I am at my most productive when I make lists. I find nothing else gives me a sense of accomplishment like checking things off a long to-do list. So, in an effort to get things done, rather than just stressing myself out from thinking about all the things that need to get done, this morning I wrote a list. There were only 5 things on the list. I quickly crossed off one of them, and began working on a second.
Then I tried to accomplish the third. I called the Israeli Consulate in Miami. I listened to the recorded message, and chose what I thought was the correct department, and pushed the button. I got voicemail in Hebrew. So I left a message in Hebrew, asking for someone to call me back. Surprisingly, I did get a call back, right while I was in the middle of crossing item number four off my list – getting passport photos taken. The nice man told me I had the wrong department, and also informed me that the consular department, which I need, is on strike.
Yup. On strike, he said, chuckling. No, really, he chuckled and said “you know, it’s Israel here, they strike, we strike, but don’t worry, call them anyway.”
So I called the consular department, and after a few buttons, a man answered ” ‘allo? Ken?” I began explaining in Hebrew how I’m an Israeli citizen, and I want to register my children as citizens, but quickly got confused, and asked if he spoke English. “English, Spanish, Hebrew, Portuguese, whichever you like”, was the reply.
In English, I asked what I need to do to register the kids as Israeli, and he gave me very straightforward instructions. “But,” he said, “we are on strike now, so you can’t come down here to do it all”
Ah, yes, I responded, do you have any idea how long the strike might last?
“Check our website at the end of the week, it might be over” he replied.
You know, I said, interestingly enough, it is because of a strike that I made aliya all those years ago. The professors were all on strike for months, and I was bored and wanted to get a job, so I made aliya in order to get a job…
“You see!” he laughed, “strikes are a good thing!”
Oh Lord, give me strength, and let this adventure be smooth…