Saturday, October 01, 2005

We Found an Apartment!!!

Believe it or not, finding an apartment has been a real learning experience, and an important one too; teaching me how to think and act like an Israeli when it comes to something you want!
At first Seth and I, being naive North Americans, went to look at some apartments and we would call the owners when interested. It was hard finding a 2-3 bedroom apartment that was furnished, and in an area near downtown. But we finally found some, and when we called the landlords (usually the tenants were the ones that showed the apartment), they would say they were already taken which really puzzled us.
We finally got through to one landlord and told him that we were very interested and wanted to sign the lease. He told us he would meet us the following day, and to call him in the morning to set up a time. I called the next morning, and he told me that he had already given the apartment to someone else. Upset, I told him that we had agreed to meet today to sign the lease. He told me "the other people gave me money first!" He apologized, and I think he actually felt bad. But, Seth and I realized why all the previous landlords had sold their place so fast. It was what people had been telling us: we had to bring money with us when we went to look at apartments, because a landlord will only take us seriously if we hand them a deposit upfront, to prove that we are serious. Landlords get people that say they are interested all the time, and then they back down. They need reassurance.
So we started bringing money with us, but then one landlord started playing games with us and sending us on a wild goose chase after her daughter to whom we were supposed to bring the money.
So, in short, remember, that when you want something in Israel, you have to prove that you're serious, and you have to be adamant about it too, and, a little bit of "chutzpa" helps too (as long as it is tactful).
After a month of searching (for hours upon hours on some days) we finally found an apartment! Seth, Jon and I are moving out of the Hebrew University dorms on Mount Scopus and into a beautiful, clean, spacious apartment! We have been working hard to make it perfect! We had a nice Shabbat with our friend Neil, and went up on the roof to hang out and look at the view. Jerusalem is beautiful.

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