Friday, August 28, 2015

We Are New Immigrants Who Take the Bus :)

Ooh--so proud: we took the bus up to "Park Center" yesterday to go to the store that was recommended for buying school books.  And we didn't get lost even when the bus driver told us we were getting off at the wrong stop and the "mercaz" (center) was further down.  I had a good laugh because the mercaz is the shopping area just above us!  Thankfully, I recognized the "Park Center" area from when we were visiting the schools in February, or I would have taken us for a nice round-trip back to where we came from ;)

My "grand scheme" when I am confused or overwhelmed is to stop and listen for someone speaking with her kids in English and then ask her my question.   We chose to live in a very Anglo area so this usually doesn't take too long.  There were a bazillion types of notebooks and note paper at this store, but, luckily, a woman with a daughter who ended up being in Penina's grade was next to us in line, so her daughter took Penina to the notebook section with my instructions to PB to "buy one of whatever *she* bought".  And the woman turned out to be a dentist, so now we have a local dentist, too!

Today was the first day of school for Penina

I am so proud of her.  Of course, the whole day (well, such as it was.  They get out at 11:45 on Fridays....) was in Hebrew and she understood very little, but the girls in her class seem very nice and she had a good attitude about it.  The 4 or 5 new olim in her class will start having intensive Hebrew class hopefully next week or the week after.

I guess the second part of "we are new immigrants who take the bus" is being "new immigrants who get lost on the bus".  Coming home from Penina's school, I took the bus back (same one we took up the hill yesterday) and instead of taking the left turn to go down the main street our home is off of, it took a right turn past the mercaz and started heading out of town.  I decided that less talking and more walking was prudent, and instead of asking when/where/how/if it would get to the stop by our house, just got off and hoofed it back home.  Clearly, it was meant to be, though, because I ran into Shalom Shachne coming up the hill for his morning coffee and we went for bagels together :)

We are ready for our first Shabbos in Ramat Beit  Shemesh.  The house is clean (as clean as I can make it without Israeli-specific cleaning advice, specifically how on earth you deal with the never-ending amounts of dust.  You can wash the floor and, a few hours later, sit on it [remember, we have almost no furniture until our lift arrives] and emerge covered in dust.  The good part, though, is that pretty much everyone walks around with dust/dirt on their skirts/pants, so we fit right in.  I guess that's the Middle East in summer).

We now have a mostly-empty living room, which feels great.  The kids have been sleeping in the living room since we got here Tuesday and a fair bit of our luggage was still down here, but the air conditioning in Penina's room got fixed this morning, we got a good fan for Ilana's room, and all the luggage got shlepped upstairs.  I am still in-process of slowly cleaning the third floor, which will be Chana's rooms/the guest rooms.  Here is a photo of the rest of the living room.  The blow-up chair filled with feathers that Cousin Sela gave the kids is the closest thing we have to real living room furniture :)
reading Mishpacha magazine.  What a trip to get it the same week that it's published (Boston is always a week or more behind schedule)

One local family dropped off Shabbos candles and matches, grape juice and spices for havdalah for the end of Shabbos.  Another family kindly brought over flowers (*with* a vase, which I thought was so smart of them to have the foresight.  Harold and Shoshana: these are your brother-in-law's brother and his wife. SO sweet).

Good Shabbos!


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