Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Got My Permanent Israeli ID Today

Well, I got my Teudat Zehut today, which is my Israel ID card. What is means is that I am officially an Israeli and also that I can do things like start a checking account, get a driver's license, etc. It is like gold in Israel and without it a person can't do a lot of things here.

Sample of a Teudat Zehut (Israeli ID)

It wasn't as hard as some people make it out to be. Of course it was hectic, but it is no different than any other government office you have to know how to "Que". Of course I came on Tuesday and then I found out that I had to come back another day for a reason that wasn't clear. Of course there was a government strike on Wednesday, which closed down the building where I needed to get my ID. Of course I found Thursday morning that the strike was over, and that government offices were going to be open. Of course when I first arrived at the Misrad Ha-Panim there were not many people there. Of course I was sent around to different people all morning, and then more people started to arrived. Of course I ended up in one person's office and he decided that he was not going to work on any more new immigrant IDs. Of course he sent me back to the place where I started, and of course they did in 15 minutes what I was trying to get done all morning.

I also was sure to use my connection with the Yemenite and Moroccan Jewish communities to my advantage as it is often who you know, who you are related to, or who you are married to that gets you places in life. There are some who would be deterred or stressed with all of the running around that started at 9:30 A.M. and ended at about 2:30 P.M. That is not me though, and I was only stressed once when this guy from France was sitting to close to me. I like personal space. You ask, "Ehav how were you able to keep your cool? How did you stay so composed?" My answer to you simple and short.

I attended a Historically Black University named Prairie View A&M University from 1993 to 1998.
Nothing that they can throw at me here in Israel can compare to going to an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) during the time when there was no internet registration. I was going through bureaucracy of a entirely different level when Prairie View A&M University (PVA&MU) had the following.
  • Old broken down dorms.
  • One printer for the entire engineering computer room (you had to bring your own paper).
  • A laundromat with 8 washers and 4 dryers for a campus of 3,000 students.
  • When the computer network would always go down during registration.
  • That who didn't care and had a reputation of telling off people's parents.
I also remember how having the right hook-up i.e. the right connections always paid off when it came to registration and washing cloths. Of course the last time I visited PVAMU the dorms are really nice, registration is a lot better, and what a different almost 10 years makes. It is funny how those things prepared me for making my way through Israeli bureaucracy. More to come as my adventures in Israel continue.

The Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem


Miriam said...

kol hakavod! I can't believe you didnt get stressed. When I went for the TZ, they said I had to come back the next month! Plus the clerks were impatient and upset.

Ehav Ever said...

Thanks Miriam,

I hope you and your family are well. Like I said, attending a Black University in the 1990's and before does a LOT to prepare one for dealing with government bureaucracy. I have so many stories about trying to get classes and running back and forth, jumping through hoops, and kissing up. I was in the honors college, and we had real specific courses and teachers we had to take, which proved to be difficult to fulfill and deal with your regular school responsibilities.

In terms of the Misrad HaPanim, at one point one woman told me I would have to come back in August. What I did was talk to her real nicely and tell her about my job and that it would impossible for me to come back in a month. She then sent me to a lady that was yelling at her supervisor. This lady only spoke loudly, but I spoke to her really nice and she sent me to someone else. I stayed patient and calm the whole time. I had also had the advantage of being easily recognized. I also mastered a long time ago the art of looking at them in a shy guy kind of way, and I had no plans on leaving without my Teudat Zehut.

It go to the point where they had me translating for them with an American girl who didn't have original documents. I can also say that knowing the Hebrew goes a long way also.

When I was a kid my mother told me that no matter where you go in the world there is always a system. It is a matter of learning it and how to maneuver through it. Besides my mother worked for the SSA in America, so she taught me how to Que my way through government red tape and such. She used to bring me to her job when I was a kid.

Tr8erGirl said...

Mazel Tov!

I came to your blog from Miriam's blog - its great! Hope the tape from here on out isnt as "red"! But then - it wouldn't be Israel would it! Enjoy!

Ehav Ever said...

Hey Tre8ergirl,

Thanks for leaving a message on my blog. I don't mind the red tape. It makes you know that you need to pray to Hashem to make it through the day. Besides I like the challenge. I have been watching 300 a lot lately so maybe I am in my manly conquering mode. Maybe, that should be my next article.

Ehav Ever

Lori said...

Hey Ehav,
I have an old friend who attended Prairie View back in the 80's. Also, I met my spouse (and a couple of my very best friends) at a historically Black College (LeMoyne-Owen). I only attended a year, but it sounded a lot like Prairie (smile). Looking back though, I wouldn't trade the experience for the world.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey Lori,

I agree with you. I wouldn't trade attending an HBCU for the world. I have a lot of goood memories of college. The first few years were the best because everyone in engineering used to study together in the engineering building every night. It was like its own community. I sometimes wish I had done an exchange program at another University for a year, just to see what other schools were like, but I loved being on the Hill as they called PVAMU.

rivkayael said...

Gosh Ehav that sounds like my college in singapore...=) Well *someone* has to employ all the paper pushers...