OK -- I'm just going to write a few short ideas down. I don't have the energy to compose a detailed account of everything, so bear with me.
1. I didn't sleep much so I was a half asleep zombie all day. If more zombies were half asleep, zombie movies wouldn't be as scary.
2. We walked to the central bus station instead of taking a bus there. The central bus station is not like the bus terminals in the US. I mean, both have buses, but there are significant differences beyond that.
3. We took the 480 to Tel Aviv. The highway was nice, the traffic reminded me of home and then I fell asleep. We ended at some bus terminal (not the central bus station) in Tel Aviv and walked around a little. We made our way onto another, local bus (was it the 183? I don't recall) and rode for 2 stops, then walked 10 minutes to the Defense building (on Kaplan street?)Maddie met with some guy and filled out paperwork while I fell asleep on a chair in a hallway. I know, surrounded by soldiers and pictures of famous army type people, I should have been more awed to be in the center of the Israeli defense system, but we half-zombies (or was it half asleep?) need to catch naps when we can.
4. Afterwards, papers safely stowed, we walked around (waiting to hear from Nomi about Ikea). We went to the Sarona market area. There are a series of separate small buildings which house boutiques and restaurants, and an indoor food court/food mall. Very fancy. Almost completely treif. We ended up in a restaurant outside (Biga, I think it was called). Maddie got sweet potato tortellini with chunkss of sweet potato in a sauce.She liked it. She also got a foccacia with dipping sauces. The menu (an iPad) read "Entrees" but it took one to a sub menu called "Starters" and the dishes were as large as main courses.
It was hot so we sat in front of a huge fan.
I got 2 (what I thought were) appetizers -- one a "polenta" (more like creamed corn) with green beans and mushrooms. Fantastic! Also, a sweet potato. (I ordered a carpaccio of vegetables but they didn't have).
While we were there, Nomi texted to report that the Ikea delivery people had not yet secured the order so we just canceled the whole thing. It was more dramatic than that but don't worry about it.
5. Maddie ordered a Gett (like Uber, only not Uber). We waited and then got in to some car. We told the guy to take us to the car rental place "Sixt". He took us to the airport. But not THE airport. There is another airport in Tel Aviv -- a little one where short people fly small planes. Or something like that. We walked around looking for the car rental place (small airport, no signs). A kindly policeman directed us to the appropriate trailer. Inside, the nice gentleman who speaks English explained that he had no cars. This is why we make reservations, children.
We walked in to the next trailer and explained ourselves again. This company (does it really matter which it is? Kal Auto. There, are you happy?) had only big cars (in Israel, this means a sedan as opposed to a subcompact) which was exactly what we needed. We rented one on the spot and drove to Ikea in Rishon Letziyon (Google maps!)
6. Ikea was similar to the American Ikea. We were hoping that they would have a different system for delivery if one orders in the store but when we saw that the delivery office had the name of the company which had failed us already (Dror4U. Do NOT use them. Rent the car.) Maddie insisted that we just hope that the stuff fit into the sedan. So we went shopping. We got most everything we needed, I moved car from the outside lot (really just an open field with cars in it) into the underground loading area, watched a youtube video about how to fold down the rear seats, and loaded up. We got the bed, the mattress, the mirror, the pillows, the dishes and everything else into the car. Next we set up the phone with the address in Jerusalem and started driving back. I tried not to fall asleep. That would have been bad. Nomi and children (kudos Nava) staked out a spot near the apartment (easier said than done)and we moved everything upstairs.
7. Dad's time to shine -- I started assembling Ikea stuff. I like doing that and am pretty good at that. I should have been a lumberjack; I think it is the same idea.
8. Break from Ikea for dinner (burgers, delivered. Nice.)Then more assembling. Back to Nomis and sleep, and I did sleep. And it was good.
I'm sure I am missing stuff. I know that there are plenty of emotional notes I have skipped, events and details which have been glossed over and wry comments which I could have made. But the bottom line is that Maddie had a bed with a mattress, sheets, duvet, pillows and such for last night. I rented a car in a foreign land and ate burgers. My daughter signed up for military service. A pretty humdrum day.