Ahhh sitting in the net cafe, having a coffee after just having emeged from the sea. Yes, I fled Yaffo for the day :) On Sunday I am getting together with another new olah who arrived the day after I did. She and I want to pool our ideas on finding apartments and dealing with other issues -we are pretty much in the same boat. She is also going to be doing ulpan at Ulpan Gordon.
One of the things I'm finding really frustrating on the apartment-seeking front is the issue of actually getting in touch with someone to get to see the apartment. A good number of listings seem to have incorrect numbers, or (maybe) numbers where you have to do something in order to get to the person -- I can't understand the automated message I get from cellcom when I call those numbers so I'm not sure. Then, at least 50% of the numbers just ring with no chance of leaving a message (and no matter what time you call) or I leave a message but they never get back to me. Grrrr. I refuse to get up. Next week is going to be my lucky week and I will find an apartment _early_ in the week that is nice, clean, takes cats, and will rent to an olah. It is going to happen. Please G-d.
I like the apartment in Yaffo well enough. It is huge that is for sure. There is only one problem with it and it is a seriously major one --the bathtub doesn't drain. At all. I wanted to clean the tub last night (of course) so I could take a nice shower and turned on the water and started scrubbing but very quickly realized that the water coming in wasn't going out. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to figure out if there was some kind of knob or button or something keeping the drain from being open but can't find _anything_ along those lines. I thought, ok so maybe it is just going to be an annoying really slow-draining tub. So I let it sit and came back an hour later --no sign of any water having receded. In the morning I checked again ...surely....but no, it is like New Orleans. I had to take a sponge bath again this morning and this is sooo not going to continue. Tonight, Natan is getting a "what the hell" call and the boy better run for cover.
Speaking of New Orleans, I am simply aghast at the state of the city and the people within it. What the hell? The U.S. can get troops to Iraq, aid to tsunami victims within days, but they can't get in to evacuate and care for their own citizens in a major city in their own country?! I know Lousiana is a complete Banana Republic and has the kind of political corruption and ineptness generally found in mickey mouse third world countries but the federal government is doing even less and, more ineptly, than the idiots in charge of local affairs there. I grew up in that city and even though I really despise it I feel just heartsick for those poor people.
Through my brother I learned that my father had planned to wait out the storm there and only just left in time after my brother called and told him in no uncertain terms to get the hell out of there. He, and his second family, have lost everything. I think in the weeks ahead my brother and I are going to be doing a lot of email consultation on how best to help out in this very bad situation for them.