Friday, February 26, 2016

My New Job (or Something....)

Several of you have written to ask me if I plan to work as a nurse here.  The answer is "not sure, but definitely not yet".  My experiences with the healthcare system here have convinced me that I barely have enough Hebrew to be a patient, never mind a provider.

I recently went to the allergist here.  I walked in (here, there is no medical assistant or nurse to pave the way.  If the doctor's door is open, you waltz right in.  If there are others waiting, you engage in verbal scrimmage over whose appointment time was earlier vs who has been waiting longer, as proven by the little number taken from the machine by the clinic door [like at a US deli].  Israelis love these machines almost as much as they love door magnets....).  But I digress.

I walked in and apologized for being a few minutes late.  He responded with a somewhat confused stare with a slight undertone of mild panic.  I thought, "I know that look!  That's the look *I* have when people speak Hebrew to me!".  And I realized I was about to have a medical appointment in Hebrew....I had been told all the doctors in Israel have to have a minimum level of English.  Guess that's not true because he spoke Spanish and Hebrew.  I made it through the appointment in Hebrew, but let's just say there was little subtlety in what I told him.

Cosmic joke: I found out I'm allergic to olive trees.  Since I've had allergy shots in the US and been desensitized to the majority of trees there, it wasn't surprising that I found a new tree to be allergic to.  Thankfully he said it was fine to eat olives (the olives here are outrageously good).  And I get a whole new insight into the healthcare system here by going every week for allergy shots.  Sample difference: in the US, the office I went to strictly followed the guideline that all patients must wait 30 minutes after an allergy shot before leaving.  Here, you waltz in and waltz out.  I did see one family waiting: an American mom (of course) waiting with her son after his shot.

So, anyway, I realized that, if I'm not planning to work, it would be a good idea for me to change my online job profile.  In the past few weeks, I have had several contacts from headhunters, and it wasn't right of me to waste their time since my new home is a bit too far to commute to a school nurse position in Massachusetts.  We also decided that I will not go back to work as a camp nurse this summer.  It was, and is, hard for me to give up being "Nurse Ellen" (even temporarily, which is why it took me six months to change my profile!), but I did it.  My new job title: New Immigrant :).  And, boy, is that a full-time job!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

More Adventures in Grocery Shopping....

Yesterday, during ulpan, we took a field trip to the local supermarket.  I learned a lot from our trip and only wish that we had gone during the first week of *last* semester's class, so I could have bumbled less during the past 5.5 months.  Of course, the newbies who have only been here a few weeks/months were delighted with the timing!

We got a mini-tutorial from the butcher, which, aside from being very helpful from the Hebrew aspect, showed me that he is originally from the US and that many customers speak with him in English.  Having purchased only frozen meat and chicken since we arrived (good thing we eat mostly vegetarian) because I have been too scared to speak with anyone at the butcher counter, I now have new vistas open to me.  Don't tell my teacher that I will likely speak in English.....(I'll give myself a bit more time before venturing to speak with the Israeli butcher at the store closer to my house).

Here are some recent products that caught my eye while in the supermarket:

I think they sell the toes in another aisle....(of course, to be fair to Israel, in the US one can buy "lady fingers" which is even more disturbing to think that we are classifying our finger purchases by social class)
Just the name made us laugh.  Reminded us of when one sister told Miss Julie that her new baby sister should be called "Stinkerella"

Watch those pesky vowels, folks.  Because this is diaper cream, not dinner food

Whatever it cleans, I'm not using it

No wonder why shopping here is confusing: you can't even buy RAISIN BRAN without getting all mixed up.....

This is My City

If only my photography skills were better, I bet there could be a photo exhibit of people I see while waiting in line for the bank machine.  Just two examples seen over the past few days:

around here, it's pretty rare to see a guy without a yarmulke

his religious counterpart

Love this place!

A big thank you to our young homeschooling friend who made our blog's awesome new header.  Thank you, Chana!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Yesterday, my brave sister-in-law, Hilary (my husband's stepsister), died after a 17 year battle with Stage IV breast cancer....She lived her life fully and well to the end, and showed tremendous grace time after time over these past many years....She died at home, free of pain and surrounded by her husband, daughters, mother and sisters.

I want to thank those of you who have been davening (some for years) for Malka bat Beryl Rivka.  I know that her memory will be a blessing for her family and the many, many others she touched throughout her too-short life....