Friday, September 15, 2006

Blood Sucking Attorneys

For a few minutes this afternoon, I toyed with the idea of calling in a favor from Robert Shapiro. Yes, that Robert Shapiro. The man who played a pretty big part in the OJ Simpson defense team. I know Mr. Shapiro because I took him to The Today Show one morning a few years ago as he had a live interview with Matt Lauer regarding work he was doing with one of the firm's clients. Since I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to be there, and basically make sure he was all prepared for the interview (the man is a media pro, no coaching was really necessary from me) and keep him company before and after the appearance, I spent a good hour chatting with him. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him if I ever needed anything.

But, the reasons I didn't use that number today were as follows:
1) What is he going to do for me here in Israel? Chances are, the man has no clue about Israeli law
2) I left his cell phone number in my rolodex at my parent's house
3) Because the dude might one day want to meet him, and I don't want to blow that favor right now

I will say this, if I had Robert Shapiro on my team, I don't think the apartment situation would be as difficult.

Here's the update on my living situation:
I am going to contract tomorrow with Itai and his Aunt, Lea, who would be my landlord. Lee is coming in from R'anana to sign as my guarantor. But, he has some problems with the contract. After he explained the problems to me, I agreed with 85% of his issues. I spoke to Dad about the same issues, so we're all on the same page with the problems.

And, I just really don't know what to do. I'm in a unique situation here because I have no family in Israel, I am not employed in Israel and, as a student, don't have income coming into this country that the landlords know about, my Hebrew is so bad that it's laughable. Seriously, what did I do all year in Ulpan? I couldn't really get through the contract, and had three different people read and explain it to me (including Itai). There are a couple of things in the contract that I don't think are particularly fair to me, but other things that aren't fair but I would be willing to look the other way because I know that they really are taking a chance on me. Again, no family, no job, is a big negative when trying to rent an apartment to me. This is a handicap that I wasn't expecting here.

That being said, I'm taking a lot of faith just like they are, and I hope this is going to be a shidduch made in heaven. I can go for a full year without putting anything on the walls, my refridgerator of course will be LITTERED with great pics of the family and friends, and no having a pet in the apartment is no big deal either. Although, I recently offered to watch Tokyo when Ari goes on vacation, so now we're going to have to work something else out. What was funny was that the contract mentions I can't even have a goldfish in the apartment if I wanted one. Could you imagine what would have happened if I brought Angus to Israel with me? I wouldn't get this apartment, that's for sure!

So folks reading this tonight, say a little prayer that tomorrow morning will all work out. That I'll be able to move into the apartment before Shabbat and finally try to get settled.

Now, IF everything falls through, I have a backup plan. But, I also want to write about the great people who have been helping me with everything who deserve mentions in this blog because I would be completely lost without them:

Gayle (a great girl I met here in Tel Aviv) is going away for a few weeks and I could rent her apartment in the interim. Since I'm going to be in Jerusalem for almost a week, and then a few days in Ein-Gedi, and then back in Jerusalem before school starts, I really just need a place to crash for 2 weeks out of next month. Gayle said I could move in on Thursday of next week, so I would just need to spend another week here. NOT ideal, but doable if necessary.

Also, I got a call from Oren tonight, another great guy I met here in Tel Aviv. He called to invite me for Shabbat dinner, which was really awesome of him as I won't have a fridge when I move into the apartment and will be pretty hungry I suspect come dinnertime. The only thing he asked for was for me to make a taco salad (it's nice to know my taco salad is an international hit). Fortunately, I still had all the ingredients for the dressing, which I've already made and have chilling in the fridge. Oren is going to pick up most of the ingredience for me tomorrow and then I'll make the salad when I get to his apartment tomorrow night. He ALSO offered to help me move tomorrow, which is going to be such a tremendous help. It was really nice of him to offer, and I really appreciated that he call to do all that.

Jeff, as you all know, has been great since the third day I've been in Israel. He called again tonight and helped explain parts of the contract. It was terrific!

My friends at school have also been really great too. Lisa, a Brit who lives with her husband and children in Netanya, offered to host me for Shabbat and any of the Chagim if I need a place to go. That was really sweet of her, she said she understood my pain. But Tamara has been my rock. Not only am I going over to her house in R'anana on Monday night so I can change the scenery and concentrate on my writing and also just recharge and destress, but she is going to take me furniture shopping and is lending me a drafting table and folding chairs so I have a place to work until I get furniture. PLUS, she is taking me home after class on Monday and then driving me and the stuff back into Tel Aviv on Tuesday night, after which we will go to hear Etgar Keret (great Israeli writer) speak at a bookstore on Dizengoff. All I have to remember to do for her is pick up a book at Halper's. I plan on taking care of that on Sunday, regardless of where I'm at.

It's getting late and I still want to shower and finish packing, but have a couple more quick things to write.

Shulamit - I am sorry we keep playing phone tag. I am down to my last few minutes on my cell phone and need them for tomorrow. As soon as that's all done, I'll give you a call! Thanks for the persistence!

Today I watched the security men from Brink, you know those trucks that deposit and deliver money to banks, deliver cash and shekel to the Bank Leumi across from my bus stop. They actually deliver the money with their guns drawn. I know this because when they hopped out of the brink truck in front of me, I watched as they clutched the sacks of money in one hand and held out their guns with their other hands. For a minute, I actually thought it was going to be an armed robbery and then it registered that they were delivering the cash and not trying to break out with it. It was soo interesting watching it all unfold, I would have asked them about it had they holstered their weapons. Truth be told, that was scarier for me to watch then all the Chayalim who walk around with Uzi's all day.

Ari Samuel has twin brother living in Israel, and they ride my #64 bus every afternoon. They are part of this Chayalim unit that is always on the bus when I get on at Bar Ilan. The twins sit next to each other, although one outranks the other. One has an orange beret and the other a green one. They basically sleep or stare off until we get to their stop near the train station. Who knew that they're could be not one, but TWO, other Ari Samuels running around. I'm going to take a photo and send it around soon, so y'all can see what I'm talking about.

OK - I think that's everything. If this apartment works out, I won't be able to blog again until I get to R'anana on Monday night. So, if you don't see any updates, you know that the apartment all worked out.

Song of the evening is Mad World by Tears for Fears, because it's a great song and the theme from Donnie Darko.

Shabbat Shalom!

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