Originally published September 2, 2009
Once upon there was a red suitcase made of fabric and plastic, and it lived in a store. It had rollers and two handles, for easy maneuvering. One day, a nice man came in to buy the suitcase, and the travels began. The suitcase saw many different homes and traveled to many different states, even Hawaii! The most exciting adventure for the suitcase was yet to come: a whole semester in Israel. It could not wait. When it was packed with lots of important things and ready to go, it was loaded up in a car for its first flight.
The suitcase liked Boston a lot, but was glad to get away. This little red suitcase was so excited to get to its destination that it got off at Rome and thought the journey was done! So it stayed in Rome while its best friend, the blue framed backpack, went on to Israel. Upon realizing its mistake, it was horrified and tried to correct it but it was too late. It would have to take a later flight and arrive in Israel at 4am. But even then it could not see its owner for a little while, it had to be shipped up to Haifa. The first full day in Israel came and went, but still no trip to Haifa. It hoped and hoped that it would reach Haifa soon; going around Israel alone was scary!
To be continued…
Well that pretty much sums up half my trip so far. Unfortunately, I am missing the large majority of my clothing (though I have all my shoes, long pants and sweaters) and other necessities (like pens and pencils). But the airline said it was still in Rome and I am hoping that it gets here soon. The flights were fine other than that. The flight attendants even served wine on my flight, just as one of the drinks on the cart! I got a kick out of that. It took me a while to get to campus so by the time I arrived, the stores were closed and I had granola bars for dinner. I met my two suitemates last night too, Abby from NY and Rachel from CT. Our Israeli roommates aren’t here right now, and might not be back until October.
Breakfast was better as I stopped by the mini mart on my way to class for a yogurt. Then in class we actually got coffee and tea and some food; they feel bad because the campus is closed for vacation right now until Sunday so they’re helping to feed us. Works for me! We started off strong and continued that way all day. We started around 9am and continued until almost 3pm. A long day, yes, but the professor is just wonderful! He is originally from NJ so he has no accent, and he is very expressive, interesting, interactive and fun to listen to. The last hour was tough, but that’s just because I’m tired and still adjusting, and because it’s tough to sit for 6 hours and listen to ancient history. We started in about 1800 BCE and went up to 142 BCE. I’ve figured out that the study tour is basically a birthright trip with a lot more history. We learn about similar things, see similar places and do similar things. This is great news for me because I never did birthright and can’t now because of the trip, but I’m not missing out at all!
There are about 20 other international students in the study tour; most are from America with 2 Danish, 1 Australian, 2 Canadians, 1 Chinese and 1 from London. It’s a good group and they all seem really nice. One girl, Rochelle, was talking about traveling after the study tour on the 23rd of September, and so we got talking about where we wanted to go. We’re thinking of traveling to Jordan where she knows some people, and then down to Egypt, which I was planning on doing anyways. It should be a lot of fun.
After class, we went with our social activities coordinator, Mikhail, to Haifa on the bus. It was nice to see the city during the day since I got in very late the night before. We did some food shopping and walked around a bit. I got lots of pasta, pesto, granola, milk, yogurt, hangers (useful once I have clothing to hang), and a plug adapter. Oh and 2 pens at this “Shekel” store, where everything costs a shekel. That’s like instead of going to a dollar store, going to a quarter store. It’s great! In general, things are much cheaper here.
We got back around 7 and I cooked myself some pasta. It went pretty well and I was quite pleased with the result, with plenty left over for the upcoming days. And I only cooked half a bag! I think next on my shopping list is some cheese, peanut butter and bread. Maybe pitas and humus too, along with some notebooks.
After dinner, we (my suite-mates and I) hung out with our neighbors downstairs who were very nice. They came up stairs to introduce themselves and invited us for a beer. They were fun to hang out with but we were still jet lagged so we left for bed after a bit.
Class today was not as exciting as yesterday which is reasonable since the novelty has worn off, but I still enjoyed it. I have a lot of terms and people to look up on wikipedia tonight, that’s for sure! Also, I got my cell phone this morning and have been playing around with it, changing the options and features.
Luckily, we have a fun field trip planned for tomorrow. We meet the bus at 7:30am and then drive around to see many sites. I’ll write more about where we went and what we did after we do it. The field trip days balance out the seminar days pretty well, which is nice. We have the field trip tomorrow, then Friday and Saturday off, and then class on Sunday through Thursday. It’s a bit of an odd schedule, but at least we get a full two days break.
I’m still fighting to get my little very important bag back. I called the airport and they have it which is good news, but I have one shot to get it when they come by to drop it off tomorrow or I have to go to the airport to get it. But, the office it’s being dropped off at is only open until 4pm, and I won’t be here at all as we have a field trip. I’m not happy about that. Hopefully, and I’m really really hoping, that it will be dropped off at the right time and I won’t have to make a 4+ hour round trip to Tel Aviv, as much fun as it is. It would cost a lot and be very frustrating, taking up time I don’t want to spend searching around Tel Aviv in the same clothes I’ve been wearing all week. I’m really going to start to smell.
So I’ll wear what I can tomorrow, apologize for the smell, and really really hope that I can go pick it up on Friday at the office. Provided that they are open. Or I might go without clothing until Sunday. Man I really hope.
That’s about all for now; I’m feeling quite lazy so I think I’ll nap some and then have another serving of Kate’s Perfect Pesto Pasta for dinner and get some sleep.