Good news. I don't have tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, varicella, rabies, influenza, polio, or mad cow disease (OK I threw that last one in to make sure you were still reading.) This means that I can start at the hospital Sunday. Whooohooo. Someone commented that it might be easier for me to get a job at the CIA. Last week I completed the Human Resources scavenger hunt--it was so much fun! The hospital campus is sprawling with building after building, clinics, labs, office buildings. All surrounded by palm trees and greenery. Walking pathways, people getting around on golf carts, so many languages and ethnicities. It reminded me of Disney world but without the piped in music and people in costume. I'm a bit directionally challenged at the best of times, but throw a massive campus and a foreign language in, and well you can imagine my difficulties. I went from office to office in search of signatures. In the first office I opened with "I don't know why I'm here maybe you can help me and showed them my forms." It was there that it became clear that I was seeking signatures from heads of various departments. People sometimes ask how I keep from feeling like a moron during this process. The short answer: I don't. How could I? The most basic tasks are difficult and confusing. The scavenger hunt was made even more rewarding when the directors would respond with something along the lines of "why do they do this ridiculousness?" (shtuyot). How am I supposed to answer that question--you're the one who works here!
In one office she called the benefits guy and I overheard her ask him to come meet me, because she thought that I might not ever find him and she could picture me just walking around aimlessly. The reason I was able to overhear her say that is because she said it out loud in a regular speaking voice on the phone right in front of me. The benefits guy was interesting. We didn't have too much to talk about. Apparently in Israel, retirement saving is compulsory so 5% of my paycheck goes to a pension and the government will match 12.5%. But since you don't really get paid for the observation period 17% of zero keeps ending up at zero no matter how you spin it. He did teach me that in Hebrew when you wish someone luck you use the word for success because the word for luck is just an acronym for being in the right place at the right time.
Last night I took the kids to a costume fair for Purim. It was delightful. (This time, no sarcasm). Imagine a big garage sale of gently used costume pieces. Costumes here are rather expensive, but these were pieces for 2-20 shekel. Each kid ended up putting together costumes for about 30 shekels (about $9) and they had such a great time picking out the different combos. As N commented to me recently, "Costumes for Purim are about getting into the joy and the fun not about putting on a zombie outfit and scaring people." We went with some friends but also ran into friends from their schools and I saw a friend from camp Ramah who also lives in Modiin (though a different section). We've already taken to buying hamantashen (triangular cookies for Purim with filling) at the bakery, the kids are singing their songs and Lital's school built a world's fair type thing for Purim. Her project was Paris and they built an Eiffel tower. Bon jour.
Tonight after havdalah we broke out into song about the happiness that comes with Adar. The kids started dancing and it was a really nice moment. Later some of their friends came by dressed in costume and invited them to come along going door to door for candy and singing "misheh." I'll say coming from the US that this custom sounds strangely familiar, but I think my poor kids who had to sit out on October 31st all the years we lived in Kansas have finally gotten their chance. Adar is going to be so much fun.
Starting today, when I get to dress up-- in scrubs!