Wednesday, September 26, 2012

'happy yom kippur!'

I overheard the others saying it when leaving Silja's new daycare center yesterday and when the receptionist at the front desk answered the phone, and so we also left the place wishing the staff Happy Yom Kippur. Last week the daycare was closed two days for Rosh Hashanah -- the Jewish new year. Besides a lot of Boston College students our new neighborhood is influenced by a large Jewish community. The local supermarket has in addition to an extremely large selection of hummus and pickles, a section with Shabbat candles, gefilte fish, matzo bread, and so on. Some of it gives me flashback to the time I spent in Israel working in a kibbutz way back.
On Saturdays the streets are busy with families rushing to and from the many synagogues in the area.  Men in black suits and black hats, little boys in black suits, women in long skirts and girls in dresses.
The anthropologists in me can't help of taking mental notes of what I observe, and it really makes me want to understand the religion and the culture is encompasses it in much more detail. 

I had to go back to Cambridge tonight for a meeting, and when going back there I instantly miss it. It's just so nice, and I guess it still feels much like home compared to this place, but the Jewish trait that characterizes our new area, is a definitely on the plus side. I'm ready to learn more. 
Shalom and l'chaim (the kibbutz volunteer vocabulary...)

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Monday, September 24, 2012

fall weekend

The weekend started out with grey skies and alone time for me to get familiar with a new friend: a sewing machine. It was accompanied by a real fall treat: pumpkin spice latte, which unfortunately sounds much better than it actually is. Ew, I'm not a fan -- yet...  We took a walk around our neighborhood lake to visit Boston college, which old tower we can spot from our side of the lake. It ended with a lot of sunshine, apple picking and catching up with friends from both Los Angeles and Michigan. A good weekend indeed!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

catching up

At the moment one day is taking the other, and although I continue to think about blogging I lack the time to sit down and do so. So catching up from last post: From the basement in an upscale neighborhood in Cambridge we are readjusting to a 2nd floor apartment with lots of light and a new neighborhood in Brighton. It hasn't exactly been an easy move. I never shared the process of finding an apartment in Boston, but it was such a pain I didn't bother to go into the details here. In brief the availability of rental apartments in Boston/Cambridge have dropped from 10% to 1% this year resulting in a limited market and very high prices (although it is already expensive). We were looking on our own, through (recommended) real estate agents and via hints from friends and acquaintances. Everything we saw was in such poor condition and it was so discouraging see our requirements go lower and lower as we saw what was available. Because we were looking for something from September 1st, the biggest move-in date of the year in Boston, the market was extremely aggressive, and we were advised to be quick if we saw something we liked as it might otherwise be taken by others. So we came to this place in Brighton, and it look more decent than anything else we'd seen. There was a balcony, a good layout of the apartment and other little kids in the building. We were told another couple was going to look at the apartment in the afternoon. On our way home we decided to take it. Bjarni was biking down to Brighton to pay the deposit, while I went to see one last apartment in Somerville. Before he paid the security deposit he called me, who was inspecting another really crappy place, and I could tell him to just go ahead with the check.
We then got the place two weeks ago. It was so dirty and things which they promised would be fixed were still broken... Ugh! For a little while we were trying to figure out how to get out of our one year contract, because we were so disappointed with the place. Since then we have been scrubbing it all down thoroughly, complained to the landlord who have sent cleaners and carpet guys. And now it's slowly coming together. It's far from perfect, but it's our home now and man are we going to make the best of it!
I'll be back again soon. With updates about our new Jewish neighborhood, our American child care experience, pictures of this new home of ours and more. See you soon. :)
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