I'm here, everyone, safe and sound.
I flew into Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon and have been doing all sorts of things since. I am starting to get settled, living with a friend of mine in a J'lem (Jerusalem) suburb called Har Gilo.
Yesterday, I went to the post office to register for my health insurance, which is almost basically free (at least for new immigrants, I think) - what a weird place to register for insurance....ah well.
You must know, there's really no rhyme or reason to most things here.
I also went to get my bank account, which I have to have to get my dough (in shekels) every month from the government. A very polite and helpful man named Moris told me that I have to have my teudat zehut (national I.D. card, everyone has to have one and carry it at all times) before I can get my bank account. This may or may not be true, according to whom you talk with at the bank, but he was nice so I will believe him. To get your teudat zehut, you have to go to the misrad hapnim (ministry of interior), but it was closed yesterday at noon (we were there at 1pm). So I came back early this morning to get my ID card and the man told me I have to bring my birth certificate, which wasn't on the list of things I needed (someone's fault, but you wil never figure out who). I called my friend Nancy and she brought my B.C to me, but it was already too late by th etime she was coming in to the city. So the misrad hapnim is closed right now until 2:30pm, and I cannot get my ID card until then.
So that was fun....NOT! It's an ongoing process, too. I really hope to god that I can get it today.
So, because I had some time to kill and I want to start learning Hebrew NOW (the lack of ability to communicate is enough to frustrate me into insanity), I went and checked out an ulpan (Hebrew school for new immigrants) not far from the city center called Ulpan Morasha. I am starting on Sunday at 8:30. Woohoo! We'll see how that goes. When I got there, one of the teachers started semi-interrogating me, trying to figure out how much Hebrew I know. Apparently, although I can ask all sorts of questions and get around alright, my Hebrew sucks. So I am starting in the first level. Hopefully I will start learning quickly and not be bored.
So now, I am just waiting until the misrad hapnim opens. Maybe I will get a falafel or something. There is no lack of AMAZING food here. Baruch hashem! Thank god!!