Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pizza, Government Offices, and Cell Phones

Whew! A lot has happened in the past few days. The last time I posted I had gotten my name changed at Misrad Hapanim to the RIGHT name and had opened my bank account.
That was on Sunday. After I had posted that I went and got my cell phone (I’ll post the number at the end), and had a great experience at the Orange store. I understand that the workers there work on commission but this guy who I had was phenomenal. He spoke English, and was very upbeat and fun. After we had the phone set up he gave me first ringtone, a clip from Jeff Dunham’s skit of Achmed the Dead Terrorist, “SILENCE!! I -.”
Phone’s work differently here then they do in the States. As a tech guy I keep with all of the changing technologies and different services that are offered in different countries. In America, you are usually given a phone by the phone company (usually it’s free, but sometimes you pay a subsidized price) and then you pay a monthly fee for a set amount of minutes which either are not all used up at the end of the month, or if you use more then your quota of minutes you have to pay more if you go over. There are other perks in America, like free night s and weekends.
In you pay for your phone (as far as I know unsubsidized) but they you pay pennies for the phone service, and you only pay for the minutes you talk.
I’m not saying one way is better than the other, just the differences between the two.

Anyways, Sunday has for sure been my most successful day so far. Getting 3 things done in one day is apparently quite an accomplishment in this country.

I was speaking with someone at the Nefesh B’ Nefesh office when I was there on Sunday (not an NBN staff-someone else I knew), and he pointed out to me that what I’m doing is like registering for college. You have to run around going to from office to office for a few week’s… and then the REAL work begins!

Alright, so yesterday I went to Yerushalyim to take core of my health insurance at Bituah Leumi. I walked in thinking “here we go, a government office in Jerusalem.” I was expecting to have a 4 hour wait before I was able to get anything done.

To my surprise I was only there for about 40 minutes. I filled out my forms, and they said everything should be taken care of by next week. I was very surprised that it had gone that smoothly. And here I was at 10:30 in the morning with a few hours of free time on my hands. So what does any good Jew do when they have free time? Usually one of three things:
1. Eat
2. Socialize
3. Learn.

I did all three

I stopped by a pizza shop and had some early lunch, while listening to a shiur on my iPod. About halfway through my meal, one of my Rabbaim Rav Slifkin (the “Zoo Rabbi”) walked into the shop. He had just returned from a trip to Africa, and hadn’t know about my Aliyah. So we sat and schmoozed for about a half an hour.

Later in the day I met up with uncle to have lunch (again!...second lunch), and we schmoozed for a few hours. I then went back to Benei Brak/Givat Shmuel and picked up some stuff so I could be in Ramat Beit Shemesh in the morning to take care of bank stuff.

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