It's all quiet in the madhouse right now. Everyone is either taking a test to determine whether they'll be in Kita Aleph or Bet (aka, beginners or intermediate class) or they are trying on work clothes. Since the computer is actually free, I'm using it while I have the chance.
Yesterday was primarily spent meeting new people as they arrive. We have people from Italy, France, Spain, England, Sweden, Holland, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, and Canada. I may be forgetting a country or two. Many of them are 18-20, so I'm actually one of the older ones here, which I was not expecting. With only a few exceptions, everyone seems pretty friendly and some are actually funny. Even the few exceptions seem like they're basically good people, who just happen to be particularly annoying. But since we'll all be here for 5 months, I'll need to learn to be patient. I have a roomate now- she's an 18 yr old Londoner named Elana. I think we'll get along just fine. We just need to decorate our room so it doesn't look so institutional.
I've been placed in Kita Bet, which is what I was expecting. I know there are a couple of girls who speak Hebrew fairly well on the program, so they'll be in my class. Other than that, I don't know how advanced we'll really be. Classes will start on Sunday. Today and tomorrow we'll be taken around the kibbutz and given our work assignments.
Generally, the ulpan house, aka the Love Shack, is utter chaos. Twelve people will be watching TV, while another plays the guitar and someone else turns on some music. Right outside the moadon, the Europeans will be smoking their cigarettes. This may be the only moment of quiet that this room will experience until shabbat. I don't mind the chaos. There's usually someone doing or saying something funny. The only thing I find irksome is a couple of American teenagers who have no concept of volume control or self-censorship. They say whatever they're thinking, and they say it loudly. Maybe that works for some people, but I don't need to hear some girl I just met screeching that she's a virgin at the top of her lungs three times in a row. TMI, people! Neither of these kids speaks anything other than English though, so when they get too annoying, I just switch to Spanish and talk to the South Americans.
So welcome to the Love Shack, the multilingual capital of Cara's World for the next five months. Who needs the Real World? MTV doesn't know what it's missing...