Friday, January 30, 2009

Bowling adventure!

SO. Tonight we are cooking shabbos dinner for some of our friends (well, really emily is cooking, the rest of us are just helping and enjoying) and we needed to do our shopping yesterday instead of today like normal because Em has a meeting all during prime shopping hours. So we called up Ariana, the one whose apt we're using for the dinner and asked if she could shop last night instead of today, and she was like, great idea! and then she invited us to go bowling. BOWLING? okay!
So we did our shopping, ended up not spending insane amounts but still getting everything we needed for the week...Then we went back to Ari's and hung out, our friend Sarah came and joined us. Around 8 we headed out, met up with our friends Uriel, Leah and Margo (U is Argentinian, the gals are Canadian, all very cool peeps), and went to find a bus.
yes, we took jerusalem busses. it's FINE. seriously. shush.
We eventually found ourselves in Talpiot, a very nice neighborhood where some of my israeli family lives, and once we'd ascertained where the mall with the alley in it was, we walked up the street a few blocks to find food. after a few aborted attempts, we found ourselves at a place we'd been told has the best hummus ever, and also had really good food. Sarah and I split the "chicken strips", which were yummy but made my stomach hurt, and there was plentiful delicious pita and such. I did try the hummus, but it does NOT work for me. Ah well, i was really hoping to make that something i can eat here (since it's EVERYWHERE), but no luck.
Then we headed back out in the cold to the bowling alley, only to find that there was a 45 minute wait. at 10:15 on a thursday night. who knew? The rest of the mall was closed, of course, so we stayed at the alley, some of us had gelato/sorbet, and yeah. eventually we got a lane, played a game, it was fun...I ended up NOT LOSING! i was fifth. sarah got 118 to win, em got 105, Uriel 104, Ariana 90 or so, i got 88, and leah and margo were both in the lower 80s. it was fun. then we commenced another adventure, trying to find a bus stop that was on the route we wanted to get home, at 12:15ish. Eventually we found one, and waited what seemed like forever, but got it and got home. FUN!
Today i was supposed to go back to Talpiot to go to the SuperPharm with Leah but she didnt wake up when i called her so oh well. maybe on sunday. i really need a pharmacy but there's none in french hill, which sucks majorly! And the supermarket doesnt even carry general first aid stuff.

In other news:
1) is a Day in The Life up from last week, in two parts. go see!
2) INTERNET. IT IS COMING. SO. I got a call at school the other day from someone at the University, saying, hey do you want internet in your room? we're talking to bezeq (phone company) for you. i'm like WHAT KIND OF A QUESTION IS THAT! WE ALL WANT IT! Then i got a call yesterday from a lady at Bezeq (the first we have actually been able to talk to anyone from the actual company) and although she did not speak english, with the help of what sounded like her daughter translating, and my basic hebrew, she got my info and said she'd call soon with more details. and then Em heard from her cousin and he said he had set us up with a router thing for monday. i'm kind of confused. but the gist of this is that one way or another, we're GETTING INTERNET. NEXT WEEK. HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD.

I think that's it for now. :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SO! not much new to report, except that last night we went to dinner with the people who are sponsoring my roommate's stay here...They made shaina-friendly food, and were really nice people. We basically have a standing invitation for dinner, movie watching (they have a Disney collection that made us drool) and anything else we may want or need. They also gave us advice on a lot of stuff...and even gave me the name of an apparently amazing second-hand book store in the city that i DEF need to check out ASAP. they also gave me some YA fantasy books that seem like they might be ok, and i'm gonna give them a shot when i run out of the books that i brought with (which will be soon). Yup. and they sent us home with casseroles and since we somehow have a microwave in our kitchen now, we had it for dinner and have enough left for tomorrow too :-)

Today for lunch after Ulpan, Em and i tried out the grilled meat place at the Forum (kind of like a student center). We both had turky shwarma, and it was quite delicious if a bit pricy (NIS 28, ~$7, plus 7 shekels for a soda). Then I sat in the library and fought with LJ for a few hours and talked to people and such. Eventually headed home, chilled out, did my HW, ate warmed up casserole (one tuna, one mac and cheese), then headed over here to Aroma to do more internetting :-) Still no word on the internet for the room...*sigh*

ummmm yeah. Thassit :-) <3

Monday, January 26, 2009

oh, and...

Internet update: they (the internet reps that we talked to on the phone today) claim that there's nothing they can do, the phone company needs to install a new phone line or something...which is absurd because there are OFFICES in our building. they don't have phones? or internet? and nobody's lived in the dorm for THAT long? i know our floor was unused for a while, but seriously. it's crazy. Emily's Israeli cousin is going to call tomorrow to try and get more info (like, um, a DATE) out of them. i hate the Israeli bureaucracy.



classes (*=definitely taking):
JESNA--Studying Jewish education in NA*
From Jewish Jesus to Christianity*
Biblical Figures and Stories in Art
Archaeology of Jerusalem (if i get in, it's limited to 40 ppl cuz there's field trips)



