Three Steps Back and One Step Forward

Homesickness and An American in Israel: The Quest for a Bottle Opener.

Last night turned out much better than it started out.  I had a severe bout of homesickness.  I really wanted to talk to people from home.  Luckily, over the course of the night I got to speak to:

  • Mom
  • Scott
  • Cara
  • Annabell
  • Shenay
  • Josh
  • Grandma
  • Aunt Rachel/Noah

Tonight I intend to talk to my dad.  I’m determined to stay up until he can Skype me.  I…will…not…sleep. >_>

Edit: I have since spoken to my father.  Talked to him for 22 minutes while he was at work.  Turns out, he was hiding in a closet.  No WONDER I couldn’t get a hold of him.  xD  I think he needs to come out of the closet.  Just sayin.

Today’s Hebrew class included an epic singing session in class.  All the Alef classes got together in a big lecture hall and sang Israeli folk songs.  It was…interesting, to say the least.  Following that, I found DR. PEPPER!!!

It even had a handy sticker in Hebrew with nutritional information…for all those who haven’t ever experienced the awesome power of the Dr.

Additionally, I had my Hebrew test today (post-Dr. Pepper splendidity).  I think it went pretty well.  I’m not too terribly worried.

After class, I had an epic power-walk with Grace.  We walked from Rothberg (where our classes are) to the market (about 30 minutes uphill) and then to Domino’s (additional 5 minutes) and back to the dorms (about 7 minutes).  Either way we were going, we’re on a mountain…so it’s up hill.  It’s all a MEAN trick.  But at least now when I have kids, I can tell them that I walked to school uphill both ways.  MER!

Domino’s here seems shockingly primitive.  The box design is different:

As is the pizza itself.  It doesn’t have the spiffy new crust that Domino’s in America is touting right now.  😦

And then I just figured that since this was a relatively American post all-around, I’d include my American cereal in Hebrew.

Grace and I bought laundry detergent (NOT fabric softener…and NOT gel…no matter what the weird gentleman who did NOT speak proper English said…).  I did laundry for the first time.  It’s a total rip off here.  19 NIS to wash and dry…and that’s if the machine doesn’t take your money.  Luckily it only took 2 NIS from me.  It took 10 from Grace.  So…right!  Did my laundry.  After all…I was down to my last shirt…

While doing laundry, Grace and I watched the first half of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  This is relevant to my life right now…somehow.  But not really.

I was then invited to dinner with my roommates’ Aunt Shelly and Uncle Chaim.  At about 5:00, Chaim came to pick Leo and I up at the K’far Studentim to take us 30 minutes away to Modi’in (pronunciation: Modeh’een).

We actually drove through the West Bank.  There are huge walls up on either side of the highway so that everyone knows it’s’ off limits to the fighting and that’s it’s a safe public area.  There are security checks on both ends of the highway as well.  I was intrigued.  We saw Ramallah off in the distance.  Ramallah is a Jewish settlement in the West Bank that is definitely being fought over.  It’s extremely tense over there.  Luckily, we viewed it from afar.  Chaim told us that which we already knew, don’t go there unless you specifically know someone over there.  Well DUH!

We also drove past what I think was the Ketziot Prison which is part of the South Bloc of the Israel Prison Service or IPS.  Big prison out in the middle of nowhere and suddenly I felt like I was in Texas again. xD

I was treated to a lovely dinner of chicken, salad, stir-fry, rice, and sweet potatoes.  Dessert was chocolate made with sea salt.  It was delicious.  I’m going to have to find this myself because it was just SO good.  The perfect blend of sweet and salty!  Omnomnom.

Before we left, Shelly offered us anything we needed for our dorm.  We made off with big plates, small plates, bowls, a pan, a trash can for the bathroom, bath mats, runners (for the bedrooms), a toilet brush, and a bed sheet for me.

I was EVER so grateful.

When I got back to the dorm, I was dragged into a neighbor’s apartment where they were all planning on drinking.  They invited me, but I politely informed them that I was looking forward to a quiet rest of my night and that I was waiting for my dad to be able to Skype.  I thought it had been left at that but they came over in hopes of borrowing a movie…(History of the World: Part 1).  I followed Rachel back to the room but they came to the conclusion that no one had a bottle opener and thus they couldn’t open their beers.  OH NO!  Crisis!  Luckily, Alison came to the rescue.  At 11:00pm in the middle of Shabbat, I went door to door down five flights of stairs (that’s 20 rooms) with Rachel and knocked on each one.  Somewhere around the sixth floor, we knocked on all the doors and stood waiting in the middle of the entry way waiting for anyone to answer.  As we stood there for about 30 seconds, I quietly said, “Bueller….”.  We cracked up and continued down.  We FINALLY found a group of girls chilling out on the fourth floor who let us borrow one.  Here’s the delightful proof:

With that, I have nothing left to say.

שבת שלום

Author: alisonlcohn

Graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communications Advertising. Traveled a bit. Taught for two years. Administered aptitude tests for a while. Worked as a Training Associate for Guardian Mortgage and a Quiz Master for Geeks Who Drink. Obtained my Master's in Film, Television and Screen Media in London, England. Now working as a small-group travel coordinator. Nice to meet you!

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