Tuesday, June 24 – Arrival and Move In

So Ben Gurion airport was not as friendly to us as LAX. We had to stand in each line the whole time, no cutting, and we invariably choose the wrong line! But we were with Nicole and her family so the children were entertained and (mostly) behaved!

Through passport control. Luggage. And exiting into the clear Israel afternoon sunshine. Did I say “clear”? I meant “hot”, actually, “really hot”. Might as well add a whole lot of sunny hear to fourteen hours of sweat, dirt and grime from the long flight!

Found a cab. Of course the people in front of us in the cab line, a couple, got a van for a taxi, the single guy behind us got a van, but the five of us and all of our luggage were fortunate enough to squeeze into a small sedan. Such joys!

Oh yeah, since I didn’t start this log until Sunday, in Los Angeles, I left out many good packing stories, all about our efforts to keep our suitcases light – none more interesting, by the way, than the discussion about car seats. The end result, no car seats this summer.

In fairness, we don’t anticipate spending much time in automobiles, but even so, it is REALLY ODD sitting in a car with Shayna in her own seat with a seatbelt, Nadiv the same, and Maital on one of our laps.

That’s okay, just to make out first ride sans car seats really special, this cab had no seat belt in the middle of the backseat. Again, not to worry, the driver drove as safely as one would expect from an Israeli cabbie! The 40 minute cab ride from Ben Gurion in to Jerusalem felt longer than the plane ride!

But, thank G-d, we made it.

Matan, the same apartment agent who found us a place last summer, was waiting at our apartment for us.

Beautiful place! Just renovated – all new furniture, appliances, everything all the way to the large flat screen TV, okay a little bit too much like home in the States. For those who remember Israel television as three government-run channels on an old black and white – the world has changed. High def big screen, and 44 channels. Unlike my cable at home, no Asian languages, but we do have 24-hour a day programming in Hebrew, English, British English (different language entirely), Russian, French and even an Evangelical channel. Amazing that just like American cable, all these channel, in all these languages, and there is still nothing on!

Of course, this being Israel, the apartment was completely updated, but the floors are the original tile from the ‘50s when it was built!

But basically, we get to be the very first residents in a brand new place. Very nice.

And the best part – we are across the street from a pizza parlor. The only thing better than living in Jerusalem? Living in Jerusalem across the street from a pizza parlor!

Not just the pizza parlor, but lots of great hangouts in our neighborhood. About a quarter of a mile (about 400 meters) up the street, a very large “Mister Zul” supermarket. In fact, we went to the supermarket to pick up some basics, and while walking home I realized it is closer from our apartment to the supermarket than it is from the back of the parking lot to the Vons by our house!

Around the house we also have an Angel bakery, a coffee shop, and to get to each of them, we have to pass the pizza parlor. I love this neighborhood.

Needless to say, we had pizza for dinner. Cleaned up a bit and off to sleep (or so we thought).

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