After successfully moving in (did I mention the lack of a view while my roommates see the old city?) and doing some shopping we started ulpan.
I'm placed in כיתה ב which is the third level and is proving a challenge. particularly when I'm tired in a hot room and nodding off, snapping awake just in time to hit my head on the wall. My work ethic is proving less hardy than that of my Taiwanese and South Korean classmates. I spend a lot of class time watching the 30 year old university teacher try not to cry and in awe of the Israeli Arab who wears layers down to her feet, ankles, and over her head. Classwork is the usual mix of נחון ו לא נחון (nachon o lo nachon - true or false), stories about farmers, and rounds of asking each other the same questions. I need to a. sleep more and b. actually study and not be tempted by these hooligans telling me to go out and enjoy myself since you only go abroad once.
Roomates and I went shopping machane yehuda -the open market - to buy stuff for shabbat. I was reminded of the need to work hard to get an education by the many men and women who spend their day yelling the cost of their respective food and goods. I felt better when i saw the security guards at the entrances of the street market chatting with their friends rather than watching the gate. Bussing around is good as long as you make sure not to get on the bus that goes to Isawiyah - the arab village next door to the university.
surreal moments have so far included walking to class and seeing the temple mount on the way there, walking to the bus and hearing the muezzins call to prayer, and the usual yet remarkable ultraorthodox neighborhoods your ride through to go to town. speaking of which i've yet to go out since ive been busy buying pans and other such necessaries.
any adivce on how to respectfully yet firmly tell my roommates that smoking in the living room isnt cool with me even if the window is open?
but otherwise everything is pretty tight. this will all be easier when i dont have to sit in the courtyard outside to use the internet.
Shabbat Shalom שבת שלום
Edit: I live on Ghetto Fighters St. WHATTUP (the better translation is Fighters of the Ghetto)