Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Leaving England gradually part 2: renting out my flat and the final meeting with the Jewish Agency

It hit me more tangibly that - in just a matter of weeks - I am actually leaving.

This morning I had the estate agents (solid blokes, these ones) in to take pictures in order to advertise my flat for rent. It is rather strange to think that the one thing I've worked so incredibly hard for will soon be inhabited by someone else. I suppose it's a necessary sacrifice, and one that wouldn't be an issue had I made aliya earlier, as planned. But, as my favourite saying goes - gum zo le tovah - this too is for the best. the flat will always be there if I ever (gulp) decide to return.

Otherwise, off I trotted to my final meeting at the Jewish Agency. Others who have been through the process have grumbled about the 'Israeliness' of the Jewish Agency. It's probably better, if that were the case, to get a taste of the true Israeli experience before winding up in Israel completely unaware. People have grumbled that the JA personnel are difficult to get hold of; the process is slow and they're not very helpful once you do actually reach them.

However I entirely disagree with the above. The first time around, the JA coordinated the entire process for me in two working weeks, start to finish - even with the looong festival of Succot (Tabernacles? Pentecost? The booth feast) slap bang in the middle.

This time, they've done it in similar timely fashion, and kept me informed most of the way. But then I started the process early this time, pretty much straight after my last visa was cancelled.

Today's meeting was to hand over my aliya file, including step by step details of where and when I go when I arrive (with pictures, in case I can't follow simple, English directions). What's great is that, upon arrival in Israel, I don't have to rot in that g-d awful Passport Control queue. It's possibly one of the worst things about going to Israel, knowing what's awaiting you - if the tiredness from the flight doesn't fell you, and you manage to avoid everyone you know, similarly irritable and blear eyed, and even if it isn't 5am and you're well rested, nourished and the world is your oyster, that queue is enough to suck the life and will out of you.

So, I'm not required to do the queue. A highlight of the process, no? After this, however, I will be whisked off to a room with other olim chadashim (newbies) to fill in the paperwork which will dictate my life for the next few years.

So, so far, so good. Now that the estate agents have taken the pictures, I can begin really packing/slinging/donating/returning. Woohoo!

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