Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bang head here

When I was in the process of immigrating to Canada, I followed quite a few online forums about Canadian immigration. There were frequently jokes made about how if you called the immigration office multiple times with the same question, you would get a different answer every time. Except we weren't really laughing, because it was true. A number of us tested the information line, and never got the same information twice.

I'm thankful for that preparation, because despite having a fairly easy time with the bureaucracy here, we still occasionally experience some serious head-banging frustrations. Case in point:

We are leaving the country (we're not going far, just to Greece. Ha! Greece is "not far"!!) prior to having been in Israel for one year. That means we have to get a special travel document, a Teudat Ma'avar. Fortunately, a T"M is easily obtained at our local Misrad HaPnim office.

Um. "easily"

We went to the office, and were told we need a picture of each of us. Okay, that we already have from our original aliyah process. We go home, but have to come back another time with the pictures, because, like most government offices, banks and post offices here in Israel, they close for the afternoon.

So we come back another time with our pictures. While we're trying to figure out from which category to take our number, an employee comes out to help (for you Canadians, think of the Air Canada employee who wanders the terminals looking to direct passengers to the self-service machines). She informs us we need TWO pictures each. Now I'm really frustrated, because we have two pictures each, but I only brought one of each, because we were told we only needed one, but why didn't I just bring the others just in case and it's not like they're heavy or anything, they're only photos for cryin' out loud.


Because the office is only open two afternoons a week, and I have ulpan (Hebrew school) in the morning, we are limited as to when we can go. So we went today, not realizing that today is not one of the two afternoons a week that the office is open, only to be told by the very helpful (different) lady there that because it's now less than 3 weeks until our trip, we have to go to the city of Ramle to get our Teudat Ma'avar. It seems the office in Modi'in is just a satellite office that sends everything to Ramle to be processed. This apparently adds over a week to the actual processing time, so we wouldn't get our T"M back in time for the trip.

So now we have to figure out how to get to Ramle, where the office is in Ramle, when they're open, and I get to miss another day of ulpan.

Funny: after I explained to the woman why I was about to collapse in a puddle of tears, I listed off all the things we need for the T"M and asked, "that's definitely IT, right? We don't need anything else?" She said, "ומחייך*." Smiles.

Guess she's dealt with olim before.

* I have been corrected; apparently I misheard. Smiles is חיוכים (chiyuchim). Thanks C!

1 comment:

Dena Page, M.Ed., CBA said...

Okay... I'm reading this random post on a random blog because I'm trying to figure out how to get from Jerusalem (where I'll be visiting the US consulate) to Ramle and this post appeared in my searching. I'm reading it, thinking - wow, this sounds just like my friend Alissa. Read further, notice it's signed by Alissa, notice the next post mentions Morey. I was right!! And you, my dear, have a very distinctive voice :-)