Thursday, December 7, 2006

First Steps

Did I mention I signed the lease for my new apartment?

It seems like the last two months have been busy with the self imposed apartment hunting, and as glad I am to be moving next week, I realised that really am going to miss the neighbourhood that I am leaving. Baka has been my home since my second week in Israel. Five months at Ulpan Etzion were followed by a move round the corner in a shopping cart. Eighteen months later, I have accumulated much more, received a lift, and got hold of furniture. It's going to take more than a shopping cart to carry out this move.

While I do have many good friends in the area I am moving to, and numerous on the same street, I am going to miss the Derech Bet Lechem crowd that I have discovered over the last four or five weeks. At least my new place is just a half hour walk away. By this time next week I will imagine I will have boxes scattered all over the place and be cursing the decision to move.

Aliya is all about stages. The first year is said to be the worst, although that wasn't the case for me. In one respect my move will mark the beginning of a new chapter and as my second anniversary in Israel fast approaches, trying something new seems appropriate.

This week I accomplished a few other things for the first time. I now carry an international MasterCard, that can be used both in Israel and abroad. For those of you reading this from other countries, this will not sounds like much of a feat, but banking here is not like the Western world, thus my MasterCard is noteworthy.

In four days, nine hours and ten minutes, the Goralah HaGadolah will be drawn, and after hearing the חמישים מילליום הלוואי עלי jingle during every commercial break on TV and radio, I caved and purchased a lottery ticket. I approached the orange lottery selling booth in the middle of the street, and instantly felt like an oleh. Playing the lottery is not difficult, but when you have never done it before, you have to find out how. It transpires that it is just like the National Lottery in the UK, same coloured tickets and all, but the interaction was one of a kind.

My third first of the week actually happened before the other two. A friend of mine held a viewing for his Hitnatkut movie. Since the Disengagement of 2005, not much has been said or done to bring it to my attention, but this piece was great. If I get round it it, I will post my feelings of the political sham we are witnessing and describe my dislike of Olmert and the danger he poses to Israel, but for now, let me just say the documentary I watched was an excellent piece of Media.

Another week is coming to a close, Thursday night is party night, Shabbat is for the recovery, and next week I really need to start packing.

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