The move was an adventure. We were instructed to have our stuff out by the bus that the Ulpan ordered for us at 8:30am. At 8:50ish I brought my stuff down (like a good Israeli), got my deposit back, ate some breakfast, and went out to load the bus. At 10:30ish we were off, 21 of us, mostly Russian or Spanish speaking, all headed somewhere in the vicinity of Tel Aviv. First stop, Lod, dropped two off there and we were off to Holon. First minor difficulty:the bottom door to the bus opens and our stuff spills out into the highway (see photo: us gathering our belongings from the highway). Of course of the 4 or 5 bags that fall out two of them are mine. New duffle bag scraped up and a damaged pair of sandals...bummer, but maybe more exciting than upsetting actually. We made it to Holon, then Bat Yam followed by Yafo, Tel Aviv proper, getting lost in some areas north of Tel Aviv (people who don't actually know where they are going to be living and who do not speak Hebrew or English talking to a bus driver who doesn't know the area at all and doesn't speak English is always a joy!), and 4 hours later I arrived at the Tel Aviv train station. For those of you who are unaware, this drive would have taken maybe 40 minutes in a car.
I got off the bus into a group of about 50-60 elementary school religious girls in uniforms on some sort of field trip. They proceed to stare at me as I seriously struggle to make it to security. I'm not kidding, they were legitimately walking directly in front of me turned around staring at me. At one point I was so fed up I actually said, in Hebrew, "What, is this funny to you? Move, please." Sorry little girls for being a jerk, but you were obnoxious. After getting all my bags through security and buying my ticket I had to face all 60 of the girls again to insert my ticket and get into the train station. As I'm shoving my bags through the turnstiles, sweating profusely and clearly exhausted, they stand DIRECTLY on the other side staring at me. Actually two of my bags hit them in the legs because they wouldn't move. Ugh, they were SO annoying. Here is when I said to them, "Why are you standing RIGHT here?! Move, please". Anyway, I made it on and off the train with the help of a really nice girl on the way on and a really nice soldier on the way off who carried my stuff to the taxi. Three trips of three flights of stairs and 7 hours later I am here, Nahariya Israel, about to head out for a beautiful night run along the beach (thanks for convincing me, Brendan!)
I think I will manage living one block from the beach just fine this summer :)