Overcoming bureaucracy – success!

The "new" car

I had my first taste of Israeli bureaucracy this morning, and succeeded, so I am quite happy. I had bought a car from another diplomat in Jerusalem, and had to transfer the title to my name. One great thing is that Israelis work Sunday through Friday (usually just a half day on Friday), so I set off at 7:30 this morning to go to the DMV.

I had the usual bumps you’d expect at a DMV – the first clerk said “You can’t buy this car!” – but after going to a couple of different offices and talking to several different people, I finally walked out with my new registration papers – yeah, me!

I also felt very successful for driving myself there and back. We have a GPS, but I don’t seem to get along too well with it. I kept encountering construction/detours, etc., but somehow made it there and back. Coming home, I got pretty turned around – it took me a hour to go about 4 miles, between rush hour traffic and my general lack of direction. But in the end, success!

This week we had two social events. Tuesday night we had happy hour at a beach front bar, which was really pleasant. We had a small turn out, but it was nice to sit and have a glass of wine and see the ocean.

Thursday night, we had a party at the home of our Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for diplomats who are on their first or second tours. We invited diplomats from other embassies, and it was fun to meet our counterparts. The DCM’s house is lovely, and he and his wife are very nice.

Friday night, John and I found a nice place not far from here for a steak and bottle of wine, which was a great way to end the week. We are super-busy at work and the days fly by. We both had some work to do over the weekend – I brought mine home, and John went to the office for a while this morning.

I volunteered to teach a group of locally employed staff (LES) who are taking a long-distance course about immigrant and non-immigrant visas. We’ll meet every Friday afternoon for the next several months. It’s a lot of work, because I have a lot of prep work to do each week for the class, but it’s a lot of fun, too. And a good way to get to know the local staff better. I did a similar class in Juarez.

That’s about it for the week!

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