Top ten things that stink about moving in Tel Aviv

The hunt for elusive cardboard boxes, the crotchety new neighbors and the bureaucratic nightmare: Why did I think moving apartments would be fun?

10. Finding boxes: Every time I have to move I think back on all the boxes I carelessly threw away the last time I settled into a new home. What was I thinking? Nothing is more demeaning that skulking around the back alley of the supermarket trying to snatch any somewhat decent and not too moist available cardboard box. And why? Because I’m cheap and refuse to pay for something that gets chucked out every single day like yesterday’s e-blasts.

9. The people moving out of the new apartment: They never seem to leave on time. There is always something that keeps them there until the very last second. And then, once they have left, they always seem to have conveniently forgotten some insanely large piece of furniture that you have to dispose of yourself, after having run up and down fifty million flights of stairs with all of your unnecessary belongings. Plus, the apartment is always incomprehensibly filthy.

8. The people moving in to the old apartment: Are always there too early. Just as you think you may actually make it out in time with all of your stuff they show up, eager to get the keys and check out the state of their new place. Their anxious smiles, their trying-to-stay-out-of-your-way sidesteps and their clear impatience just makes it all so much more stressful. As if it wasn’t tough enough!

7. The new old lady neighbor: She’s there, eating a banana in her kitchen, staring at your balcony and the light you left on last night because you didn’t know how to turn it off. And she’s waiting to tell you how wasteful you are in that obnoxious intruding tone. And what’s worse? She’s friends with the upstairs old lady, who is also waiting to jump down your throat about the dust bunny you left in the stairway.


6. The handymen: Unlike them, I work from home. And while having pleasant conversation about the amount of books I own and the size of their apartments after they first got married is all fine and dandy, fixing the faucets does not have to take four hours. And the fact that I’m the lady of the house does not mean that I’m a 24/7 coffee machine, thank you very much.

5. The inevitable trip to Misrad Hapnim, the Ministry of Interior: need I say more?

4. The inevitable trip to the post office: ditto.

3. Not being able to find anything: Seriously, I have spent the last two days wearing clothes I thought I threw out in the 8th grade.

2. Cleaning: Sucks. When I put my boom box and my hat collection in the Maxipad boxes I found at Mega they seemed clean. But when I took them out, they were magically covered in a fine dust that makes me sneeze. I think I have swept the place fifty times today and yet there is still a crunching feeling every time I put down a foot. Ew.

1. When we first decided to move we thought, “Great! What fun.” But moving is not fun. Moving is paint on my hands that I can’t remove, looking like I haven’t slept in five days because I haven’t, drinking coffee out of paper cups that were not take-away, discovering my previously normal sized refrigerator is actually a midget, my cat is terrified, my washing machine is on strike, it’s colder in here than I remember it being in my old place, always having something to do like clean, hang, paint, switch a light bulb or dust and generally feeling displaced. And I know that in two years or hopefully much more, when we have to move again, I will once again, like a goldfish, think, “Ooh! Moving! Fun!”