TLV.

So we live in Tel Aviv now. We got here a few days ago, and have spent pretty much all day every day just nonstop walking. The walking has been a combination of trying to fully adjust to Tel Aviv time, exploring the city, and trying to get a better sense of where we want to live.

The flight here was, in a one word summary, sweaty.  Due to the ripple effect created by a situation akin to this (except replace “business class” with “economy seat”, and “first class” with “actually even less desirable economy seat”), Finnegan and I ended up an aisle and a seat across from Will. This meant that instead of the luxury having Finn splayed across both of our laps during the flight, like we did on our Portland to Boston flight, Finnegan spent the whole 10.5 hour flight in various unwieldy and clammy positions on my lap.

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We were also right by the bathroom, so poor Finn repeatedly got bathroom light directly in his eyes, every time someone opened the plane bathroom door. Additionally, since all the space between me and the seat in front of me was taken up by a rather warm cocker spaniel, I couldn’t put my tray table down. All in all, I couldn’t really eat (holding the food tray + Finn + a fork = I actually just don’t have enough hands), which was a drag.

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Even though it was probably the most uncomfortable flight I’ve taken in recent memory, my new, Hasidic-shifted seat was next to two incredibly nice Israeli women. They did not mind (actually, they were thrilled) when Finn fell asleep with his head on one of their arms, they helped me stuff my neck pillow back into its bag when I didn’t have much of a range of motion due to Finn’s position, and they talked to me about living in Israel pretty much the whole flight. One of them gave me her email address, and had me meet her daughter, who was also on the flight moving here. I also enjoyed what committed oversharers they were; definitely made the flight go by faster.

Right now it feels like we are on vacation, with a lot of paperwork. We have a lot of appointments to make at various ministries, and desperate emails to send (“Shalom! My name is Alivia. Do you speak English?”). We really, really should have learned more Hebrew before we moved. The timing of everything seems like it’s slightly off. We opened our bank account, but it will be a few days before the money transfer goes through. I need to wait two days for a call back from one ministry to make an appointment to get my voucher for free Hebrew lessons, but classes start very early September, and I need to register well before that. We leave our Airbnb in less than two weeks, but we haven’t heard back from a single apartment. Once we move into an apartment, I think it will start to feel more like we live here, and less like we are on a strange vacation where we flew for 10.5 hours to make phone calls and send emails.

In terms of the city, we are really, really liking it. Historically, Will and I have had differing ideas on places we would like to live, but so far Tel Aviv seems to be a bit of a unicorn city that we can agree on. It’s beautiful:

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Has some A+ public art outside men’s restrooms:

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And sells frozen bureks:

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