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!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

not celebrating just yet...

because if anything can go wrong it will go wrong most likely BUT, if nothing goes wrong, then I have an apartment. On Tuesday just after posting I checked one more time and saw that an apartment had listed in the last 10 minutes. Called it, was the first person to see it, called the owner from the living room of the apartment and said I wanted it. She said great and that I should come to get the contract from her the next morning --to call at 9:30 and she'd tell me where to meet her. So I took the day off of ulpan, called at 9:30 all ready to go pick it up so I could show it to Allison before signing :) and...she tells me "oh so sorry, the son of my neighbor wanted it and so I gave it to him." AHHHHHHH.

The day was made a really good one though because of the wonderful hospitality, humour, advice, and just all around kewlness of Savta Dotty. And, lest we forget, absolutely the best pecan pie on this side of the world! The rest of teh spread she had whipped up was fantastic too but that pie, oh my!!!! She is awesome --I'm adopting her!

Then last night I checked quickly into the net cafe one more time for listings and found an apartment listed for Dizengoff. I called the number and the girl said great I can show it to you tomorrow at 1 and, actually, I have a second apartment that we havent' listed yet but that you can see. Fantastic. So I left ulpan early (got yelled at by the mora too when I explained I needed to leave at the noon break and nearly lost my cool with her --hello, I'm not in high school anymore thank you so do not treat me like I am). My heart sank when I went to the building of the first apartment --I'd been here before. Apartments just evaporate within hours of being listed so I figured it could not possibly be the same apartment I'd seen almost a month ago in my first week here. It was. Well, considering the shape it was in maybe I shouldn't be surprised. The price had come down (to $600) but it would need to come down a lot more before anyone is going to rent that puppy. I was not too hopeful about what the second one would look like: also on Dizengoff it is way up by the park and the port (just where Dizengoff and Ben Yehuda meet).

Eureka. Big, not huge like the place in Yaffo, but big. Clean. Kitchen with fridge (oh the luxury) and, get this, big enough to put a small table in to eat on. Nobody faint yet, but I was on the point of swooning when I discovered: brand new bathtub --this is very important because I am a bath fanatic, especially in the winter! Space for washer and dryer! Quite big living room. Little room (very little room) with built in pull-out-to-a-bed sofa for guests or to just sit on. Little bedroom (the bed, if I put it together, would literally take up the whole room with only room to squeeze past it sideways) but additional little windowed alcove connected to the bedroom that can function as a computer/work room. $650. Absolutely at the maximum limit of what I can pay but I can pay it. So I said yeesssssss. The girl who showed it to me works with an agency and so there will be a fee but ok. The woman who owns it is an American and I meet with her tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will do the contract on Sunday or Monday (going to be calling Allison! :) provided that she likes me as a tenant.

Fingers, toes, eyes --anything I can cross and you can cross please cross!!

I managed to get switched into the 5 day a week bet class too (yay with Katherine!) just before I left ulpan for the day (take that, you nasty old witch who yelled at me!). Of course, the machshefa who works in the office in the mornings yelled at me too when I did this --I actually wasn't in there for that but to try to pick up the book I paid for earlier this week (I didn't get it). The machshefa was like, "Yael Kaynan I need your card because you are not in the computer" --since she gave it to me herself what two weeks ago? I should be. At first I couldn't find it and then eureka and when I gave it to her I said in passing, oh and I need to change into the 5-day bet. When she tried to refuse I said, look I'm on the waiting list for it, was told to come back this week to make the switch when the additional bet class was added and my job requires that I miss every thursday (ok, it doesn't exactly but hey) and so with the 3 days a week that makes it only 2 days I can come and that is not acceptable. She gave in and changed me over right there. Whew!!! So I escaped without asking for the book thinking get away while you're ahead!

Oh and to new olim a hint about the banks. 1) they do not mail your atm card to you --you have to go back and pick it up (I discovered this when I went in and said, hey my bank card never arrived what gives??) and 2)order checks with the "to payee only" option. This is not available in the States but it means that if you write out a check to someone and lose the check or something drastic like that no one else can cash it but the person it was written to. Nice idea. My checks were only 9 NIS to order and will be available for pick-up at the bank on Monday!

Now I need to see if I can convince people I know living in Haifa and Jerusalem to make the trek to Tel Aviv, should I get this contract, to sign on as guarantors. I didn't realize they had to come in person! I thought a letter from them ascertaining that I'm a nice normal person who is not going to flee the country without making good on my financial obligations would function. Again this is different than back home!

And I have a date tonight!


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