So far, so good

Our first week was filled with check-in and training. It’s like a scavenger hunt – you have a list of names of people you have to meet, so you try to get in touch with them to set up an appointment, or just stalk them in their office until they are free. Once you meet with them, they sign your list to indicate you actually met them, and you can move on to the next person. They range from the folks in the health unit for a check-up, to the people who help you set up cable and internet in your home, help you get your household goods delivered, etc.

We also observed quite a bit and did our first visa interviews on Friday. Once we get in the groove with our Hebrew and figuring out the cultural norms here, I think we’ll be fine. Basically officers interview about four hours a day (as opposed to eight in Juarez), so theoretically we should have time to work on other projects.

During our visit out to the warehouse for meetings, we picked up our car that we bought from another diplomatic family in Jerusalem. It’s a ’97 Corolla, and I think it will do fine for running around town. Everyone here talks about what aggressive drivers the Israelis are; I did OK driving home, but the traffic is a little crazy.

Jen took me to a bigger supermarket a little north of us last Sunday so I could stock up on a few more things. My biggest quandary is meat; there are no pre-packaged meats in the store. I can find chicken, sometimes hamburger (at the big market), sausages, and something that I think is beef but I’m too timid to figure out what it is. And it’s all very expensive. I haven’t seen fish or lamb in the little market by our house, or at the bigger market. Some of the LES at work have promised to take me to some other meat markets.

Thursday night there was a happy hour at a nearby Irish pub that was a lot of fun. We met folks from other parts of the Embassy, plus many of the visa officers and LES (local staff) came.

Last night, we went to the Marine’s Octoberfest at the Embassy rec center north of town – also a lot of fun because of the big variety of people there.

I finished reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest yesterday – what a fun read!

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