Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Port Story and Rechov HaSmood

The port story was a little traumatic - this took place last week.

We received an email from the lady at the port saying that we had to come to Haifa to sign the papers accepting our shipment.  Of course, just our luck, it had arrived a week early and our apartment is...well, let's just say more than a week late.  We were going to go to Haifa via train. 

So I called the lady and asked her how to get to her office from the train station.  She tells me that it's on Rechov Hasmood.  I write down the address and that evening Gila, Donny and I try to find Rechov HaSmood on the map of Haifa.  We cannot find it.  "Are you sure, Momz," asks Gila, "that you got the name of the street right?"  "Of course, I wrote it down just howshe said it," I reply.

Anyway, then I receive an email from her that the office is on the same street as the train station, Rechov HaAtzmaut.

Well, why didn't she say that in the first place, I wonder.

So, we get on the train in Modiin and as we near Haifa it begins to rain.  Rather, it begins to pour.  We, of course, did not bring an umbrella.  Funny thing about Israel - the country needs rain desperately, so you'd think they'd have an outstanding drainage system to capture as much as possible.  But the streets flood after about 100 drops have fallen and it just becomes a muddy, rocky, sloppy mess.  The drainage system as far as we've seen is pretty awful.

Anyway, we get into a cab, getting drenched in the process, and find the building.  It is a creaky old building with other offices and when we get out of the very scary elevator we are staring into the apartment of a family with several children.  They look at us as if to say, "What are you doing in our home?" and I begin to panic a bit until we turn slightly and see the office of the shipper.

The lady is not so nice to us because our apartment is not yet ready.  It seems this is the very first time ever in the history of the country that someone arrived in Israel, their lift came to the port, and their apartment was not ready.  We tell her that we are very frustrated with the situation and she starts telling us how expensive it will be if she can't deliver.  No matter how many times we explain our own frustration, she keeps looking at us angrily and acting personally offended by our apartment situation.

She advises us to get a lawyer and sue the kablan for thousands and thousands of dollars.  This lady is getting on my nerves.  We sign the papers, promise to chase the kablan down, wrestle him to the ground, put him in a half nelson, and stay there torturing him with bamboo shoots until we get the keys.

As we are walking back to the train station it dawns on me that in her quick and deep Hebrew accent, "haatzmaut" can easily sound like "hasmood."  Israel's Independence Day will forever, in my mind, be "Yom HaSmood."

Today we managed to do everyday type errands by ourselves, only get lost a little (now we are at the point where we say, "We know where we are!  We are on the street we always get lost on!")

We met with the nice people at the Misrad HaKlitah in Modiin who explained some stuff to us in English. The office is in a complex of trailers. I think the trailers have been there since 1948.  I feel bad for the people working there. 

I will begin Ulpan on February 15, which I am looking forward to - not only to learn but to meet people who are also new olim.

Tomorrow - we meet with the shower door guy!


  1. You will love ulpan!
    My apartment wasn't ready when my lift arrived, either. But they just put my stuff in storage for a few weeks. I didn't even have to go to the port. As olim chadashim, you are entitled to 30 days storage of your lift, for free.

  2. You've made progress in the lost department! Congrats! When my parents were visiting, they called me once while lost in Modiin and said, "We're on a street where there seems to be a lot of building and construction." That was really unhelpful.

  3. Time will be flying for you with so many things to do. You're going to blink one morning and it'll be 18 months later! You'll be getting lost like a Sabra by then...;-)