I’ve purchased my flight to LAX. I really wanted to fly down on Christmas Eve, rent a hotel, and take like a 6 am taxi to the airport even though my flight leaves at 1:30 pm on Christmas Day. Instead I leave at 6 am on Christmas morning.
Birthright sufficiently frightened me with their warnings of arriving at least 4 hours early because apparently flights to Israel are always overbooked AND not to mention there are always possibilities of storms or fog that mean you might lose out on your ONE chance to go to Israel. I’m really just trying hard NOT to think about this anymore. Thinking leads to what-ifs, and that’s a horrible road to travel.
So, to save some money and to not completely alienate and upset my parents (note to self: do not look at mother’s face when you say you’re going to Israel… and leaving on Christmas Day), I decided to leave very, very early on Christmas morning.
I’ve also received all vaccine updates. None of them were necessary for traveling to Israel (can you tell I’m used to Latin American destinations?), but rather for general life. However, I do appreciate a mobile jaw, and I assume they have rusty metal in Israel just like we do here. I’ve also received new inhalers and was pleasantly surprised to see that a formerly way-too-expensive preventative inhaler has been added to the list of covered meds under my medical plan. Woot.
I received my order of shekelim I ordered from BofA (one of three reasons I will never entirely disassociate myself from the Big Banks, sorry Occupy movement) after arriving to an airport once that had no open exchange offices. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but leave it to me to encounter it.
I started making packing lists. This weekend I will begin assembling everything into one corner of my bedroom that I want to take but am likely to forget.
I rented a cell phone, with an American number, so I can call home and even text. I’m hoping this will be easier for my parents than having to figure out the enigma that is dialing a cell phone in Argentina from a landline in the United States. This expense is entirely so my parents have SOME peace of mind. They have no conception of Israel beyond the headlines involving rocket explosions and are (naturally worried). Of course, I have not mentioned the deterioration of Turkish-Israeli relations. Nor the Palestinian bid for statehood in the UN general assembly and their award of membership in UNESCO. Nor that Gilad Shalit has returned home, at the expense of releasing hundreds of terrorists. That Israel and Gaza have experienced an escalation through the tumultuous “negotiations” for statehood. Before the approval of additional construction in contentious sites. That Iran and Israel seem to be involved in a nuclear peeing contest. As Almost Jewish said, “The prospect of all-out war seems much closer and more real than it did when [I] thought, “Hey, let’s go to Israel!”
I also rented a cell because I have no idea how I’m going to survive 10 days without any contact from The Boy. I never thought I’d turn into THAT girl, but I have. Haven’t exactly determined how I feel about that yet.
Last weekend’s task, besides housework, was researching a new digital camera. There is a really amazing camera shop in Palo Alto that has many models and will actually let you PLAY with them, no pressure, until you decide which one to buy. If you even decide to buy. The Nikon Coolpix P300 was on sale until the 19th, so I ordered one from Amazon on the 18th with the idea of returning it in 30 days if my hands-on and virtual research turned up another contender. Good thing Black Friday and Monday are so soon!
Those are all the practical preparations. My coworkers keep asking me, “are you excited yet?” And the answer is, “I haven’t even gotten there yet! Seems so far off, so distant, like any other day in my life. Why would I get excited about that?” I don’t know why I’m not more giddy, but I’m not. I tend to be of the philosophy that given the choice, look at the glass half empty because if it turns out to be half full, then you’re not let down or disappointed by the demands of your expectations. So far it’s seemed to work out well for me. I’m planning on entering the Holy Land with a clear and open mind.