Gefilte Fish Out of Water


Ashdod Wednesday
June 5, 2009, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Infrastructure

IMG_2098I got a good phone call from Wednesday.  It was from Globus Israel, the Israeli shipping firm subcontracted by Omega Shipping, the firm my awesome friend Rich from New York helped me find to ship over the stuff I didn’t have space in my suitcase to pack when I moved over here.

My shipment had arrived!  I had two choices, go to the Ministry of Customs or some shiz like that and wait in lines and get everything processed myself.  (No way!  Mr. Casual Reader: if you take away only one thing from this entire blog, let it be that Israeli bureaucracy is bad.  No, wait – that isn’t the central idea behind this blog, and it’s not what I want you to take away from the blog.  But it is true!)

Or, I could go to Globus’ offices in Ashdod, fill out some paperwork, leave behind my Teudat Oleh and American IMG_2096passport, and they would handle everything for me.  No-brainer.

We arranged for me to go there the next day.  I would leave Ulpan a little early and take a bus from Tel Aviv’s central bus station.  Wow, was this place confusing!  But I managed to find and get on my bus minutes before it pulled away.  I had gotten some bad information from a classmate that this trip would take an hour and a half.  Wrong!  Israel is tiny, and Ashdod is actually just a half hour away.  So, I stayed on the bus too long and had to take a taxi back a little bit.  No biggie.

IMG_2094A very nice young woman is handling my shipment.  She explained everything very well and had me sign in all the right places.  But I was kind bummed to learn that even though I had pre-paid quite a lot of money for this shipment, and even though my עלאה חדש status meant I didn’t have to pay any customs taxes to Israel for the shipment, I still had to pay an estimated $350 in port and unloading fees.  😦  Plus, I had just had a second shipment leave New York (art for my new apartment), and would have to pay this all over again in about a month.  :-/

Meh, it’s OK.  I was happy I got to Ashdod, did some bureaucracy stuff and back in four hours.  That’s unheard of!

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