this learning curve is so steep that

it’s uphill both ways.

I just got back from a trek into the center of Jerusalem.  Really, the walk is uphill both ways. And really steep, too.

We were there this morning.That’s when I dropped off my watch at a place that was recommended by a friend. You just don’t want to take it anywhere. After all, it was my mother’s. I dropped it on my first night here in Israel, but it’s taken this long (18 days!) to take it in. First, jet lag. Then, being in Efrat. Then, being in the snowstorm. Then, recovering after the snowstorm.

Whew. Every day has been a grand adventure, but some days, grander than others.

I was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem for a few reasons. First of all, cabin fever. Even though we got out of the house, it was hard to really go anywhere. This is what it looked like from the car as we were finally leaving Efrat on Tuesday. Little Switzerland, a friend called it.

IMG_20131217_131841_450

Another reason (and impacting, like a tooth impacted) was the fact that there was another family who had just returned from Australia staying with us. Actually, they were staying with another woman in the apartment above, but so not to wake her up, they would enter our apartment at whatever hour that their baby woke up. No problem; I don’t need sleep. I just stayed in bed not moving. Unable to move is more like it.

And there was one more reason; I did want to see our son and family coming in from Australia.

But maybe the biggest reason is that I wanted to have some space to unpack after 2 weeks. I find that one of the hardest things about traveling–living out of a suitcase.

So I was so very eager to unpack my winter clothes–I kept my lightweight clothes in the suitcase because it’s not so quick that I’m going to need them, I’m afraid (actually I just checked and it may hit 60 next week!), and also because, in reality, I only had one shelf available in the room I’m staying in–that I didn’t factor in the newly arrived would also be going though jet lag x3, for the 3 little ones! Two nights ago, they were up at 3 am, last night at 4. I’m hoping tonight it’s 5!

I won’t even mention all the things in the apartment that we rented that were, well, not as we imagined them. Like the snow on the porch from the elevator into the apartment, the banging of the heating in my room, the inability to get in touch with the fellow who we rented from, even though his wife was very sweet and always answered the phone but never knew anything about the place, and the washer instructions are in Italian (the son says “just put it on cycle B”; the mother from Italy who said I could call her anytime. In Italy. “Just put it on cycle C or D”, the lack of internet…

Oh that was really something. Plus I can’t figure out how to get my phone set for 3G usage. That’s okay; neither can the phone company. They’re not familiar with my particular phone.

It’s apparently a steep learning curve for all of us. This is what Jerusalem still looks like after a week. Manhattan, the day after a snow storm, my friend calls it. Except Manhattan doesn’t have as many trees.

IMG_20131219_163039_116

Re-setting my watch was hopefully a sign.

It was my mother’s watch. I use it when I travel, mostly for the planes and for Shabbat, when I can’t look at my phone. I read somewhere that kids these days don’t have watches at all. Except if they keep Shabbat, I suppose.

I really know how much the world needs to keep Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom.

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