Thursday, January 12, 2012

Love for the Immigrants

Today we returned to Ramla to meet with someone in the Ministry of Absorption (Misrad haKlitah).  We needed to hand her the form from the bank which proves that we have a bank account, that it is real, so that - wait for it, immigrant-hating countries - the Israeli government can GIVE US MONEY to help us through our first year.

That's pretty darn amazing.  Not only that, but as new immigrants we have all kinds of freebies, tax deals, and discounts on things like buying a car.

This is something I always knew about but has more meaning since my friend from Hopkins told me the saga of getting his 80 something year old father in law a green card.  The unabashed animosity of the US government toward foreigners is nothing new but compare it to the (at least official) attitude of this country (and, I'm sure, others) toward people who want to live here.

Instead of "why do you want to live here? to mooch off of us?"  you get a welcome packet and cash at the airport.

Anyway, the experience in Ramla was interesting. And now we are very confident in driving there, although I doubt we'll ever go there again.

Next on the list is getting cell phones.  

Then on Sunday we go to Jerusalem (forget Holon) and get the referral to take driving lessons.

Then we sign up for driving lessons.

Then we take the lessons.

Then we take the driving test.

Then, if we get a license, we can buy a car.

Oh, and our apartment is not ready yet.

But today we had a brief taste of real life here - we moseyed on over to Leezy's house, brought her lunch, hung out and helped her get ready for Tani's birthday party.  Just something most grandparents who live near their kids do but we've never done.  To prove my point - last year I attended the party via Skype.


  1. Oh, the shuk in Ramla is good! Cheap strawberries now!

  2. I just attended my niece's Bat Mitzvah on Sunday over Skype. Hate not being near my family :(
    I love the "little things" posts here, though :)