Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Bureaucracy 2, Scott 0
March 5, 2009, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Official Immigrant Stuff, Struggles


After my doctor’s appointment, I set out for the Misrad HaPnim (Ministry of the Interior).  I was very excited about this errand.  I was going to pick up my Teudat Zehut (national I.D. card).  This is very important, specifically b/c it would allow a whole chain of events to take place next.  Once I had this card, I would be able to open a bank account, then I would be able to receive electronic transfers of my monthly sal kiitah (stipend to new immigrants), and also I would be able to receive the sizable grant I got from Nefesh b’Nefesh (a nonprofit organization that helped processed my Aliyah).

Well, I walk there, and it’s getting fairly warm today, so I’m schvitzing a bit, and it was about a 20 minute walk.  I tried to take a bus, but couldn’t find the right one.  No prob, though.  I was bopping along to my iPod.  So, I go through security and get in line (another 20 minutes roughly) only to be told that I needed my passport and two photo I.D.s to proceed.  Rats!  I had my Teudat Oleh (temporary immigrant I.D.), and I thought that was enough.  I also had my NY driver’s license, but this still wasn’t enough.

So, I left and began walking home.  I waited for a bus that wasn’t coming, so I splurged on a fuckin’ taxi for 17.5 sheckels ($4.27), went home, threw my passport and another photo I.D. in my bag and set out again.  Walked the whole way again.  Got up there and what do you think happened next?…..

They were bloody closed!  Shite!!!  It was only 12:30pm, but they close on Thursday at noon.  I didn’t think to ask when closing time was when I left the first time, b/c I never assumed it would be so early.  So, I left again.

The way I look at it, this is a classic immigrant story.  Innocent and foiled by the big bad bureaucracy.  I could be terribly upset, or just laugh at it.  Fortunately I was able to choose the latter.  The Ministry is closed tomorrow and Saturday, so I’ll have to go back Sunday.  (That’s another thing, b/c of Shabbat, the work week here is really Sunday-Thursday.  People work only 1/2 days on Friday and the weekend is really just Friday afternoon through Saturday.)

To try and salvage the day before starting work (which I’m going to do after this post; I have to talk to New York a lot, so I can really only do it after 4pm, when it’s 9am there), I went to the Post Office to get a calling card.  This way I can make local calls in Israel while I don’t yet have a cell phone.  Some beyotch cut in front of me in the line, and then I got a teller who didn’t speak English.  But it worked out, and I got my card.  Yay?


OK, to work now.


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[…] to the window and be asked, But where’s [such & such document]? I’ve been burned before, and so this time, I took extra precautions, and also brought my Israeli passport, which […]

Pingback by Getting Driver’s License – Parts 3 & 4 « Gefilte Fish Out of Water

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