I am on a journey, to make Aliyah, and want to share my journey with my family, friends and anyone that is interested. I made the decision to make Aliyah in December 2002 and now I am actually doing it. This blog will chronicle my story and adventures leading up to getting on the plane and then the continuing story of the beginning of my new life in Israel and what I experience once there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The apartment and catching up on yesterday and today

I’ve been promising for a week now to give you a look at where I live. The pictures loaded in reverse order so start at the bottom and move up... (If you are on the blog and not facebook you can click on each picture to see the full size version, click back to return to blog) The first picture is taken outside to show you that trees are flowering here in July. In South Carolina, trees don’t flower in July so this is a little unusual to me but pretty none the less. The Series of pictures take you from the entrance to the stairs going up to my floor (3rd or 4th, depending on what you want to call it). Next is the hallway looking at my front door, then entering into the dining room, looking into the kitchen from the dining room first at the counter area then the refrigerator. The kitchen opens to an open air porch where the water heater is and is also a place to store things out of the way. Next is a look into the bathroom, there is a separate toilet room but I’ll spare you that picture. Finally are 3 pictures of my room, first from the door looking at my desk and bed, then panning to the left is the window near the foot of my bed and finally a picture from my bed looking at the closet and the door out of the room.

It’s not the Hilton or anything like that, but it is reasonably neat and clean, while older it is fairly well kept up and for the price I can’t really complain. The apartment costs me a 361 shekels per month ($92) and I have to split the utilities with my roommate. I don’t know what to expect yet, but was told Electric, gas and water would each run about 80 shekels per month ($20 each) so the whole thing is about $150 per month. The winter months will be more, but it doesn’t get that cold here, so I can’t guess how much more.

My flat mate is from Turkey. He is 52 and speaks a little English and a little Hebrew. We are able to talk so long we talk slowly to each other. He is divorced, but his ex-wife and kids live in another apartment here. He works and spends time with his kids, so I never see him. I’ve seen him all of three times in the week that I’ve been here. So it’s almost like having an apartment to myself.

Update from yesterday…

Yesterday after class I set off to the bank yet once again to finish getting my things taken care of there. Then I caught a bus to the mall as I needed to go to Office Depot to get school supplies. I first walked around the mall just to see what was there. Lots of stores and a food court. I went down the escalator and saw a huge selection of dining choices, just like you’d expect to see in the states: Burger King, McDonald’s, Sbarro, Chinese, Sushi, Bagels, and other local eateries and they were all kosher. I had a choice of places I could eat at. Since I’ve already had McDonald’s, sushi and Italian, I decided fairly quickly on the Chinese place. I couldn’t fully read the menu, so I used the pictures. One was the “Big” meal but it showed two sides, a meat and an egg roll. I thought that would be fine. I got brown rice and noodles as my sides and spicy peppered beef and the egg roll. Watching them serve it up, I knew I had gotten too much. Each side was 1 ½ to 2 cups and the meat portion was also about 1 ½ cups with lots of meat and the egg roll. The plate felt like it weighed 2lbs or more. I ate the egg roll, some of the rice (there were excellent meatballs in the rice which I ate all of), some of the noodles and all the meat and was beyond stuffed. Since I am only eating one meal a day I didn’t feel overly bad.

Back to today…

Today after class I headed for the fruit and vegetable shop just down the street and purchased, peaches, grapes and bananas. I’ve had some of the grapes so far and they are absolutely fabulous. You’ve not had stuff like this unless you grow your own. Fruits and vegetables are picked ripe here and are then in the stores quickly and thus have so much more flavor than in the states where they are picked before they are ripe and then allowed to ripen in the store or in your home maybe weeks after they were picked. I then went across the street to the Holy Bagel and got my favorite, poppy bagel with cream cheese and lox. The bagel is pretty good, the cream cheese is Philadelphia and the lox is tasty, and for $6 I can’t complain.
When I got back I did laundry for the first time since I arrived. There is a laundry room here at the facility, but it only has 4 washers and 2 double load dryers. You have to have a card to use the machines and it took me a couple of days to catch up with the person who handles that. I got mine today and headed to do the laundry. Each wash cycle is 30 minutes and the dryer is 40. Two wash loads will fit in one dryer. Each machine is $1 to use, so to do two loads of laundry and dry is $3. I had to wait 15 minutes for two washers to become available, The dryer was occupied and I had to wait 30 minutes to be able to put my clothes in and finally dried my clothes for a total of almost 2 hours that I had to sit there…. First time in so many years that I don’t have a washer and dryer…. I survived and the machines did a great job.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt, It's Erin (Rabbi and Rivke's friend from Richmond). Mazel Tov on your move to Israel:) I am enjoying reading about your experiences so far and definately makes me want to visit Israel more and more. Anyways, just wanted to say "Hi" and I really admire your decision to make aliyah!
Take care!