Posts Tagged ‘tips’

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Israel did not steal my wallet.

November 26, 2011

I take full responsibility for having lost my wallet. Perhaps I was careless about which pocket to put it in or where on my body I was carrying my bag. But since I was walking in the crowded Old City today, I don’t rule out the fact that it might have been stolen.

In my wallet, I had my New Jersey driver’s license, my Rutgers ID, my Rothberg International School ID, my debit card, my credit card, a Blockbuster card, a Stop and Shop gift card, my coffee punch card for the cafe at the Academy. I also lost a traveler’s check and a sum of cash.

I was NOT carrying my US Passport and my health insurance card, so those items are still safe.

Here are the steps I took once I realized my wallet was missing:

  • I retraced my steps in the Old City and asked the shopkeepers if they had seen it.
  • I reported the incident to the police—and half in Hebrew!
  • When I got back to the kfar, I called the bank to cancel the cards and had replacements sent to my home in New Jersey.
  • I emailed the Office of Student Activities to ask what I should do for temporary and replacement identification around campus.
  • I emailed my parents to explain the situation, so they could forward my new cards to Jerusalem.

Even though I usually find my wallet when I misplace it, I wasn’t upset in deciding that my wallet was lost for good this time. I think the most upsetting thing was that the wallet itself had sentimental value.

And even though I remained level-headed about losing my wallet, many thoughts still ran through my mind. After I had backtracked the day’s events to the last moment I had my wallet, I began to visit all of the day’s events. I wondered, “Would I have done that if I knew my wallet would end up missing?” I listed.

  • Would I have kept my wallet in my pocket instead of my bag?
  • Would I have carried my bag a different way?
  • Would I have picked this day to randomly buy souvenirs?
  • Would I have spent money on chocolate?
  • Would I have agreed to go to the Old City?
  • Would I have taken out less money at the ATM?
  • Would I have tipped the tour guide?
  • Would I have left the apartment at all this morning?
  • Would I have done my laundry today instead?
  • Would I have just stayed in bed?

I let my mind wander to these places. And when I crossed the idea of staying in bed, I stopped. My mind was going somewhere I knew was ridiculous. I laughed and said, “Oh yeah.”

“This is why I’m so understanding…” So I lost my wallet. It’s okay. You can’t live your life scared that something’s going to happen to you, or that you’re going to make a mistake. Things happen, and you learn from them. There are always solutions to your problems. And if not, there are always ways around them.

Also, I just KNEW there was a reason why I decided to collect the Internet bills late from everyone, and why my roommates were taking their time getting back to me. It looks like I won’t be completely out of money. Things have a funny way of working themselves out.

I consider this a [self-indulgent?] spiritual experience, but I digress.

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Is it cold, Carlo?

November 24, 2011

I was sure I overpacked bringing five pairs of pants to Israel. I thought I was silly for packing my long sleeve athletic shirts. I even laughed at myself for bringing as many long sleeves and sweaters as I did. Boy, did I have the weather figured all wrong! Only three months after my arrival in Israel, the weather has gotten COLD. Yes, folks. It’s cold in Jerusalem.

Yes, the weather in Israel is Mediterranean, but mainly near the Mediterranean Sea. That includes places like Haifa, Tel Aviv, and the Gaza Strip (which we’re not supposed to visit anyway). The weather is different half an hour eastward, in Jerusalem. The Student Village is on Mount Scopus, in the desert. Naturally, it gets cold at night. We’re also entering the rainy season, much like the Northern California Bay Area does this time of year. I haven’t worn shorts outside for a couple weeks now, and I regret not having thick sweaters, a proper coat, a cozy winter scarf, and my more substantial boots!

Hebrew trivia:  “Is it cold?” translates to “קר לו?” or “Car lo?”

It even got so cold last week that I got sick. My body even ran a fever on Shabbat. Might I add… I completely forgot to pack any sorts of medications. I didn’t anticipate getting sick, so I didn’t have any of those things on hand. But with the care of my friends (and their sick-day supplies), I got better and only had to miss one class.

A word to the wise study abroad-ers:  organize your sick day items. This of course includes whatever medications and remedies you care to bring or purchase upon arriving here, but you should also include the items that make you feel comfortable when you’re feeling weak. For me, that could’ve been a teddy bear or a favorite snack food.

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Some Simple Travel Tips

October 3, 2011

It seemed a good idea to thrust ourselves into Tel Aviv with no plans.
Here are some things this travel novice has learned.

 

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Passport Photos

June 29, 2011

A word to the wise future applicants of the DanceJerusalem study abroad program:

When you go to get your passport photos taken, buy at least EIGHT copies.

Every party involved in the process wants photographs of you for their files. Rutgers Study Abroad, Hebrew University, the Israeli Consulate in New York… Because I encountered each of these individually, I ended up having to take new photos each time! It’s probably cheaper to buy a larger number of them together, too.

Passport photos can be taken at Rite Aid, CVS, and other pharmacy/convenience stores. You are, of course, allowed to take your own passport photos, but make sure they meet the proper requirements, found here.

Some of this may seem like common sense, but remember… Common sense isn’t!