Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Personal Matzav Update

Tuesday, December 25, 2001, 8:00:38 PM

My personal situation at this time can be best described as "Serious to moderate." It started with my tuition wavier. I just couldn't get a wavier for my tuition through the stupid, backward bearocracy here for months, and therefore couldn't register for my classes for this semester. Then, my stipend fund from the university ran out so I quickly ran out of money and ended up about 2,000 shekels in overdraft. They tried to find other money for me, but I couldn't get it deposited into my account until I had registered for classes, which required the tuition wavier. Finally, the tuition wavier eventually went through, thank G-d, but I still couldn't register for classes because I had to pay 500 shekels for bills to the university, but I couldn't pay this bill until I got my stipend, and I couldn't get the stipend without registering for classes, so I was stuck. In the meantime, I didn't have enough money to buy food, and ended up digging into my pasta reserves which I had saved for the long winter months. Eventually, I got enough money from a combination of loans and grants to pay the fees to the university and register for classes, but I still didn't have the stipend because my grades last year were extremely bad, and you have to do well to get a stipend. I explained my situation, that I was a new immigrant and don't speak Hebrew very well, but they told me they simply don't have any money to give me anyway, so I was still starving. In the mean time, I received notice from the U.S. Department of Education that they do not recognize my institute of higher learning and my loan payments are now in default and will be forwarded to a credit agency. I eventually took care of that by declaring myself unemployed and experiencing extreme financial difficulty, and got another year of deferment.

In the mean time, I ran out of money with which to buy bottled water, so I started drinking from the tap and, as expected, got the stomach flu. I ran out of toilet paper but couldn't afford to buy more, so I had to run two blocks to work every time I had to use the camode, until I figured out that I could take some T.P. with me. My boss just dug up a few thousand shekels yesterday from some fund he had and transferred them to my account so I can pay rent and was able to buy some groceries, and I should have enough to last me through the end of the semester, but I'm not out of the woods yet, as I still owe about 2,100 shekels to seven different people, and have a 600 shekel phone bill because I had to keep calling the U.S. to arrange my loans.
Thank G-d my problems are only financial.

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