Well I really just don't have the time to blog, or actually do anything else. I have to work on time management. The fact that I am writing this now shows that I might actually start getting there. The process of Aliyah takes a while and there is much bureaucracy to go through. After going on a long journey to Lishkat Giyus Tel Hashomer (Tel Hashomer Recruitment office) and not even getting past the information desk outside the offices, and faxing a few times, and calling many times until I find out a good way to avoid the long telephone menus and actually reach a person in a few seconds instead of waiting on hold for 5 minutes and thn being disconneted, and then having Liora (she is the best), the yeshiva Secretary to call on my behalf, I finnaly got my tzav rishon (first call up) to be in a week, more about why that's so important later.
If you think I haven't being a good job of keeping up my blog now, be prepared when I go into the wilderness for 7 weeks this summer.
For now before I got to bed I will relate one story:
I was getting my phone fixed today. My phone does everything but ring which is a bit of a problem when it is also your alarm clock and you don't always have it in a place where you can feel the vibrations. After starting at the place I bought my phone, they told me I needed to go to the "Orange" store, which luckily was about 600 meters down the road, at least something was going right. I figure while I am there I might see about other plans instead of my current pay-as-you-go.
It had a nice atmosphere and you could see through a big window into the area where the technicians were working; it was still a place where you had to wait and wait of course. They gave me no trouble about warranties or faults or this or that. They just checked that I didn't accidentally have it on silent and took it in. Meanwhile I had a sales rep explain to me that I shouldn't buy now, and should wait until I get a certain status in the process of the army (which an Israeli is explaining to me as I write this). I learn a bit of mishna Eruvin as I wait for my phone to be fixed. The phone works for about 3 rings before dieing again, but by that time the store already closes in ten minutes and I am busy at the doctor filling out driving license forms. The interesting Israeli story to this:
There were these two guys, I was trying to figure out how to refer to them, they were an amazing sociological or psychological phenomenon. One was "dati" and the other was "hiloni", but I wouldn't consider either one religious or ethical secular. The word that kept on creeping into my head was the ביריונים beryonim of the mishna (or from the movie Kazablan). I guess thugs, but it wouldn't do them justice, maybe "grown-up" Arsim. The manager was working at the checkout, where I was buying a set of headphones (so I could listen to the radio for news in Hebrew and spend less of my computer time reading the news). They get fed up and walk around the shop, so I sit down on the stool where one of them was sitting.
He comes back and says "I was here first, so get up" but not in such a menacing way, and I happened to agree with him that even though he left he still was there first so I said "yah sure go ahead sit". As the rest of the customers and I wait in line and other people keep coming up and complaining about how its been an hour, even though "the computer says very clearly that you have been waiting 14 minutes, but I will do my best", this guy keeps on being pushy to the manager about finding two girlfriends of his work at the shop. In Israel, that's fair enough, you push for the unusual things for your friends and you sometimes get what you are after.
The manager was accepting his actions, as he was on the phone with one of the girls, she was telling him that they should come to the shop with a CV. He asks her to hire them on the spot or at least guarantee them jobs by tomorrow or the day after. She explains to him that as much as she has a role, "Orange" also is involved and you can't cut corners like this in a real company, because it just won't work even for her. She is helpful, giving him information, telephone numbers, and a website, but he wants a fax number for the CVs. She explains that "Orange"'s website has fax details but that she doesn't have the number for a fax to accept CVs in the shop. He gets fed up and gets her to take the phone from him to talk to the girl herself.
Meanwhile the "dati"(and by that I mean he was wearing a kipa) friend is on the store's phone making calls. Neither has any respect for anyone in the store or any societal norms and are pushing it to the point where I would think in America or any other western country you would ask them to please step out of the shop.
I laugh a bit about how ridiculous this is that people are barely phased by this here. The guy who now has nothing to do as the manger is talking on his cell phone yells at me "are you laughing at me?", I wanted to answer "YES! you are acting like thugs out of a movie and everyone is demurring to your every wish", but I just said "yah just the situation."
He wasn't happy and he said back "Well if you keep laughing, I am going to make you cry," which just wanted to make me laugh more. He got distracted and was just going around being bothersome.
While he was away a well biult guy said to me "you can't go around talking talking like that, not everyone in the world is a nice person like you."
The manager replies "yah you have to be careful you can't argue with these guys you have to just agree."
While this is atypical, I could only imagine this happening to me in Israel.
Instead of capitulating to the every whim of these thugs we should get them negotiating with the Palestinians, maybe show the Palestinians that if we wanted to really be ruthless thugs with nothing in mind but ourselves we could be. It would be a nice way to set the tone before entering real negotiations.