting on the baker's rack
7. Clear the last few small things that got tossed on the bed into a box or trash
8. Fill out the Strand paperwork for the insurance
9. Disconnect and pack (sob) the router

Wow and I still have about an hour and a half to do this in :) I'm not doing too bad for having had only 2 hours of sleep in the past 40 hours!

Abject. Panic. Setting. In.

Ok, down to the wire now. Where does this stuff keep coming from? Is it possible that possessions are materializing out of thin air? While they are at it, could a couple hundred thousand dollars also appear? Hey, while I'm wishing...Good l-rd. I'm no longer doing the "do I want ot need this?" or even "what the hell is it?" No, beyond that. Into the box it goes. I just sealed box #56. Granted some of these boxes are those little plastic storage boxes (but they all get a number) but still! I can't even blame all the data files I've packed. That only accounts for 13 boxes. And I'm thinking I'll rent for a year, then buy and do this all again? Hell no! I'm renting for life! Never moving again!

I looked at the baker's rack. I put it together. I have no idea how to take it apart. I'm hoping to bribe the movers to take that one apart. The desks are going to be more than enough de-constructing for me. Sigh, where's Derrida when you need him. Ok, I'm getting punchy. Off to throw something in a box or out a window!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Feeling somewhat better now and managed to get a good bit more stuff done:

Ziplock bags for self and those who requested, check.
Windows installed on computer, Check.
Ipod installed on computer, check.
Chest packed with bedding, check.
Two boxes of miscellaneous things packed, check.
Things still needing to go into a box (maybe 2 more?) set out in a pile, check.
Refridgerator cleaned out and ready to stock with sodas and waters for the movers, check. (this was a seriously gross experience. I found x-roommate dead vegetables in the back of the fridge in a shape I won't even try to describe. Sm_el_ly!)
5 pounds of Starbucks coffee beans purchased and packed into a box, check.

The Starbucks purchasing was a really nice experience. I went in and the guy looked at me and said, "you want a lot of coffee, right? 5 pounds?" I was like, right, 5 pounds will do it. He did a double-take and said, "seriously? I was just joking!" So I asked for one pound ground (for now) and the others to stay whole bean since they are going to be in the lift for who-knows-how-long. He ground my pound of french roast (nothing beats French roast!) and then asked if it was ok if the other four pounds came in their original big bag rather than in separate little bags. Yep, sure thing. Then I noticed, however, that it was not being sealed very tightly. Er, could you seal that really well, I asked, and then explained that it was going to be shipped overseas to a country that doesn't have starbucks. After he got over his amazement at the fact that there could be a country without Starbucks, he said, "you know, why don't I just give you a full five pounds in an unopened bag?" I was like, perfect that will work. Then, as he handed me the big bag of coffee I reminded him that I needed to pay for that additional pound he'd just given me. "Oh no, just consider it a Starbuck's gift for a deprived good customer." Wow. Thanks!

Tomorrow I have the office to finish (just one more box there and to bring home the big framed posters because the movers don't want to pack anything glass at the office). I need to majorly clean one of the electric litterboxes and pack it. Need to pack the rest of the bathroom cabinet. Need to take apart the little desk in my room and the desk for the desktop computer in the living room.

The guy downstairs (the interesting old codger who is recycling obsessed) has agreed to take the media cabinet!!!! He didn't think he'd have room for it --his apartment is one of those places with piles of old newspapers and G-d-knows-what-else piled to the ceiling and only little walkways available between piles of things. But, when I told him I was going to get a saw and disembowel the darn thing in order to get it out and gone, he couldn't stand the thought. I found a little note from him this morning saying, "I'll take it. I'll even pay the movers to bring it downstairs to me." Well, obviously, I will pay the movers a bit extra to bring it down to him. I might buy him flowers or something too as a show of my undying gratitude that he is taking it! Actually, I do plan to buy him something nice before I go.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I got together with my 5 closest friends in the city last night for what they were teasingly dubbing "the last supper" --although it was not, because we will all get together one more time the night before I leave. The joke was apt in one way though --both Michelle and I got food poisoning from the mayonaise they gave us to dip our fries in. We all made it an early night because I still have so much to do before the movers come and I was so ready to leap into final "pack it up" mode when I got home but about 20 minutes after walking in the door it hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh, ugh, eeek. Today I am still shaky, Michelle is still collapsed out in the other room, and I'm too icky feeling to be panicked about all the things still undone. If I don't get everything into a box before the movers come, whatever is left over I will shove into boxes and mail to my mother to mail to me when I have someplace it can be mailed to. Life is too short and I am too yucked-out at the moment to stress about it.

Tenui-Sha: the best $10 I ever spent. As I was walking home from purchasing a new cellphone I discovered the street fair just down the street from me. There was this sign for massages: 10 minutes for $10. I've never had a professional massage before and decided what the heck. Now, 15 minutes later as I sit here, I am marveling that the relentless headache I've had for 3 days and that has been completely impervious to all the extra strength Tylenol I've sucked down is gone. Completely and totally and wonderfully gone.

