Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Three Hour Tour

Shavuah Tov!

I can't believe I haven't updated this blog in almost a week! I have a good excuse though, honest, been dealing with lots of drama!

The main reason I didn't write at the beginning of the week is because I was so angry about the new car. So, we were supposed to get the new car and give in the old car on the 23rd. We had been waiting all week to hear from the dealership and nothing. Finally, Pidgeon called our car dealer to find out what was going on and he said that Meches (taxes authority) had a problem with my paperwork and were sending back my passport, Pidgeon's passport and my driver's license to bring to the Meches myself. In the interim, we had to bring in our car because our contract stipulated that we would trade it in by the 23rd and then deal with the rest. Well, I was having NONE of that. There was no way I was giving away this car, leaving us without transportation with 2 weeks left of school, and not knowing what the problem was with Meches. So, we asked Pidgeon's Dad to get on the phone and deal with the dealership. We managed to retain the car until the situation is worked out and they messengered my documents back to me.  After school on Tuesday, we called the Jerusalem office of Meches and found out that they were located right outside of Har Nof and they were open until 1:30 p.m. Well, our documents were back yet, so we were at the mercy of the messenger service. Finally, at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the messenger service called to say that they delivered everything to Pidgeon's parents house. So, we got dressed and made our way to Meches. Fortunately for us, we got there at 1:00 p.m., and the department was empty. The woman who took us was very efficient and explained that we had to come and officially register with them BEFORE we decided to buy the car. Who the heck knew that? No one told me - including the dealership! And so, now I'm officially in the computer, and I can buy a car and send a lift should I choose. Well, that was a relief, but we found out that we now had to return ALL of the these documents to the dealership in Rishon. That was annoying - we have been doing a lot of driving lately - and the thought of going back to the dealership was really annoying. Plus, we had to be there by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday morning since that's when the Meches messenger came to pick up paperwork. Oy, another early morning wake up call. So, we resolved ourselves to get this done, and decided to just get it over with and hope that this time everything will go smoothly.

3 Hour Tour
Now, while all this is going on, we got a call about my sister-in-law's 31st birthday. Coincidentally, it was on Thursday, and Pidgeon's parents decided to rent a yacht from Ashdod for a 3 hour excursion at sea. There would be a birthday lunch in her honor and then, after the trip, we were to travel on to Ashkelon for birthday cake. Well, I put a quick call into my Dr.'s office to see if I was allowed to get on a boat while pregnant. She told me that I should be VERY careful, and make sure to drink, drink, drink so I wouldn't get dehydrated and to avoid the sun if possible. Pidgeon, meanwhile, was telling his Uncle about the plans and he told us we were CRAZY to go on the boat trip. A former Navy man, he said that as a pregnant woman I really shouldn't go on the boat. So, Pidgeon and I discussed it and since the last time I was on a boat of any kind was for Mor's Bat Mitzvah in 1988 (coolest bat mitzvah EVER until we almost tipped the boat playing a rousing game of Coke and Pepsi) we thought it wise to pass. On Thursday morning, while in the car to Rishon to deal with the car issue, we called his parents to tell them we wouldn't be on the boat but would meet them in Ashkelon. 

Well, that was unacceptable for Pidgeon's parents. Both his Mom and then his Father got on the phone and said that we were to come. I was not happy, being strong armed into going on the trip, and bitched the entire way to Rishon about it. Pidgeon was happy because he wanted to go but I was nervous. I'm in my 6th month, I had no idea how this was going to affect me. I come from a family of sea legged people and my idea of a birthday party is bowling and pizza. Not a yacht and canapes! Well, so we get to Ashkelon and I decided I should probably eat something before getting on the boat. We ordered bread and hummus from the restaurant at the marina (it's not a kosher restaurant in that it serves meat and milk but they do not serve anything treif so we ate bread and hummus there) and then the rest of the birthday party party showed up. I thought my sister-in-law was insane for getting on the boat with a 6 week old but she was all for it. So, everyone assembles and we get on the boat. We had to take our shoes off and settle down before the boat started to go. My father-in-law insisted before we left the harbor to show me around down below. He said it was important for me to be acclimated to everything or else I would be nervous. I just wanted to sit my ass down with a big bottle of water and wait for the whole thing to be over, but I went with him. He taught me how to climb down the steps the right way (start going down then twist in the middle so you are backing down the steps) and showed me the bathroom (a very important place for me as I later discovered), the two "bedrooms" and the main area which consisted of a tiny kitchen, table with comfortable seats and two large cushioned seats. After the grand tour, we went back upstairs and the boat was off. 

I was FINE with the motion - fortunately, I don't get motion sickness - as long as I was "stable". This meant that each time we hit rough waters, I held onto the side of the boat so that I wasn't knocking around with the waves. This turned out to be a very good idea as too much shaking and tossing around is NOT good for the baby. I also had my huge bottle of ice water and I was chug-a-lugging like nobody's business. Unfortunately, not everyone else was doing as well with being on the water. Both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were feeling nauseous. My mother-in-law had to hold the baby so my sister-in-law could breathe. Meanwhile, their 2 1/2 year old was FREAKING out the entire time. The waves were hurting her stomach and she was petrified. It was a mess but I was just thinking about myself and the Pidgeon, making sure he kept well hydrated. We went out pretty far and then my brother-in-law got so sick that he went into shock and we had to turn around and go back. It was interesting though, as my sister-in-law got a phone call from my brother-in-law's brother (following me there?) and she told him we were turning back because I wasn't feeling well as opposed to his wimpy BROTHER who was the sick one. (Peeps, I got pictures to prove how awful he looked in comparison to me).

