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!

Friday, June 23, 2006

My life has rapidly moved on from Seinfeld to Faulty Towers. If something can go wrong...yeah, it will. Got to the airport at just after 3. Stood in line in front of a really nasty pair of British tourists who for straight-on an hour whined and complained the entire time, discussing mostly how rude everyone is here and how no one ever smiles, that the service is bad, the place is ugly and there is literally nothing to recommend it. They complained about the security and why do they need to ask anyone anything because in civilized countries you can just get on the plane. I was like hmmm, well, maybe it is because we have terrorists --ever heard of those? I hear you have them in your oh-so-friendly (not) country as well. By the time I got to the "being questioned" spot I felt like proving their point about rudeness by giving them a good shove.

Then I waited on line to get my boarding pass. For another hour. Got there, things going well. Was going to have time to check out the duty free everyone raves about, yofi. Then ..."where is your visa?" My what? Come again? "Your visa, with a teudat ma'avar (temporary passport) you have to have a visa." Really? Why did no one tell me this? The people at the Misrad Ha'panim did not tell me this when I asked was there anything else I needed to go to Germany. They very nicely speeded up getting my teudat ma'avar for me and made the whole process of getting it very smooth and pleasant. But they said I only needed the teudat ma'avar. "Well they should have known better. You are going to have to change your flight and go and get a visa." Yes well you do realize it is a Friday and I can't get a visa today. Not only that, but my meeting is today. There has to be some way...

But no. I talked with the secretary of my department who was waiting for me at the boarding gate. We came up with the idea of maybe flying into France and zipping over on the train...I went back to see could I change the ticket and do this. Nooooo they require the visa too. I could fly into Belgium without it but the next flight to belgium was in the afternoon and even if I flew out that very minute the train wouldn't get me to Munich in time for a noon meeting. Well, yippee hi yay, I'm home.

No soup for me, no sheets for me, no Munich for me.

I did have the kewlest cab driver on the way home though. He had me in stitches the whole way back. I had been thinking in german getting ready for the trip and the german was obviously affecting my hebrew pronunciation --and being tired and frustrated and beyond caring made me way more fluent in hebrew than I am, like, ever. He asked if I was german for one thing and I said "yes" --and generally I tell cab drivers I'm german so they won't talk to me in english but they never ask it from my hebrew. I have a really pronounced american accent usually. So I asked if I had a strong accent and he said no, not really-- not bad like an American (!) but he could tell I spoke either yiddish or german. Yofi. Better than the american drawl. Maybe I just need to be tired and beyond caring all the time...I think maybe I need my bed even more, new sheetless as it is!

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