I am finally a J-towner! I dont think people really call Jerusalem J-town except for (shout out) Melissa Gold and Michelle Suconik, but I'm officially adopting it.
Quick lingo update: I'm living in the absorption center which is called Beit Canada and my Hebrew language program is called Ulpan (read: oolpahn) Etzion.
I arrived on Tuesday fully expecting my room to look like the typical, not-so-nice, very minimal, kind of grungy, cheap Israeli apartments and boy was I surprised! We have the nicest room here! "Completely" redone including neew actual tile floor, new closets, a new bathroom and kitchen, half new desks, etc. I say "completely" because, like most things here, renovations are done with the most minimal effort possible, so I am glad we are (probably) the first ones in this apt, haha. More pics on facebook.
I have 3 other roommates and they are all great! I am in the big common room-ish thing with Tali and the other Lauren and Allie are in the small bedroom. Tali is from Atlanta and went to school in Worcester (Clark), Lauren is from Long Island and went to Vassar, and Allieis from New York and went to U Delaware. We're all 22/23. Our room is clearly not an accurate representation of the diversity of the 220 students here which are 50% North American and 50% other.
I went to Tel Aviv this past weekend to meet up with Michelle, Melissa, Emily, and Tara before they went back to (the Republic of) Georgia. Ulpan started yesterday, we did icebreakers all morning, went to har herzl, then had a ceremony/party for us at the community center. Class today was good, the teacher was awesome but I think I might move up one class because I knew all the words/things we learned today pretty much. I am going to check tomorrow morning if I can move up.
So, week 1 in J-town: big success! I feel much better now that I am moved in and getting settled. My nerves have subsided quite a bit and I am feeling more comfortable. I have a credit card and things hung on my wall. Maybe it's weird but those two things made me feel more comfortable.
Our internet is fully set up and (knock on wood) very good! Once we figured out that we needed to put it by the window it started working great. Yayy I can finally start skyping again! Also, I decided that I am going to run the Tel Aviv half marathon on April 8th, so I am about to go out for my first run, I hope I can stick with it on all of these hills...