I bought a nice new cellphone and the deal is that if it gets returned within 15 days I get a full refund. Since I am leaving in just (pant, gasp) 9 days, that will not be a problem! I had planned to buy Buzz a replacement but he would hear none of it, saying he'd planned to toss that phone anyway since he has a newer one and insurance on the new one. He is truly one of the sweetest and neatest people I've ever been blessed to know. I am going to really miss him!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I'm whining again. My bad day is continuing. When I got home last night I discovered that I'd left my cellphone at school on my desk. Hmmm, let me rephrase that: I left the cellphone that was exactly like mine that my friend Buzz lent me when mine died a horrible death several weeks back. It was a better alternative to the one I had ordered online and that I'd have to do a new service plan thing (put $20 dollars on it every month even when not in the country and not using it). This way, with the one he lent me, I could keep my old number and use the month's worth of minutes I'd already paid for with verizon. He went to a lot of trouble to get it set to my number and so forth. So I left the cellphone at the office. No big deal, right? I went back in to school this afternoon after being freed by the Salvation Army cellphone on the desk. No cellphone anywhere. Since there is almost nothing left in the office there are not many places for a cellphone to hide (and I remember exactly where I left it sitting). I unpacked and repacked the boxes I'd packed yesterday on the small chance that, in a fit of complete insanity, I'd tossed it in one. Nothing. Then I realized that the bag of computer supplies I'd picked up yesterday for my "kids" (e.g., grad students still working with me) to use for their studies was also not in the office. Rather, there were still two NYU computer store bags sitting there but both were completely empty of their contents. Now, one of them was empty because I emptied it. The other was happily filled with a couple of flashdrives, blank media, some computer programs, some video games (for a study we're running) when I left the office last night. Not anymore.

So now, I am phoneless again. I definitely have to purchase a replacement phone for Buzz tomorrow. I could scream now much louder than earlier today.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

S.O.B.s! The Salvation Army guys finally came after I waited all day for them and...they won't take the media cabinet. They took one look at it and were like, no way. One of the guys was willing (the one who carried down all the other stuff while his little friend fiddled around and finally took one thing down). They said, "we need 4 guys for this, not 2." Fine, we'll run and get the guys upstairs to help out. But no, they then claimed they didn't have enough time today because they had gotten here so late. What?

It is no longer the elephant in the living room, it is the hulking media cabinet in the outside hall. We are getting a saw tomorrow and sawing it apart. I could scream.

Friday, August 05, 2005

what you want...

Ok expats, this is the last call for things from home that ya want me to pack and bring along in my lift for you. If you let me know what ya want (and how many --er within reason of course) by Saturday I will do my best to get it for ya. Can't have my friends enduring ziplock bag crises!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

bone tired but satisfied

The end of the packing is so close I can almost smell it. (In this heat, you can certainly smell me!) 5 more days available to pack because the movers come at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. I feel like I've never done anything in my life other than sort things and put them in boxes. Label boxes. Unpack boxes (oops I still need that thing and it was in one of these boxes here or no here...) and then repack them again. Move them around. I stayed up all night last night in a packing and filing frenzy then slept for two hours and headed out for the office to do the same.

I've tossed every journal I've collected over the years (errr, yes that is something like 2500 of them). Anything published in a journal in the last 20 years is available online and so who needs paper? (I will regret this I am absolutely sure --you can't just flip through the online journal listings and go, "oh yes, this article here is so relevant and just what I needed to include to make point X" like I do all the time with those journals.) But they are bulky and heavy and I am not going to have room most likely for me and the cats much less 2500 journal issues. Bye. I also threw away (recycled) the journals I'd been bequeathed that were older than 20 years and this I will definitely regret --way hard and inconvenient to get your hands on articles in those if you don't already have the journal. But I'm getting Israeli tuff --I can manage to walk myself over to a real library, heh. Scary thing is, I haven't been inside a library for research purposes in 15 years!

Another 3 boxes will finish the office (I only left when I ran out of tape and discovered I'd single-handedly filled the "mixed paper recycling" bin to above the brim); 6 boxes stand ready there for the movers --today most of what I did was sorting and mainly tossing and so it will be with the rest of the stuff there. I hope the data police don't come after me because I tossed the hard copies of several studies that still have a year of "you have to hang onto it still" pending on them. But good l-rd, one of the studies had 2,000 plus participants each of whom filled out 24 pages of information.

Another 5-6 boxes will finish the apartment. Then I just will have to take all the file collections off all the computers in my labs, office and home onto the big external hard-drive, take apart 5 pieces of furniture, pray the salvation army will actually pick up the heavy stuff (like the monster media cabinet that got up the stairs but the movers said they didn't think it would ever come out again!).

I'm sweaty, sporting 4 bruises that weren't there yesterday, and very happy with myself.

Less than 2 weeks, I can't believe it. 12 days!

Monday, August 01, 2005

He's gone. I haven't seen him since the confrontation on Saturday; he was home last night when I got home but stayed shut off in his room. This morning very early Michelle woke me up with a "I think he is moving stuff out right now and has some guy helping him." I nodded and dozed off again, thinking he'd be making several trips to wherever it is he is taking his stuff, and that in a few minutes I'd go out and get his new address so that I could forward along any mail that came for him while I am still here. 30 minutes later Michelle woke me again with a "holy sh*t, I think he is completely gone! His room is completely empty!" Sproing!

Yep, every last thing of his was gone. He took the mop (mine) and broom (his) and all the cleaning supplies (mine) too --but didn't clean the room. I will gladly buy new supplies to clean it in exchange for his being gone. He must have gotten some professional movers this time --when he moved in it took him a full day. He left the bookcase, kitchen items, and cd rack I'd given him (things I'm not taking with me). Silly gesture on his part because now he doesn't get the use of them and someone else will and I'm not inconvenienced because Goodwill can pick them up at the same time as they take the other stuff they are coming to collect.

I feel intense relief that he is gone. I also feel a little guilty --I always hate that feeling of things ending badly. But really, he brought this on himself by his actions. I feel sorry for him because he is such an inadequate human being and I think he will always end up feeling like he is getting the short end of the stick as a result of treating others like crud.