Sunday, June 17, 2012

My New Apartment is Da Bomb, or You Know You Live in Israel When....

I finished ulpan on Wednesday. While it is true that I am not as sentimental as most (I have never been called “waterworks” even in jest) it is a little sad to be done with Ulpan Etzion Beit Canada. It was the co-ed dorm experience I never had at Smith College, a beautiful but tame all-women’s school in Western Massachusetts.

However, I was definitely ready to leave my apartment (and especially my bathroom) at Beit Canada behind. They were also part of the dorm experience I never had, and hope never to have again. On Thursday I moved to a unbelievably amazing apartment in Beit Vegan, Jerusalem. And because of this, somehow I have found myself in MTV land, straddling MTV Cribs because the apartment is actually a mansion, and an episode of True Life because upon moving in, I realized that my bedroom is actually a bomb shelter.

My Bedroom Window. Instead of the Normal Window Blinds, I Have Heavy Metal Panels that Bolt Shut
My Light Features an Emergency Panic Light

My Heavy Metal Door Which SLAMS Shut (and as a happy coincidence, keeps out a lot of noise)

Bomb shelters are everywhere in Israel. I believe it is a law that every building must have one in case the rockets come a-falling. In Beit Shemesh, I even slept in one that had been converted into a guest room. Don’t get me wrong: the apartment is amazing and I am incredibly grateful to live there. But never in my wildest dreams did I EVER think I would move from a lovely, spacious and open house in grassy Scarsdale, NY to a BOMB SHELTER. 

All Ulpan Etzioners talk about life post-ulpan as the beginning of our “real” lives in Israel. I guess this is my "true" life moment as well.

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