Sunday, February 28, 2010


I've been a bit slow in writing lately...sorry.
It's been the usual crazy here. Life.
I just finished teaching a MDA Chul course and the rest of the week has been exhausting. Actually, the past 3 weeks...I'm not sure where they went.

Let's see...bit things that have happened in the past 3 weeks...
I'm more comfortable shopping in Hebrew.
I still haven't gotten my kupat cholim card. However, I have used the kupah's services (see previous posts), and most recently for a toe that got infected. Fun-fun...I know you're all dying to hear about it, but I'll spare you the details.
Ulpan is going. It's a little hard, because I already speak it and it's hard to get the grammar and dissect it once you already use it. And since I learned to speak the language with Israelis who don't exactly always use proper grammar...So I'm working hard.

What else? Not much else going on. I have to remember to apply for a teudat ma'avar at the end of March. I have to also find out what's going on with some things for the summer in NYC. And that's about it.

I'll update on Purim after they both happen.

Friday, February 5, 2010

עשיתי שופינג...עוד פעם

But this time I went on my own to Rami Levi. I think I like Shufersol (spelled like Supersol, pronounced differently. Or the same, depending on who you ask) better. But there's different ones: Shufersol Deal, Big, and Sheli. Sheli is more expensive than the others, but I usually go to Deal or Big. I like it so much better than Rami Levi-- Rami Levi is supposed to be the cheapest supermarket, but I really like Shufersal better.

I've been here just over a month, and it's been hitting me at random times-- I live here. I LIVE here. I live in Israel, it's my home, my heritage, and I live here.

It rains-- I say, "Baruch Hashem." Because we need the rain. Here I can't bring myself to say that the weather sucks when it's rainy and miserable out...because we need the rain.

Back to being in Israel for a month:
I do and I don't feel like an olah chadasha. I definitely do when it comes to doing things online, like banking and my cell phone. And learning to do banking here-- completely different. I have only a checking account, but there is a minimum that they charge every month here-- they call it, "d'mei hanhala"-- like an account fee. My bank is, I think, 13.5 shekels per month, but because I'm an olah chadasha I have half-fees for the entire first year. Also, the banks here charge for EVERYTHING. You don't get statements in the mail, but you can print them out at the ATM at the bank (3.5 shekels). If you withdraw or deposit money it's 1.6 shekels (including hora'at keva payments (hora'at keva is when you give your bank account info to a company such as your kupat cholim or your cell phone company and they take out the money directly every time you owe them. It's like scheduled payments). If you go to a teller, it's 6.3 shekels. (I think the numbers are correct; I'm not totally sure, but it's something around those numbers.) And you can only do many things at your branch-- meaning the one where you opened your account. If you need an ATM card, if you want to order checks, if you need to do anything with phone/internet banking, if you have to update your information...pretty much the only thing you can do at any branch is take out/deposit money. So b'kitzur, banks here are annoying. Keep your American bank accounts also-- they earn much more interest, especially the internet banks.

What else? Aha, yes, the health care system. I have been using that one. I was sick last week-- at first I was just congested, and then my decongestant and ibuprofen weren't working and that was bad. So I went to the main branch of my kupat cholim and the doctor looked at me and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and decongestant. And the next day I had a fever and was dizzy and nauseous and felt like a truck ran over me (minus the broken bones and internal injuries part) so I went back to the clinic and this time the doctor actually examined me-- listened to my lungs, checked my temperature, did blood work, etc. I ended up getting a liter with pramine. I'm doing much better now. And just to discuss how much everyone in Israel really does say, "Come for Shabbat"-- right before I left, the nurse who was doing my IV says, "Here is my phone number, my wife's name is _____, we live in _____, call her and you'll come for Shabbat." Absolutely only in Israel.

Anyway, it's almost Shabbat here. More later!