Friday, August 22, 2008

Wednesday August 20th Plant a Tree Campaign

We came up with the slogan the JNF should use for selling trees this year. "Buy a dozen trees, help a new oleh open a bank account."

We have been waiting to get our Tudah Zehut in order to open a bank account. At 8:30 this morning DW called to schedule an appointment. They told us that we would be able to come in right away. We went to Bank Hapolim to set up our account. It was a fairly simple process except we kept having to sign page after page after page of documents. I think it took 10 minutes just to sign the papers. They were very friendly and helpful with dealing with the banking system. We decided to get a debit card and a credit for free. Often there is a huge deposit required to get a credit card. (The balance on Israeli credit cards are automatically withdrawn from the bank account on a fixed date each month.) Our bank cards will be available next week. I now understand why banks are only open until 1:15 most days of the week. It takes the rest of the afternoon to finishing processing the one account they were able to set up for the day.

We then attempted to buy a cell phone. The first place we went had some kind of renovations going. We were told that we should come back after 4:00. We then went to exchange some of our US cash (the bank told us it would be cheaper through a money changer). They were next to the other cell phone provider in the plaza. We asked the money changer what time the cell phone place opened. They said they had no idea but probably 10:30. After 11:00 we decided to give up and head back to the place we were staying. Later in the day we went to another mall and with a cell phone store. They didn't sell 'kosher phones' so we were not sure how their rates compared to the other packages. We decided we will go to one of the bigger malls where we can talk to all of the cell phone providers.

We went to enroll Boo in school. The school system does not make a distinction between nursery and JK. After explaining how smart Boo is with a photographic memory and agreeing she would repeat Gan Chovah (SK) they agreed to let her in. The battle for grade 1 will be pushed off until next year. At least that decision will be made on Boo's merits instead of when her birthday happened to fall. A little more haggling and they let her into the public school 3 minutes from where we are going to live.

I took care of the post office portion of the health insurance for myself. DW still needs to go to the post office to take care of herself and Boo. Once that is done we will drop it off at the Kuppah so the full coverage can kick in. I made arrangements for our VOIP line, land line and internet. I also spoke with Rabbi B. It was really nice to speak to him again. L & DW went grocery shopping in the afternoon, while I watched the kids. We decided to give our hosts a break splurged for pizza to be delivered.

Tonight was game night. DW went to bed early as she has not had a good nights sleep in almost a month. I was introduced to the game El Grande. I was able to keep up with the game. One player took a long time planning out strategy. At one point he took a card for his turn and spent a long time plotting his move. I was able to use the time to plan out my next move. He then decided to switch cards. I was really annoyed. Instead of taking time to rethink my strategy with a card I was not sure how to use effectivly I used it to destroy his positioning on the game board.

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