For example, I walk around and can't get over how GOOD it smells here, due to the large amounts of herbs that are planted by the roadsides. I'm walking to the mercaz and suddenly, pow, the smell of fresh sage washes over me!
It took us almost four days, but we're unpacked, we finally have a restocked refrigerator, all the glass recycling has been dropped off (that's a different post, but let's just say that those of you who can curbside recycle your glass are VERY lucky), almost all the crazy overdue library books have been dropped off with many mea culpas.....And, the big news in these parts--Ilana and Penina have started back at school (thankfully, I get until Monday for ulpan)
Schools have been starting slowly over the past few weeks--yeshivos started two weeks ago and Bais Yaakov schools started Wednesday, but today was the big day, with over 2.5 million kids in Israel starting back at school. The traffic (such as it is, it doesn't hold a candle at ALL to Storrow Drive in rush hour) was bad today, as it seemed that every parent with a car wanted to drive their kids today (as one of those parents, I don't fault anyone else for the same attitude). Wishing all kids everyone a year full of learning, fun, friendship and, of course, tasty snacks!
I had an interesting experience last night going to a vort. My friend Moshe from ulpan, who is a great-grandfather many times over, called the day before to tell me his granddaughter had gotten engaged earlier that day and there would be an engagement part Thursday night (the timing is not an "only in Israel" thing, it's common in religious circles. The couple will almost surely be married within 3-4 months). I was very happy to go give a "mazal tov" to him. When I arrived, I realized I had a slight problem--the party was in a synagogue social hall (i.e. much bigger than in someone's house) and there was a keyboardist (i.e. it was really loud and my friend is a senior citizen, in case that wasn't clear from the fact that he's a great-grandfather) AND there was a mechitza separating the men's and women's side of the event (ie. so I couldn't just go over and offer my congratulations) AND Moshe uses a wheelchair and was facing the other direction. Doh! Luckily, one woman I knew who was attending pointed out the kallah and her mother so I could introduce myself and say mazal tov to *them*. The mother kindly got someone to go over to Moshe, explain the situation and turn him around so I could wave :). It's another chavaya (experience)!