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!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

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.

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