We had our orientation yesterday evening and after that we went to a nearby pub to have drinks. As with most engineering schools, the population is often male dominated, and such is the case here. On the bright side, because of the fact that I’m under the Technion International School means that I meet people from all around the world and its really interesting to be exposed to people of various backgrounds. It’s nice to talk to complete strangers and find a common topic to chat on. I feel that I have really gotten out of my comfort zone in the past month when it comes to talking to people and now I have the confidence to strike up a conversation with just about anybody. People aside, the campus has a nice gym and swimming pool but we have yet to check them out yet. The minimarts on campus aren’t very cheap either, and we have hardly stocked up on food for cooking. But we shall be making our first dinner tonight I guess, so good luck to us with that haha…
We had a smooth transition into the Technion dorms because of Miki, Mira and Lilac – our couch surfing hosts in Kiryat Motzkin who became our family away from home by welcoming us in so many different ways. They taught us about the Jewish culture, discussed with us the various topics regarding Israel and Singapore, let me do laundry at their home, prepared delicious meals for us, gave us beds and shelter, drove us around Haifa for sightseeing, gave us advice on settling into our dorms, ferried our luggage along with us and made sure we had the right necessities on our first night there… the list goes on and I can’t thank them enough really. Why would anyone do so much for strangers you may ask? Sometimes I wonder too but let’s put the cynicism aside and recognize that there are angels out there who are the bright shining stars that guide us along the way in the sea of darkness.
Our previous host has this awesome crib which I suspect is to impress girls and party all night with. The host certainly fit that profile of a partying casanova with polaroids of girls hung up on his wall. Yea, he was pretty open about bringing girls to his place too, which just reflects the extreme views in this country, from the super liberal to the ultra-orthodox. It was a really nice apartment and all but to be honest I felt rather awkward and out of place at times. Not surprisingly, his roommate owns a bar and he seemed like a more pleasant chap who was genuinely interested in talking to us. Oh yes, on this occasion we were couchsurfing in Tel Aviv, which is a really nice city to live in bar the expensive cost of living.
I really love the bicycle system whereby you rent a bike for like 17 shekels a day, and as long as you return the bikes to one of the numerous bike stations within 30 minutes, there would be no surcharge. After 10 minutes, you can rinse and repeat for the whole day, which was good for us. That was basically our primary mode of transportation other than walking and it really saved us time and money because the public transport was rather expensive. The beaches here are so beautiful with lots of surfer dudes and chicks around; the parks are full of fitness freaks and fun loving people with dogs; the nightlife is pretty awesome and crazy but I didn’t experience it. I’m not really the partying sort anyway.
Edit: just cooked our first dinner and it was pretty fun! Alright, I’ll talk more about Turkey next time round and try to post more pictures on Facebook later tonight. ❤