So this morning started crappy...7am wakeup, and by the time i got to school i had a raging sinus headache that didn't let up at all til after Ulpan, of course. Then i had advising! My adviser is named Alick Isaacs and i think i adore him. he's british. yep. and he looked at my grades and was like, YOU'RE AMAZING. and then i told him what i was interested in and he was like WOW. he said that most people with my level of...intellectualism? intelligence? i dont remember what word he used...don't consider teaching lower grades as a career. i'm like, but that's all i've EVER wanted to do. the fact that i'm good at school has nothing to do with what i want to do in life.

so he's gonna make sure i get into this amazing class/internship program called JESNA/Lainer internship. jewish education service of north america. i get to take a class about jewish education in NA, and do an internship of my choosing--the one i want is an arab-jewish preschool at a YMCA that sounds WONDERFUL. i cannot wait. he said he would tell the prof about me, and make sure i got in no matter what. because, um, DUH. Judaic studies major, education minor, planning to go into Jewish Ed of some sort...could there BE a more perfect program? srsly people. i'm psyched.

ok, time to go find Emily if she's done with her meeting, and figure out who we need to kill (or threaten to kill) to get us internet in the room today. For real, this is ABSURD that we signed up on wednesday and they still say "in the next few days". you've had TWO AND A HALF working days so far (thursday, half of friday, sunday) not cool, stupid Bezeq. roar.

I'll update again soon!

Love m'Yerushalayim...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

my address here is:
Reznik dorms of the Hebrew University
Building 10 Room 352
Mt Scopus
Jerusalem 97665

Hopefully by the time anything you send to me gets here, i'll actually have a mailbox. if not, the mail will be sent to our area office, and i can pick it up there.

photobucket album is up, with all my pics thus far: go look!

I have to go soon, cuz we have academic orientation soon! yeesh. okey. ttyl.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Still no internet in the room...just a quick update this time.
This weekend was fun, we went to Tel Aviv yesterday to celebrate my roommate's birthday. It was really fun! Although we all spent a little more money than we'd planned, and thus my budget for the week is down down down...But we managed the taxi/Sherut (big taxis between cities) deal ourselves, and had a lot of fun with Emily's friend Aviv, who let us all stay at his place. Lots of alcohol was consumed, lots of talking and gossiping was done, not much sleep was had...ah well. it was really great. i love my roomie! (who is looking over my shoulder ;-) and waiting to use my comp cuz hers is lame)
Tomorrow we sign up for classes! eek! eeeeeeeek! i have a list. hopefully i'll get the ones i want!!!!

oy. i need all the time in the world to post more. i'm sorry. SOON! if we don't have internet by monday, we're RAISING HELL. like seriously, Israeli bureaucracy is insane. no me gusta. *le sigh*


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oy Gevalt

I always forget the stupid password for this blog, and then i couldnt figure out how to get help in frustrating. but all's good now.

Let's see. Updates.
OBAMA!!!!!!!! last night we went to the Jeff Seidel student center (which i've heard is pretty cultish, but he seems like a cool dude and they had TVs) and crammed into a small room with a bunch of other americans to watch the inauguration. it was AMAZING (with the exception of that poetess...oy) and i was in tears throughout most of it. and then immediately afterwards i called Kimo and yelled at him for not watching and then my mom and gushed about how awesome it was. I am so psyched to see what the next few years will bring...hell, the next few months! In Hebrew class we talked about the inaug, learned lots of words, read a newspaper thing...lots of new stuff.
Ulpan is scary, a bit. Yesterday we got to sing which was fun :-) but today my brain was just not functioning right and i felt very overwhelmed. Partly because Noemi always let us use cheat sheets and dictionaries, but Mazal? no way. and i've NEVER learned the future tense but apparently almost everyone in my class has. i feel dumb. :-( want a picture? or two? lets see. i only have a few on the comp right now but here:
top is the view from my friend sarah's room (note that big gold thing in the middle--yeah, that's the DOME OF THE ROCK. her view is a freaking postcard!). middle is my room, before we made it all pretty. bottom is the view from the big windows at school (all the Rothberg classes are in one building, Boyar, which i'll call "school", even though technically this school is HUGE).

more to come, plus i'll probably make a photobucket or something for all the pics i cant fit here! :-) today, we're going on a "Practical Jerusalem" tour at 2:30, and then i'm meeting my friend Adrienne (who's at school in Tel Aviv) afterwards! I'm so excited to see her, it's been...a verrrry long time (she's been here since last june). Also hopefully today i can buy tons of postcards so i can start writing and sending them :-)

Mailbox situation is still confusing, apparently they don't exist? but have been ordered? it's confusing. i promise to post my addy ASAP!


Monday, January 19, 2009

first day of class!

This morning was the first morning of Ulpan (hebrew class) for me. it was scary! All in Hebrew, little-to-no English, and LOTS that I didnt know. Hopefully I'll catch up! and she didnt give us any homework. 8:15 is just too early for my brain though, and 3/4 days are at that time. BOOOOO.

