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!