Yeah, the world is in a big balagan now. I decided to get out of the Pisgah, and Dena and Moish of Modiin offered me a place to crash in their Little House of Breslov, so I headed out west. They even let me set up a little office in their daughter Rivka's room, where I was able to finally tackle some serious work and get caught up on my projects.
Still no news, or at least good news, on the apartment search. I showed up at Lalouche's office at 10 AM, as he instructed me to, when he was to help me look for apartments, but he never showed. I called him at 10:15, "I'll be there in 15 minutes." I called him at 11:00, "I'm not coming, but my brother David is." At 11:05 his brother David called, "I'm not coming." I tried to get upset, to yell at the guy, but I just couldn't muster the energy. I have only been sleeping two to three hours per night thanks to jet lag, so just staying awake during the day requires all my effort.
Lallouche is now offering to help me make a list of available apartments, but he's demanding money if he arranges the meetings with the various landlords to see the apartments, something he had offered to do for free last week. At this point, I'm just saying to hell with the guy. I don't want any help from him. It will make it that much easier for me to sue him, which cousin Rafi says I can still do in spite of the cancellation of the contract. "It's simple, you just go to small claims court and fill out a form." Figure I've got nothing to lose, maybe he would be less inclined to take advantage of new immigrants in the future, and it would be fun just to imagine the look on his face when he gets a summons from this little push-over.
But the first priority is still to get a roof over my head. Unfortunately, it looks as if the housing market is pretty much dead for Sukkot. Very, very few apartments are showing up on the rental sites. For the few that do, nobody is really answering the phone now anyway. I've also tried flathunting.com (Israel apartment rental site) and have been looking into a roommate. The problem for me to move in as a roommate in an apartment that has already been rented is that it would likely already have a fridge and washing machine, and I wouldn't know what to do with mine.
Meanwhile, everyone else seems to be in the same situation. Moish started his new job at IDT, an international call center in Jerusalem, before I left for America. It's a great job for new immigrants from the states since most of the work involves telemarketing to the U.S., so there is no Hebrew requirement and new olim can begin work right away. The down side is that he has to work the night shift (12AM-7AM) to match up with American hours. He's been doing it three weeks and he's still a zombie. Funny, all I want to do during the day is sleep, and all I want to do at night is stay up, and he's on the opposite schedule. Wish we could swap jet lags.
Yigal called me and said that if we room together he is only planning on living with me for three months before moving out. Well, that seriously messes up my financial planning. I had originally rented the place in San Simon for $510, an amount I can afford on my own, with the thought of living there alone, and I had just happened to find a particularly good deal, and later thought of inviting Yigal. But most 2-BR apartments are going for $650-$700, so I don't know if I could swing that on my own for 9 months. I let him know that I would do everything I could to help him, and if I found another great deal I would like to help him, but that he was now on his own as far as I'm concerned. He was understanding, but exhausted (he's working swing shifts too.)
Meanwhile, my other friend, M., who is now engaged, is also searching for an affordable 2-BR place, and can't find diddley either. And that's not to mention the stress of finding a wedding hall, planning the whole affair, and, oh yeah, preparing to move in with someone for the rest of your life.
Friend #4, A., is back in the states, helping his parents move for the next month, and as far as I know doesn't have a place lined up here when he gets back.
Upheaval is unpleasant, but at least I have company.
Unlike basically all other Jews, Chabad chassidim do not sleep in the Sukkah. While I would not consider myself a Chabad chassid (I've got no beard and hat,) I still like to default to Chabad minhag (custom) when in doubt, so I haven't been sleeping in the Sukkah. Of course, Chabad also doesn't eat or drink anything, even so much as a glass of water, outside the sukkah, and I haven't been so strict on that this year.
So, here at Moish's house, I was invited to sleep out in his sukkah, and decided to take him up on it. I figure it's a sort of total bittul (self-nullification,) like saying, "Yeah, I get it Hashem, I'm supposed to be homeless now." Got a full 5-1/2 hours, the best sleep I've had all week. Now I've just got to try not to let the stress of homelessness interfere with the joy of Sukkot.