יום שישי, ספטמבר 30, 2005

Moving from Katif

The following is an email I got from a friend. Her Aunt's family was among those removed from Gush Katif. It was written as a rant against a particular moving company and as a warning not to use that company. In reading it I found it to be one more part of my seeing the reality of the homeowners removed from Gush Katif. If you've ever moved houses yourself you'll relate to the frustration of working with this company. Adding all this stress on top of the fact that you are being forced out, on someone elses schedual makes it all the harder.


From: YE
To: YS
Date: Sep 29, 2005 3:01 AM
Subject: movers from *#@

I would like to apologize for the length of this email. However, it is very important that this email is passed around. This is a recount of my aunts movers who made a very hard and not voluntary move even harder (from Gush Katif to Nitzan). She simply didn't have the heart, strength (emotionally and physically) to do it herself. I went with my aunt to the storage and saw the results of their packing, and I myself was not impressed. I beg of you to please pass this email to lists and anyone you know.

We hired the movers Hovalot on August 1st. Our agreement was that they would pack up the house for 1500 shekel and move contents to the caravan site in Nitzan and pack up a storage bin for 5,000 shekel (a total of 6,500). They were also supposed to disassemble cabinets. They would be bringing an expert carpenter for this very purpose.. I assumed that was the final amount as the salesman, Chaim, never mentioned that VAT wasn't included in the amount. During the week, I decided that instead of a storage bin, we would rent storage space and I asked Rafi, the boss, what he would charge for moving the things to storage as well. He told me it would cost an additional 3,000 shekel. We had agreed that they would come to pack up the contents of the house on Thursday afternoon, August 11th and would be finished completely by 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, August 12th.

On Thursday, I was very anxious so I called Rafi to make sure everything was on schedule He assured me that the movers would be at my house around 4:00 p.m. that afternoon and start packing. He guaranteed that everything would go smoothly. They arrived at 5:00 p.m. and fanned out throughout the house packing everything. I had marked all the closets as to where the contents were to be sent, storage or the caravan. I was particularly concerned at the way they were packing the contents of my kitchen. I kept asking them to put in more paper to cushion the things, especially my fine china and crystals. They kept assuring me that they knew what they were doing.

They finished packing up about 9:30. I was nervous, but they kept saying everything was packed and marked properly so there would be no breakage or damage.

After they finished packing, they disappeared. About an hour later, the truck driver, who was in charge of the crew, informed me that they were exhausted and couldn't continue. They would continue first thing in the morning. The carpenter was nowhere in sight, but he was scheduled to come with a new crew first thing in the morning.. At 7:00 they came back and slowly finished up whatever hadn't been packed. The new crew and carpenter still hadn't come. Around 9:00 the new crew came. At that point, a fight broke out between the two crews and they all stopped working. They didn't resume work for at least two hours at which point I was desperate and my husband lost control completely. They finally started loading up the truck, with my sons doing a lot of the work. The carpenter started disassembling cabinets. However due to lack of time, my sons did some of his work as well. Also, due to lack of time, we were forced to leave a 3 meter long book case made of solid wood. There was just no time to take it apart. The move that was to be finished by 7:00 a.m. Friday morning was finally completed at 4:30 p.m.

After unpacking our possessions in the caravan, I realized with what carelessness and disinterest they had packed up our belongings. All my clothing were creased and had to be ironed. A package of printer paper was just thrown into a box and thus rendered unusable after it was creased and bent. I know these are minor things, but they just reflect the total lack of care in packing our belongings. Then I went to the storage space. There, I discovered broken boxes because they had not been packed properly. Boxes, which were clearly labeled fragile, were placed beneath two or three boxes of heavy books. I discovered that my fine china set had at least three broken pieces, thus destroying my whole set. It was a complete set of 12. A soup bowl, saucer and salad plate were broken. In another box of crystals, a crystal desert dish was also smashed.

Boxes that were supposed to go to the caravan were sent to the storage space and vice versa. Due to the way the storage space is packed, I couldn't find pictures that were supposed to come to the caravan. Also, I couldn't check whether there was any damage or not to the framed pictures.

