Today was a 12-hour day but SOOOO productive. Along the way, I had my "moments," but all in all, things went well. Where to begin? I guess from the beginning!
I started the day at the Municipality of Maale Adumim getting the info I needed on the 90% reduction on real estate taxes for our first year (yes, ANOTHER benefit of Aliya). From there, it was off to Jerusalem for a whirlwind day of events. It began with a breakfast meeting to discuss potential job opportunities with someone trying to help me out. From there, I went to the bank to make what I thought was my only trip of the day...silly me! It seems that I needed to bring a particular document there from a meeting that I had not yet had! So...I did most of the paperwork, leaving the second half to later on (as long as I could be back by 4pm!). From there, I walked about 15 minutes to meet up with my lawyer (Aryeh Rachlin...I mentioned him before and will say again: anyone in need of a real estate lawyer in Israel, let me know...he is the best!) We met and drank a L'Chaim to the process that began in his office 2 1/2 years ago, now coming to an end with our taking posession of the house.
From there it was off to Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) for a "fair" and to pick up our Teudot Zehut (singular: Teudat Zehut). This is the National Identity Card. It is who you "are" to the State of Israel. It is as important as your driver's license, Social Security card and passport all rolled into one! It also was a VERY moving moment to receive this card. I was almost brought to tears (again!) as it was handed to me. I was SOOO proud!
Then, I met with the local representative in Maale Adumim who apprised me of the various programs and discounts available to us as new residents of the community. Following that, I met for over an hour with our shipper (Sonigo/Shmuel Mantinband...another great guy!) about our shipment. It actually looks like we may get our lift on TUESDAY! WHOAH...how is THAT for a wake up call!!
From there, the PLAN was to take a bus to the general area of the bank to return with the necessary documents. (All of those documents along with several others would be needed at Misrad haKlita to receive the rest of our Sal Klitah (absorption basket of rights). All was going fine (timing-wise) until the bus hit a LOT of traffic. Instead of waiting for the traffic to clear, he decided to make a new route! So...off I ran to get to my destination. As I was about to leave the bus, I dropped my Blackberry that fell into 4 pieces (easily re-assembled) as well as my cell phone. No pressure there as 20 or so amused passengers watched (and helped) me and my predicament!
Ok, off the bus and realizing I was at least 2 miles away and had about 25 minutes until the bank closed...what to do...what to do...I could pull an OJ Simpson (no, not the event on Rockingham; rather, his running through airports for a rental car company). I chose to take the more modest way out and walk REALLY fast to catch an alternate bus about a mile away. Victory was mine (I thought) as I arrived at the bank at 3:50pm...but the door was locked! Now what!?!? Turns out that the guard was getting ready to close up early but he did indeed let me in.
And in one of those only-in-Israel moments, I "bonded" with the one taking care of me at the bank, as we segued into talking about Starbucks and the need to make a public push to bring them to Israel!
From there a short walk to my uncle, an improptu visit with some Chicagoans I met along the way and then a bus ride home (boy that sounds nice!) to Maale Adumim.
How tired was I? Andy had left her phone for me to give one of my daughters who was going out, but we could not find it. I called the phone and kept hearing it ring, but could not find it! Finally, I realized it was in my pocket!!!
Ok...time to get some shut-eye...busy day tomorrow...talk to you soon!