So I arrived in Israel. Needless to say all the anxiety and fretting were completely worthless, however they still remain in the most gruesome nausea and stomach pain.
I made it through customs at Tel Aviv with only one question, “where are you studying?” I replied and went through along with several Orthodox and those Jews less strict. I wandered to an ATM machine and took out 600 Shekels to pay the cab driver, if I could find one.
Turns out he found me and asked, “Taxi? Tel Aviv?” I said I was going to campus in Jerusalem and he grabbed my bag and told me to come along. I could really barely keep up with the guy, and boy was his driving intense and speedy.
My first experience in Israel was both humbling and touching and kind of whacky. My cab driver pulled over on the side of the road and asked if I wanted to drink some Holy Water. And given I was raised Catholic and was quietly forbidden to consume “Holy Water”, I was taken aback, but curious. So I followed him out of the cab and to the side of the road where a little spout of water was running from the ground. Someone was filling a water bottle from it as we approached. He explained that it was not dirty and that she who drinks it will not get sick. So I promptly drank, as did he. Next thing I saw shortly after was a very small, and very sad dog. He was lying in a puddle of water, dying. The cab driver gave her two days to live. The experience brought all the good and the bad into perspective as the road we were on was a dividing highway between the Arab parts and the Jewish parts. All the things I could possibly feel I felt there.
Moving on to finding campus. I had some technicalities to take care of before being issued my student card and dorm room, but when I was and I found my single bedroom in the five bedroom apartment, I was thrilled. I have four roommates. Another is from California. The other three are foreign to me. One is from Taiwan, another is Irish and the last is British. I have yet to meet my Irish roommate but I imagine she is sweet like the rest of them. They each have their own unique personalities and getting to share close quarters with them is going to be both inspiring and entertaining (We’ve already got pub hopping planned).
Class begins today at 8:30 AM and it is about a month and a half of intensive Hebrew. I’ll be going soon, so I’ll keep you posted!