Friday, December 16, 2011

Oh Wouldn't You Like to Be, My Neighbor

A week before I started my course I decided enough was enough of moving around between friend’s houses and parents of friend’s houses and finally went apartment hunting.  After spending many hours on various websites looking up apartments (in Hebrew, go me!) I compiled a list of apartments and phone numbers for the next day.  I wish I could explain in words how much I was dreading this “apartment hunting day” I had scheduled myself on my day off from the army.  In order to not pay for the public transportation I was going in uniform, it was hot, I knew it would be frustrating, from experience I assumed it would be quite unsuccessful, tiring, confusing, and anything else you can imagine.  To add to things I was doing it on my own because it so happened that none of my Israeli friends were around that day to help me, my sister was still in the states, and my other friends were working since it was in the middle of the week.  I figured if I ever made it to the point of signing a contract I had a few people to call up to sit with me so I didn’t mess up or get cheated/ripped off.

Before I left Tel Aviv in the morning to set out for my dreadful day I decided to check online one last time in the morning to see if anything else was posted.  Apartments are posted and rented daily here to the point where it doesn’t even make sense to look up apartments before the week you want to move, or in my case, the day you go looking.  I found an apartment listed not in the neighborhood my sister and I were looking but in our price range and size.  I decided to go to this apartment first in dire hope that it would sweep me off my feet and I wouldn’t have to lug myself all around the city in the heat and try to find all of these other apartments.  I showed up to this apartment, which, may I mention, was in an AMAZING location, and fell in love.  It was about 5 or 6 am Boston time but I was so giddy I couldn’t wait to call home and talk to Allie about it.  I talked to my mom for a while, biding time until it was reasonable to wake Allie, while I sat for a few minutes across the street from the apartment and watched 3 other people look at the apartment as well.  In the mean time I pretended like I was going in the direction of the other apartments to take a look at them too, because it’s not smart to take the first thing you see.  I finally woke Allie up and told her about the apartment, she agreed maybe I should check out the other ones too just in case but after about 10 minutes of trying to call the other apartments as well as figure out where they are we decided together to stop being idiots and to take the amazing first apartment we saw.  I called the realtor back immediately and said I was ready to sign.  I discussed and signed the contract all by myself and we had an apartment…just like that!

We live in a super cute apartment in an area of Jerusalem called Nachlaot.  Nachlaot is very much in the center of the city, an old, fairly religious neighborhood that turning to a more young, hip place to live as well.  The neighborhood is comprised of old windy street made of white Jerusalem stone and it is kind of like a little maze to walk around inside the neighborhood.  We have a convenience store, neighborhood bar, little coffee shop, and Gelateria right across the street.  This is on top of the 3 minute walk to the central Jerusalem market, a 5 minute walk to the center of the city and all the restaurants/bars/pubs there, and a 1 minute walk across the street to a huge, gorgeous park called Gan Sahker.  Oh, and a 10 minute walk or 2 minute bus ride to the central bus station.  Could it be a more perfect location? I think not.  Good find Lauren!

I’m barely ever home but Allie’s doing a great job slowly getting everything together in the apartment and when I’m home we capitalize on shopping for furniture and accessories for the apartment.

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