Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Learning for next time

There are a lot of "firsts" for things you take for granted when you move to a new country.  The first time I drove here.  The first time I got blocked into a parking spot.  The first time I got towed.  The first time I got allergy shots (and the second).  The first time Dan tried to cash a check at the bank. 

Yes, last Thursday I got towed.  I was parked in a zone that should have been ok.  But there was a sign in hebrew behind me (and the other cars around me) that apparently indicated an exception to the general rule during certain hours. 

Last Thursday I went to get my allergy shots.  At the clinic they told me to go get my payment voucher.  At the payment voucher office they told me to go pay, then bring back the receipt.  Then they gave me the voucher, sent me back to the clinic, where I finally got in the queue 45 minutes later.  Then I was going to have to wait an additional hour until I could leave, so I left and came back after Ulpan, rounding out a 2 1/2 hour process.  In the U.S. I would have been in and out in under 10 minutes.

Today we walked into the best known bank brand in Israel, Bank Leumi, where Dan has his business account.  However, because we were in the Tel Aviv branch, they weren't willing to cash his check for 400 shekels (that's about $100).  It took a call to the branch where the account was opened, a fax, a copy of his ID, and then they figured out he was listed by his US passport instead of his Israeli ID as the account owner.  Still, they had to deposit the check, then take out the cash.  They wouldn't just cash it.  Oye ve!

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