Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sorry to disappoint...

But no exciting Israel stuff has been going on recently. I promise I will write here the minute I find an apartment, because I have been driving everyone crazy with my lack of housing.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Journey Seems Like It's Already Begun

In the past two days, looking frantically for apartments with my new roommate Julia (yay!) from Chicago has been crazy. I've had to do more Hebrew speaking than I have in my entire life, and it has been extremely nerve-wracking. I can only now appreciate how my parents felt when they came to America, not knowing English. And I've taken classes for two years in this language. It was very nervewracking the first time I had to call someone in Israel about an apartment, but today, when I talked to someone from Tel Aviv University about housing, I don't think she picked up on the fact that I was a foreigner and I understood her, which boosted my self-esteem a lot. The next call, to a person owning an apartment in Jaffo, was very bad, and he switched over to English. How am I going to survive Israel? I can't ask everyone to "ledaber b'Anglit" all the time! Nathan, if you are reading this, it's not your fault. I am just a subpar Hebrew speaker. :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm Homeless!

An apartment I was looking for fell through today, leaving me homeless, once again. Maybe I'll just live in a cardboard box in Tel Aviv and beg for scraps? I'm continuing to look, but becoming more desperate. I would say the biggest help in all of this has been my friends, who have stuck by my in my hours of insanity. An especially big thank you to Yifat, Annie, The Schwartzman (what I like to call my piano teacher), and too many other people to name for keeping me sane and helping me to look for housing in Tel Aviv.

Today, I also went to the temp agency to see if I could scrounge up any typing jobs to make some extra cash for when I go. It was a very humbling experience, and I got to see how people on minimum wage/people whose lack of higher education prevents them from getting any higher than clerical work live. It must be hard, so I am extra grateful for my college education now, despite all the times (especially when homework was due ;) that I cursed it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Alea Iacta Est

As Caesar would say, "The die is cast." I've ordered my tickets for Israel, to be departing June 15 and returning August 14, through Israir, El Al's (the Israeli national airline's) biggest competitor. I probably paid too much for them, but in retrospect, it was the cheapest airfare I found, through weeks and weeks of searching. Lesson: NEVER buy airfare to Israel during the summer. The prices really are scary, especially if you are paying for it yourself.

I'm leaving out of JFK, so if anyone is in the area, they should definitely come say goodbye to me ;). At least that's settled. Now, I'm still looking for a place to live. I think I have a lead, a really nice apartment about 10 minutes walk to work, but the price is (as usual) higher than I would have liked. In the meantime, I've gotten a part time job to (kind of) defray the cost of airfare and any type of housing I might have. I'm sure my parents will pitch in, but I don't want them to pay too much because they were getting very grouchy about it, as parents tend to do :).

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Count Down to "I-Land"

Hello,

And welcome to my blog about my future adventures in Israel. If you don't already know, I have been accepted to an internship with Bank HaPoalim in Israel. According to them, they are Israel's largest bank (I think it's almost a tie between them and Bank Leumi.) I will most likely be working in corporate finance (if I get my top choice, among five areas that I can pick from,) which should be interesting, considering I've been trying to stay away from finance ever since I took it last semester (just kidding, Professor Pierce!) My internship will be from June 18-August 11, so it should be enough time for me to garner some impressions of Israel outside of two trips that I've taken that have been very tourist-centric. It will also give me a chance to practice my Hebrew (Ani mekevah she haIsraelim yidabru iti b'ivrit, lo b'anglit kmo hem osu b'avar!) Needless to say, I am extremely excited.

However, as with all great adventures, not all is well. There are huge monetary issues that, as a future economist, I theoretically should have no trouble tackling. The internship does pay a stipend, but there are still airfaire fees and housing, which brings me to my next point. If you know of any place I can stay in Tel Aviv for that time span, please let me know! I will pay for a cardboard box next to the bank! I am rather desperate. So for the time being, I am just trying to save up money for the trip and to analyze how I can pack light. For women, this is no easy task. After all, I AM going to need at least 7 pairs of shoes, right?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my blog (which will probably be done weekly-I don't know what my computer situation in Israel is yet, but I'm sure I'll go to a cafe at least once a week.) and please leave me lots of comments!