11 October 2007

I want COFFEE...and so on and so forth.

Rafi's birthday has been good for him, but there’s some stuff about Israel is getting to me. I will elaborate.

So, two days ago, I went back to Hebrew U to pay my bill, and I was fuming. I had logged in to see that they had added on a daily charge of $25 for no reason. I was ready to fight -- but my friend from Finance logged into the screen with my name on it (it was very bizarro-HR for me to be on the other side of the paycheck, or in this case, bill review.), looked quizzically at the screen, said, "No, that's not right," and deleted the charges without a peep from little-miss-almost-a-lawyer. I was ready to fight, but Finance Friend took care of it, without a PEEP from me. A miracle! The first non-frustrating interaction with Hebrew U to date!

On the way back, I went to Aroma (like Starbucks) to pick up coffee-oid drinks for Rafi and me. This time, I got one frappachino-thing, the Ice Aroma, and, after some coaching from Rafi, I even ordered a Caffe Kar Im Kerach, Im Sucar v' Chalav. (Iced coffee WITH ICE, with sugar and milk.) For the love of all that is holy, I just wanted to get coffee with ice in it. I really don't understand what Aroma's problem is. The girl at the counter was like, "so you want cappuchino?" She even had another customer translate her Hebrew (which I, for once, understood) and I was like, "I want COFFEE with pieces of ICE floating in it." She looked at me like I was crazy, and then had apparently hilarious conversations with other Aroma-workers about the crazy order with the coffee and the ice without coming from a blender, and WITH cubes!?! I don't really know why this was so funny...I am trying to think of a scene from a movie or TV that would accurately depict the scene, but I am coming up dry. (Brother Mark, any thoughts? Arrested Development, maybe?) They should spend a day on any street in NYC and THEN try to get one of their precious blended drinks from the guy in the little silvery booth, and then come back and make fun of my order. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Later that day, I went to dinner with a friend from UF, who confirmed for me that I am, indeed, just like my younger brother Mark. It was great to catch up with him, to know I had another ally in Gator-game watching (Many of my Jerusalem Gators are named David, apparently), and to gorge on Burgers Bar. You can't get an order wrong at Burgers Bar, thankfully.

Irritating news continues with the story of today, aka, the world’s most frustrating day EVER. While Rafi was “celebrating” his birthday by traveling in the north of Israel with his rabbinical school classmates, Allison and I had some work to get done for our JTS Distance learning class, so we went to Hebrew U today with Robbie, Rafi’s roommate and my friend.

At school, I filled out the rest of my MASA grant information, which went well, and then everything else was sooo annoying. First, they didn’t have my insurance card yet. Not so annoying, except they said it’d be there for me on the 10th. It’s the 11th. Secondly, the printing in the computer lab was 100 times (literally) more than I thought it would be (0.20 agarot and 20 agarot? Totally separate things.*), and just as irritating. One printer with a hole for one printer card at a time? And it jams? Oh, for the love of God.
*Agarot (singular = agarah) : sheqels :: pennies : dollars. If you divide the shequel by 100, there are 100 agarot. A sheqel is approximately 25 cents, so an agara is approximately 0.25 cents. 20 agarot = 5 cents per page. 0.20 agarot = 0.05 cents per page. That amounts to a big difference when you are printing out an entire textbook.

I could rant about my JTS class, but that is not in the spirit of my ranting about Hebrew U. In this particular case, the printing for my JTS class and everything else from Hebrew U will be considered separate but equal.

By the way, did you know that Hebrew U is like THE most sponsored school I’ve ever been to? Sure, at UF we had the Marsden science library, and dorms named after people like Sledd, Murphree and Jennings, but at Hebrew U, everything is sponsored by friends of Hebrew U from Tarrytown, NY to Mexico to Australia (there is a whole center just called Australia, actually. Still can’t figure out why the country wanted to name a Hebrew U computer lab after itself, but whatever.). There is, actually, a hallway sponsored by some people from Tarrytown, shown here.
A HALLWAY? I have a better idea…How about, the charitable Cohens from Kansas City, Missouri, or the giving Goldsteins from Genoa, Italy, sponsor free printing at Hebrew U? Maybe just in the Rothberg school? Remove the hassle for the students? No? Yeah, you’re right…then it wouldn’t be Hebrew U.

This makes me miss JTS and its free, double-sided printing in the computer lab. Also, at JTS, they speak English. I cannot believe I am enrolled full time in more than one graduate school this year. I am nutso.

After the printing fiasco, and its accompanying trips to amazon.germany and amazon.uk, and a little lesson about her royal highness’s royal mail strike, we ended up getting stuff printed, front-and-back, in triplicate, in the Hebrew U print shop. The technicians there smoke cigarettes CONSTANTLY around the equipment, by the way. It reminded me of heated (heh) fire-related arguments this past summer at CIL.

Good times. The smoking by the machines, in the indoors room, is gross, but hilarious, and only in Israel!

Robbie then escorted me to pick up a student card thingie, only to find that AFTER I waited for 10 minutes, I had to take my student ID to photocopy it in a machine downstairs. Guess where the neariest copy machine was located? That’s right, just BEHIND the guys at the desk. I made the copy, paid for it, and then waited on line for another 10 minutes. I was at the end of my string…

Allison and I finally left Hebrew U, and traveled to Yaffo Street so I could attempt to return a skirt that didn’t survive its first washing after purchase. Even though I hadn’t put it in the dryer, they wouldn’t exchange it, or give me a refund. And I thought I left the ridiculousness of my day when I left Hebrew U.

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