yesh li dira!
I have it. It is mine, all mine! My cats are welcome in it, my furniture will (mostly) fit it in --the bed will fit but uh you will have to climb into the bed from the doorway of the bedroom and so I may not put it together-- I am more than ready to move into it. I can move in on the last day of September (the 1st falls on Shabbat) but she gave me the keys already and said it was fine to bring stuff into it before then.
So what was the final damage for it? A full years' rent in advance and in cash (well a single check) to be cashed on Oct 2nd. A 5,000 NIS bank guarantee (which cost an additional $300 NIS to get), a realtor's fee of one month's rent ($650) because, tho it was listed on homeless it was listed by the agent (sneaky that), a check in the amount of 10,000 NIS to held -not cashed -- in the event I were to flee the country or refuse to move out when my lease is up, plus two blank checks for the city municipality and the electric company in the event I don't pay the arnona or the bills. [Here's where having the "to the payee only" option on your checks makes you feel a lot more secure!].
I really like my landlady. She is a holocaust survivor from Hungary and a real sweetheart. After we negotiated the fine points and signed the lease, she took me out for coffee and some delicious cheesecake at a hungarian bakery/cafe. She is already trying to mother me (eat, eat, you can't have just coffee you are too skinny --and hey, I'm not anymore I'm gaining weight like crazy!) and has invited me to dinner next week.
So yesterday was a really good day ...all the way until I started my trek back to home sweet Yaffo. I had to stop and get kitty litter and dinner supplies because the cupboard was completely bare and the cat box was in dire straits since I had been too tired to lug home cat litter at midnight when I headed home on Monday. So I jumped off the bus close to the grocery in Yaffo and started shopping --got everything but the cat litter as they were o-u-t out. So then I dragged my heavy knapsack full of rocks (oh no, wait, it is only books and a computer?) plus the groceries two blocks backwards to the pet store and bought a 30 poundish bag of litter (smalled size they had). Now I carry all that crud two blocks back again to the bus-stop, wait 20 minutes unable to sit down for the bus, catch bus and get off one stop later, walk 2 blocks to my apartment, climb 3 flights of stairs and enter ready to a) wash my hands and then b) collapse.
But oh my, oh no, oh what is that smell? I have fastidious cats and they do not like their litter box to get into dire straits. In fact, they don't like that any of the other cats use the litter box at all. When the litter isn't changed daily they like to create their own litterbox somewhere --it is always a surprise --in the apartment. Ok I find the source and am ready to clean it up. I go to the kitchen and turn on the water and...nothing. Nothing emerges from the tap. Not a single drip. Bathroom: ditto. It sinks in --I have no running water. I have cat mess on the floor, I'm in a sweaty yucky state and desperately want to wash all the various parts of Tel Aviv and Yaffo that I've visited from my dirty little hands and THERE IS NO WATER. Call landlord, get answering machine, leave message and not a happy message. Grab keys and run down the stairs and down to the little store several blocks away --it is closed already because it is now nearly a quarter of 9. Run back and several additional blocks in the other direction and get to the _other_ store (the people are not very pleasant at this one so I avoid it) and buy 6 big bottles of water and drag them home.
As I arrive panting and near collapse outside my door my neighbor opens his and tells me I owe him his 85 shekels for keeping the stairs clean and he needs it now as in this second. Beseder, beseder, rak rega and by the way do you have water in your apartment? Oh yes, the water is off in mine because there was a leak (from what?) in mine that was going into the apartment below today and so he shut my water off (this he tells me in an accusatory tone). I was like, look I left the apartment this morning before 7 and all I did was brush my teeth and wash my face and there is no water anywhere in my apartment currently --no leak, no official water, no nothing --so how about you turn it back on because I desperately want and need to shower. No dice. I have to have the landlord come do it. They are supposed to have come this morning (so I was told when the landlord called me back after midnight, which was better than 2 a.m. like the last time he called) and they better have come. My poor cats have been locked in their carriers since a quarter of 7 this morning so they couldn't escape if the landlord did come as promised. I'm about to head home and check. If there is no water I'm going to beat that man from one end of Yaffo to the other. Tomorrow I have to go to Beer Sheva and meet the dean and everyone in my new department and I do not plan on arriving there minus a shower, as a real one and not 3 bottles of water dumped over myself!