Or the “What the heck am I doing here?” day.
I visited flats with Ronen (my prof) who nicely drove me through the city with me as a GPS reading a map in Hebrew. No need to say we went in the wrong direction once or twice! When you see the outside of the building, you fear the worst for the inside. It’s so ugly, so old and so destroyed that you expect rats and snakes inside. Surprisingly all the apartment were really nice and clean and new. Three room for this price, coming from Geneva though is quite a shock! I didn’t expect that much space. On the other hand, I was surprised to see that not all flat come with a stove top… Hence some investment might be required or I won’t cure my cooking laziness.
My -so nice- professor then drove me to the shopping center for an “early lunch” (noon without a breakfast isn’t that early for me, something that will need more adjustments I guess). He showed me the different places where I could get a cell phone and drop me there then. Converted to an Israeli salary, price of cell phones are expensive, even the dumbest Nokia. But I didn’t have a choice since my Iphone is locked for 5 more months (here I need to say: I hate you Orange.ch, and you lied to me, and I hate you!!!). I wanted to compare the price between the three different shops buuuuut… Shabbat here starts around noon and I was lucky enough to have one shop open. So I bought the cheapest one, just to be able to call my cousin and find her in Ashkelon where she invited me for the week-end.
My plan was to take the last bus leaving the city at 4 and to arrive there at 5:30. I had called my cousin Liat to tell her when I was arriving but since she didn’t replied I texted her. I was hoping she’d see it on time and that her invitation was still valid, In the bus I met a really nice girl, Marina, who lives in Jerusalem but has spent most of her life in San Diego. Fortunately Liat called me when I was on my way and said she’d come to pick me up.
I arrived a few minutes in advance, and waited half an hour before trying to call her given the flexibility Israelis have with the time, and it’s only when the night started to fall and that everyone was gone that I started to freak out. I tried to call her for 3 hours and she never replied. Meanwhile I called her father to ask her address at least, since I had absolutely no place to go in this city where I’d never been before. He finally managed to reach her and told me that because her husband’s grand-mother had a heart attack, they went to Tel Aviv and would spend the week-end there.
I had to find myself a hotel room or a taxi and before I decide what to do, I just sat on the sidewalk and cried because I was exhausted and mad and only wanted to go back home and hated everyone. I know, that totally sounds like a grown up reaction. I decided that since the week end was shity and that I obviously needed to sleep, I would be better off going home and visit the city during shabbat.
At this moment a taxi stopped by me and asked me if I needed help or something (it was in Hebrew and I couldn’t understand well through my sniffing…). I told him I had to go to Beersheva, he said he’d do me a fair price, 300 shekels, I replied I didn’t have 300, only 200, and he said okay. He could speak a bit of English but I really didn’t want to speak, but that didn’t seem to bother him. I was gratified with the same speech about how it was not possible that a nice girl like me was not married yet etc… This one even offered me to go to Thailand with him for three weeks, saying he’d pay for the ticket. He insisted to give me his phone number and to promise I’d call him if I needed something. If I had been in a better mood, I’d asked for an even cheaper price for the ride 😉
Went to bed at 9.30 after what seemed to be the longest day in my life. I slept untill 10.30, no need to say I was really tired.