â€™ve been in this city nine months. A significant period of time. Some women give birth. I on the other hand have managed to move into an apartment that feels like the fortieth floor of a dilapidated building in Mahaneh Yehuda market. Yup, my Jewish mother back in South Africa is crying real tears at the thought that under her daughterâ€™s window a vegetable store has been set up and the constant background hum is the loud yelling of â€œshekel lâ€™kilo.â€ Sheâ€™s also not much comforted by the fact that during this time, her princess has successfully managed to accumulate a mattress, a washing machine, and a chair. Okay, to be honest, the chair comes from the neighbor across the landing. â€œLeâ€™at, leâ€™atâ€ people keep telling me. Sometimes this â€œleâ€™atâ€ is going so slowly I fear I might be going backwards. Itâ€™s not easy setting up home in this city. Yesterday I needed a holder for toilet paper. What would you call that in English? I guess a holder for toilet paper. And people would know what you were talking about, right? Well, I managed to go to seven stalls in the shuk explaining to all and sundry (who must have thought I had a bad case of diarrhea) before I found someone who vaguely understood my wild gesticulations. An hour later, with the little contraption neatly packed under my arm, I naturally needed toilet paper (and no, I didnâ€™t have diarrhea.) Two dozen rolls, clearly marked â€œNIS 21,â€ were proffered to me by the friendly stall owner for â€œonly 30.â€ Excuse me, but do we olim have â€œsuckerâ€ written on our foreheads? When I pointed out the huge emblazoned black sign with NIS 21 written on it, in all seriousness the stall owner said, â€œFor you I give it at that special price.â€ Yeah, right, for me and the rest of the shuk clientele. Anyway, I might not have furniture but that hasnâ€™t stopped me from getting the absolute essentials like an ADSL Internet and a telephone line. Encouraged to set it up through HOT, I phoned and was greeted with a very pleasant recorded womanâ€™s voice. On my fourth call I managed to work out that she was saying, â€œFor Hebrew press 1, for Russian, press 2.â€ Kaput. End of options. Sadly reminiscent of the other day when I phoned the immigrants department of the Interior Ministry and all the answering machine instructions were in Hebrew. I mean, for crying in a bucket, has this country not heard of immigrants who perhaps might not know the language? Itâ€™s a difficult thing, this Ivrit business. I had to laugh in ulpan class. Iâ€™m in kita alef and we were going around introducing ourselves. The teacher asked a newcomer his name to which he replied â€œKen.â€ She smiled and asked him again, and he obligingly again said â€œKen.â€ Becoming a little impatient, she asked him a third and fourth time, until someone managed to explain to her that â€œKenâ€ was actually his name. In between the madness here, there are things to chuckle about. Back in South Africa we spoke of â€œJewish geographyâ€ because everyone knew everyone else in no small part because we were all related. But living in Jerusalem has given this term new meaning. Iâ€™m a journalist and the other day I was looking for the number of a freelance television cameraman to work with. A friend recommended a guy called Yoram whose number I promptly typed into my cell phone and dialled. â€œYoram, my friend tells me youâ€™re a cameraman.â€ â€œNo, Iâ€™m a taxi driver.â€ At this point Iâ€™m thinking either my friend or this Yoram chap are smoking something. â€œBut she said you were a good cameraman.â€ â€œNo, Iâ€™m a good taxi driver.â€ I put down the phone confused, but not before Yoram promises that his friend, Boaz who is indeed a cameraman, he informs me will call. Five minutes later Boaz phones. But alack, he films only stills no video. But, wait for it, he knows a good freelance cameraman whose name is yup, you guessed it Yoram. The very same Yoram I was supposed to phone in the first place had I not taken the number down incorrectly! Just when I think nothing else can surprise me, Yoram asks if I have a â€œgunâ€ mike. I look at him as if heâ€™s got a few screws loose. All over the world the broadcast industry refers to those long, thin microphones as â€œdirectional mikesâ€ here theyâ€™re called â€œgunâ€ mikes. Only in Israel. Youâ€™ve got to love it.