In other news, I had dinner with my Israeli fam last night. My Great-Aunt Leona, her daughter Adina, and Adina's son Ariel and his family (Ossie, his wife, and kids Elchanan, Gilad, Itay, and Zohar <3 [Shoval was at a bday party]). It was a lot of fun...Zohar, the baby, is SO CUTE it's not even funny. Itay's a little Dennis the Menace, into everything...not very vocal yet, although his parents say he has lots of words. Gilad (5?) and Elchanan (8) are sharp as tacks, very articulate and mostly polite...They remembered me, which was great, and commented on my new hair :-) We had a good chat, Ariel and Ossie invited me and Emily for Shabbos sometime, and yeah. it was good to see family. Then I went home, watched some DVDs with Emily and Sarah, and then went to bed early because we had to get up at 7. UGH.

Plan for the rest of today: we're gonna search out one of the bigger cafeterias here, then shower maybe, then explore the gym. Tonight, who knows?


Sunday, January 18, 2009


HELLO!!!!!! I've missed you all so much. I've been having some technical difficulties...but now i should be good.
Oh man.
This is such a surreal experience. At least once a day, I or one of my friends will say, "We're in Jerusalem. Walking down the street/going to class/shopping/etc" and we're all like WOAH. Every morning walking to school we have the most amazing views. From my friend's room, you can see the Dome of the Rock; it's like a postcard.
My room is fine. It was pretty shitty to begin with, but me and my amazing amazing amazing roommate Emily have really made it our own, with flowers, pictures, a desk lamp, etc. We have beds with lame israeli mattresses, one big desk with two chairs, a window and windowsill, a fridge, two big closets, and get this--a SINK. in our ROOM. it's wonderful. The bathroom is down the hall. The dorm is pretty shoddy overall, but not TOO bad. we'll live. plus it's closer to school than everyone else's dorms :-p
I start class tomorrow; Emily and a few of our friends start today cuz they're in the first level and i'm in the second.
Um. I have a whole list of things to blog my room. oops. i'm in the library, btw. no internet in the room yet, but hopefully today...
We did a lot of shopping this week. spend lots of money on sheets, food, lamps, a space heater/fan, towels, etc. but it was fun, except for the first day when we were jet lagged and we went to this HUGE mall and there were no shopping carts and it was SO busy and SO confusing and yeah. bad.
The weather has been pretty great. it rained last night, but otherwise has been warm enough to not need a jacket except at night. LOVE.
Um....yeah. i think that's ok for now. i have a million and one things to do online so yeah. love you all! Will update with my mailing address as soon as i figure out where the hell my mailbox is...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The journey has officially started...

This afternoon, I said goodbye to my house, my fish, my town, and a lot of other things, as I finished up my packing (SO MUCH STUFF AND YET I STILL LEFT A LOT HOME!!!!) and we headed to Grandma's house. We'll be here til after lunch tomorrow, then we'll head to Newark and check into our hotel there for the night.

I can't believe it's here. In less than 48 hours, I'll be on a plane, heading over 5,000 miles away from everything familiar...well, I guess I can't totally say that, because I've been to Israel three times, so a lot of it is familiar! But you know what I mean. It's totally surreal, that the thing I've been looking forward to for so long is ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

So yeah. I already know some stuff I munchies for the plane, the lactose pills I bought in Israel last time, and capris. But hopefully I have everything essential! I have a feeling, though, that I'm going to be spending a LOT of money this semester, especially the first few weeks, what with needing sheets and towels and dishes and food! Hopefully it'll settle down, but oy, it's a good thing my scholarships transfer, and if I get a double room that's $1000 less, and if I get the money from MASA that's $2000...And with Skype, which I just installed for my grandparents, calls'll be free most of the time! :-D By the way, if you have or want to get Skype, my screen name is shainamaydel87, add me and let me know so I can add you back!

Ok, I don't know what else to say here...wish me luck! Next blog from Jerusalem!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Making progress!

So i'm getting there, really i am. I've bought a lot of the things i need, like a converter, space bags, a small toiletry bag, a sleeve thing for my laptop (do you KNOW how hard it is to find one for a 17" laptop? jeesh!), small versions of some toiletries, bonine (motion sickness stuff), etc. I also have a plan for my final week here...tomorrow, possibly going to interview for a job (if not tomorrow, then wednesday), then hanging out with kate and getting my hair done and playing games and going to the Olive Garden with a bunch of friends...wednesday the packing is ON...planning to do a load of laundry and then getting ALL the stuff i want to bring together, on my brother's bed. that's what i generally do, put all my stuff in the other room first, then worry about actually fitting it in suitcases :-) so thursday and friday i'll work on putting it into bags. friday night is my brother's birthday party, and i'm staying overnight, so i'll have less time on saturday, but saturday will be final packing day. because sunday, we go to grandma's. monday, we go to Newark. tuesday, i FLY.


so today there was this pre-orientation thing. the actual thing was in NYC, and then they had an option so that ppl who couldnt get there could call in and listen. there were technical difficulties, people didnt know to mute themselves, and the speakers were really soft so we couldnt hear them very well. it was quite frustrating, but i think we still managed to glean some useful information out of it, as well as figuring out some stuff we still NEED to ask. oy. i'm getting a little more confident about stuff, but of course i'm still scared as all get-out.

seven days. oh man.