Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Productive Day

Today I finally managed to figure out the internet issues. Yesterday, I had called Bezek (the Israeli phone monopoly) to arrange for them to set up a connection at my house. After some frustration, I went to the Bezek store to buy my modem, and, with greater frustration, found that they had no record of me. Finally, I broke down and asked my landlord's wife for help, which she gladly provided. I walked over to her house (and my future house) and she helped me call Bezek. After long discussion, we eventually discovered that when I thought I had been signing up for a Bezek physical connection, I had actually signed up for Bezek internet service, which is a different thing entirely from the connection. After more back and forth, negotiation, and general frustration, we managed to arrange for Bezek people to come to the apartment this Sunday and set up the physical connection for a phone line to my apartment. I had originally wanted Barak, a different internet service provider, rather than Bezek, but since I had already accidentally signed up with Bezek, and reviews of both service providers was the same, I decided to just stick with Bezek and see how well it works.

Next, I headed for Ulpan Pisgat Ze'ev. I had heard of the ulpan previously, and have been desparately trying to reach the ulpan director over the last few weeks to sign up. Today I finally got a hold of her by phone and, realizing that she was actually in the office, raced over to sign up. After discussing my situation with her, I eventually learned that the ulpan here is not the sort of intensive, four hours per morning five days a week type of studying that I wanted, but only one day a week, and it lasts a full year. All of the intensive ulpans began last Sunday. At this point I can either try to crash the intensive ulpan and start in a week late, or I can take the laxidazical Pisgat Ze'ev Ulpan, which starts in October after the holidays end. At this point I am inclined to simply take no ulpan at all this semester, focus on getting settled and putting my job and life in order, and then taking an ulpan in January once my situation is more stable. My Hebrew is certainly good enough to get around, if not yet strong enough to successfully order internet service.

Later in the day, I took the number eight bus out to Talpiot and bought a folding table and an inflatable mattress for my apartment. Moshe picked me up, fed me ice cream, took me to Minchah/Ma'ariv, and then took me back home. Tomorrow I want to head into central Jerusalem to look at some second-hand stores and see what kind of appliances I can find for less. But right now, tomorrow is so far away, and I'm so wiped out, that I can hardly even envision anything beyond my pillow.


Yaakova said...

I'm so glad you had a productive day, even if it was long!
BTW, my guide book says, and I quote, "Route details and timetables are available in English at" (for bus service.) I hope it's helpful!

Ephraim said...

Just checked out the site. Cool! Thanks for the reference