But, I guess it's always convenient to blame the pregnant lady, so I let it go. If he needed to keep face that's his business, but I won't forget how she quickly threw me under the bus so her husband wouldn't feel like garbage. So, we went back to a little bay and we docked so that the kids could play in the water. I changed into my swimsuit and that's when it hit me. Heat exhaustion. I haven't been out in the Israel heat - for that long - in a very, very long time. Pidgeon started hosing me down with paper towels and I kept running to the bathroom because of all the water I had consumed. Well, no one TOLD me about the toilet on a boat. And how you can't throw paper towels/napkins (the boat owner forgot toilet paper) into the basin. Well, I also had no idea how to flush the damn thing, and Pidgeon had to come inside to help me. He told me that I had to fish the napkins out of the toilet. Which I did, and then discovered there was no place to put them as there was no garbage. We asked the boat owner what to do with garbage and he said to throw it into the sink. So, I did. I threw my urine soaked napkins into the sink. And then Pidgeon got horrified and told me that the guy EATS in that kitchen and that was gross. What the HELL was I supposed to do? So, I took my urine soaked napkins and placed them in one papercup and the covered it with another paper cup. 

Guess which bathroom didn't come with soap! 

I was feeling NASTY at this point. Just beyond dirty. I was hot, sweaty, had held my urine soaked napkins for far too long, put my hands into a toilet, etc. I was not pleased and all I wanted to do was go home. I also had no idea what I did with my Purelle and boy was I needing it at that very moment. It was also freaking hot downstairs, so Pidgeon told me to go back up to the deck. I did, and when I sat down again, my Mother-in-law was passing the baby to my Father-in-law who was holding onto his big beer can. He put it down in the cup holder in front of us and of course - since the cup holder is built to hold CUPS and not BEER CANS - the beer can fell to the ground and covered me in a river of beer. 

So, now I'm full of sweat, urine, dirty, and beer. 

I was not pleased. 

We had 1 1/2 hours left on this g-d forsaken boat and I just had it. I went downstairs and holed up in one of the bedrooms as they set up for lunch. The driver put on the AC but it wasn't that effective, and I was running back and forth to pee from the water I kept drinking, and I was just ready to go home. They managed to persuade me to eat something but I avoided the passion fruit birthday cake. Finally, it was time to go home. I disembarked awkwardly - with help from Pidgeon and BOTH of his brothers. 

We got to the car and they all decided to continue on to Ashkelon. I looked at Pidgeon and said dayenu. I'm done. I am so disgusting that I just want to go home.

It was a very, very good thing we went home. His parents were okay with our decision to go home and we got back to the apartment at 5:00 p.m. That's when I discovered I had a nasty sunburn on my back and shoulders. I had forgotten to put on sunscreen and didn't realize part of my body was in the sun. I was also suffering from a bad case of heat exhaustion. 

Pidgeon continued to coax more and more water into me and I took a long, much needed shower. After the shower, I got into bed and stayed there until 11:00 p.m. That's when I felt a little bit better and I finally got an appetite back. I ventured out to the living room, raided the fridge a bit, and then told Pidgeon there was no way I could do anything like cook or clean for Shabbos.

I managed to do my shot and then, while watching an episode of Law & Order, passed out. Pidgeon woke me to get me to bed and I slept until 10:00 a.m. the next morning. I spent Friday really, really out of it and in the kitchen. I had an entire Shabbos to cook and I was really, really slow doing everything. But, by the time I lit candles yesterday, I had managed to make a gefilta fish, broccoli kugel, coleslaw, string beans and red onion "casserole", bean vermichelli and asian chicken stir fry and skillet rice and chopped meat. I was too tired to attempt a first course for Friday night and it took me from 10 - 6:00 p.m. to do all of that and get the house ready for Shabbos. I had just enough time to call my Grandmother and Brother to wish them both happy birthdays and shower before the siren rang for Shabbos.

It was a wonderful 25 hours, I wish I could get it back again. We ate, slept, read and relaxed. The alarm went off for shul this morning and somehow, we both slept through it, so we davened at home before lunch. After shalosh seudot, we got dressed and went for a 45 minute walk. It was an absolutely beautiful evening in Jerusalem! The weather was incredible and, at first, I was cold. But then, after a bit of huffing and puffing on the walk, was feeling much hotter. We ended up checking out the Ramban shul in the German Colony and were really impressed with the building. We're hoping to try that shul next Shabbos. Who knows, maybe that will be the place for us! I should write a book about all this shul hopping we've been doing since our wedding. Its insane how many options there are in Jerusalem. Sometimes, too much variety is just not a good thing.

Well, Pidgeon is out working with his Uncle and I decided to stay at home and just relax. This week is my very last day of school! I can't believe that the two year Creative Writing program is almost at an end for me. I have one paper and my thesis left and then - P"G - I will have my Masters. These past two years have gone by so fast in some respects and my lord how much has changed for me!

I moved here knowing absolutely no one. And, in 2 years, fell in love, got engaged, finished the first year of the program, got married, moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, started the second year of the program, got pregnant (B"H) and am now preparing for the end of the program and the beginning of what will P"G be a new addition to our little family.

Sometimes, I just feel so blessed. Even with all of the aggravations. 

Its been so worth it!

Layla Tov from Baka!

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