The driver had arranged with me to have the carpenter come on Wed. August 17 th to put the closets together. He never came. My phone calls to the boss were never answered. We had to have the closets put together by another carpenter.

All in all, there carelessness and lack of concern for our possessions made our moving day one of the worst days of my life.

As you can see from the bill we paid a total of 10,530 shekel for this move.


My aunt didn't mention that the same 3 meter long book case made of solid wood that had to remain in the house they might be charged for leaving it there. When she confronted the movers she asked about comensation and was told it would be a kiss. I was at the storage place and was horrified to what I found there. I wanted to cry just looking at what the movers had put my aunt, uncle and cousins through during a very difficult point in their lives. I was even on the phone with someone when boxes began to fall on my back. When there my aunt told me that my cousin was supervising and that they wouldn't listen to a word he said.

Once again I ask that you pass this email around and warn people not to use Hovalot.

thank you,

יום חמישי, ספטמבר 22, 2005

Out and About

Just walked back in my door, it's around 1am. After too many nights sitting around in the University I spent two evenings out and around. Remains to be seen how Thursday evening gets spent.

Tuesday night I saw an ad for a Jazz show only a bus ride away and with only an $8 cover charge. Great! Tuesday nights are slow around here.

I got there about 9:10. A half-hour late. There was a 3 man band on stage tapping away. Tapping. I couldn't pick out a melody line because there were almost no notes, just tapping. An upright base, a massive xylophone, and drums. Just tapping, rhythmic, building up in tempo after the first half hour. After maybe 40 mins they start to toss in a few notes. 45 mins, they sped up a little. And then stopped. We stood there scratching our heads, hoping that they were just the openers.

I was thinking - "Wow, good thing that girl couldn't come tonight, I would have had to look like I was into this jazz crap." Because if that was jazz, then I'm quite the uncultured buffoon. Luck for all of us, they were just the openers. Luck for myself and John, we missed most of the torture.

4 guys got on and introduced themselves as "Mark Four". None of them were named Mark. Shame. They were much better. You could have been there and I would have been genuinely enthused about the music. I'd go hear these guys again. The bassist was having more fun than should be allowed in public, the drummer looked like he was going to fall asleep in his beer. All told - excellent. You missed a good show.
You also missed a bad show but that less important.

So that was my Tuesday night. Tonight was a cap to an fine day.

Spent a good chunk of it preparing for a debate on the evils of globalization which got forfeited by the other team. The chef here taught me how to make Hollandaise sauce. Not simple, but if done right it can be very fattening. After the non-debate, a friend had made plans to take me along to a bar called the Sheaf in which, on Wednesday nights supposedly, most of the bar is Jewish of some stripe or the other. Interesting place. Interesting mix of people.
Would have been nice if they had live music. But that what I think about every bar.

The Sheaf. Interesting. Jew night. Even looking back on it now I don't know what to make of it. Pointless socializing. Singles remaining single at the end just like they started out. Maybe I just didn't hit it off with anyone. But I'm sure that anyone who is into the scene would tell me: "That's not the point." Could be.


יום חמישי, ספטמבר 15, 2005


It's been a while since my last post. It's a sign that I've been hard at study. Most of the time. A few assignments due this week so I haven't pulled my head completely out of the books.

Last week I got out a bit. This "Sunday" thing is useful. Went about an hour out of Sydney proper and hiked through a small bit of Royal National Park. A bit is a 16km loop, up and down ridges, pools, and rivers; still only a small corner. Lucky for me the fellow I was with had an extra hooded rain jacket because it dripped for much of the way. All told, a good days entertainment and exercise for the mere price of $6.40 (train ticket both ways). The only downside to Sunday off is that you then have to work Friday, meaning you fall in on top of Shabbat with no time to do much other than an hour in the kitchen and a few minutes cleaning up. I understand both sides of the debate.

Rosh HaShana is coming soon. Got to get on the ball with where what and all that.

This past Wednesday I listened to a panel discussion sponsored by World Religions for Peace. Very well spoken all around. Met a Baha'i fellow from Cooktown(pop. 1600). When he spoke about being different because of your beliefs, he knew what he was talking about. The speakers all focused on National identity and it's (possible) clash with religious identity.

Last week and this have been focused on school. "There comes a time in every students life..."
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