Sunday, September 24, 2006

Aliya Recap Part I

Although we are still very much in the midst of the klita (absorption) process, much has happened since we arrived here two and a half weeks ago. It has been unbelievably hectic and we are far busier than we have ever been in our lives.

Here is a basic rundown of our experiences:

Our flight was scheduled to leave Tuesday, September 5th. On Sunday our real estate agent called to tell me that there was a slight problem with the apartment. The previous tenant, who is actually the son of the landlord, had not yet moved out. He assured me though, that he would fix everything and that the apartment would be empty by the time we arrived in Israel. Trusting that he would work it out I went to sleep Sunday night without any worries (This was an enormous mistake by the way. I was subsequently told that rule number one of buying or renting a place in Yerushalayim is that you never, ever believe what the realtor tells you.).

On Monday morning the agent informed me that, unfortunately, the tenant would not be out by the time we arrived, and it actually might be a while before he could leave. I will spare you the sorry details of the craziness that followed, but suffice it to say that the day and a half leading up to the flight was not pleasant. In the end we were not able to move in to our apartment. Fortunately, my sister in law and her husband are spending the year learning in Yerushalayim, so we were able to take over their, at the time, unoccupied apartment.

In any event, on Tuesday we boarded the Nefesh b' Nefesh flight somewhat discouraged but nevertheless excited for what lay ahead. With two kids under the age of 18 months, the older one being sick, we expected a difficult flight, but were heartened by our assumption that we would not be the only ones with crying babies on the flight. Things started fairly smooth. Our son (OS) was slightly cranky during takeoff but nothing major. However, it soon became apparent that he had no intention of going to sleep in anything but a crib. He began to cry hysterically; at one point he cried for an hour and a half straight (literally). Finally, with an hour and change left to the flight we overdosed him with Advil and he fell asleep. His parents were not so lucky. Our- at the time two month old- daughter, on the other hand was a complete angel and we did not hear a peep from her the entire way.

Landing was very nice, as was the reception we got at the airport (although we were a little too tired to appreciate it). The program was a real bore-- as the last flight of the summer we were given the low level bureaucrats. What happened after though is where things got interesting. A major perk of flying with NBN is that much of the paperwork is taken care of on the plane so that the olim do not have to wait for hours at the Misrad Hapnim. However, we were informed on board that the Misrad hapnim was under staffed and the paperwork could not be accomplished on the plane, but would have to wait until the airport. Fine- annoying, but not a big deal. We ended up waiting on lines in the airport for over three hours. Fine- the kids were ok so again, not a big deal. However, after the three hours of waiting we went to get our bags, and, lo and behold, one of them was missing (we still have not recovered it). That was the straw that broke the camels back. We soon realized that the bag contained our son's portable crib, and he would have nowhere to sleep. Consequently, while sleeping on a mattress placed on the floor he woke up in the middle of the night.

So, after learning that our apartment was being illegally occupied, frantically running around between the doctor and the pharmacy two hours before the flight, enduring eight hours of crying on the flight, plus three hours of waiting after the flight, losing a bag, and not sleeping for 36 hours, OS decides that two AM is a good time to get up.

But it was all good.

Coming Soon: You silly Americans

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Back Again

We finally got our internet up and running after two weeks of being cut off from the world.
I do not have time to post now but I have no shortage of material that I will iy"h post about.
In the meantime kesiva vechasima tova and shana tova