Monday, July 12, 2010

Where I live

This is going to be about where I live. To the left is the view I have walking down the hill to school in the morning. If you look closely to the right of the light pole you can see the Dome of the Rock.

Here is the South Gate as you can see it's a
secure gate. There is a guard there all the time
who checks your id and can check your bag before you enter.

This is the massive staircase I have to walk up and down several times a day. Most of the other students had to carry their luggage up these stairs.

This is my building 12D also known as Casa Argentina. All the buildings are named after countries.

My room is a special room as I have mentioned before its the sealed room. Basically my room is the bomb shelter in case something happens. My room has two doors the blast door which is white in this picture and a normal door. The blast door is around 1and a half to two inches thick.

I took a picture of the door frame to give you an idea of how thick the walls of my room are. They are made of solid concrete and are about a foot thick. When the window is shut and the door is closed the room is pretty quiet. Except for last night I heard all the screaming and yelling from the people watching Spain vs. Netherlands in the World Cup last night. Even if I had the blast door closed too I still think I would have heard them.

My window is unique as well. When the window is closed it forms a tight seal that also cuts down on the noise level from outside. The glass is thicker than the other windows in the apartment. I don't know if it's bullet proof or not but its pretty thick so it might be.

This picture is with the glass part of the window open. I took
the picture at an angle so you can see the space between the shutters and where the glass would be if the window were closed. The shutters are made out of metal if there is a strong wind they close themselves. While this is annoying when doing homework and suddenly finding yourself in the dark it is designed so if there was a blast outside while my shutters were open the force of the blast would close them for me. With the shutters closed the room is pitch black you can't see anything at all even if it is the middle of the afternoon. This works out great for taking naps but not so great if you are used to relying on the morning sun coming through your window to wake up to.

This is the zoomed in look at part of the view outside my window. Most of my view is the student parking lot but these buildings are on the other side of the parking lot. I'm not sure if they are part of the dorm housing or not since they are behind a separate fence. I zoomed in because I want you to notice the white cylinders on top of the brown colored building. Those are hot water heaters. Most of the residential homes in Israel and the apartment buildings have their hot water heaters on the roof. They also have solar panels as well. The gray building in the front is currently under construction. Construction works differently here. If this was Texas A&M and they had to do construction near the dorms they would usually wait until 8am or if you are lucky 10 am. Here these guys get started earlier some mornings its before my alarm goes off a 6:30am. They are trying to get a lot of work down before the afternoon when it really gets hot. They work everyday but Saturday.

Here is my bed and nightstand. The mattress is made out of some type of foam and its only an inch and a half thick. I'm still not used to sleeping on it yet. The reason my comforter is two colors is because it is a sleeping bag. I want to go on some archaeological digs while I'm here and that requires a sleeping bag. In order to save space in my luggage I decided to use it as a comforter as well.

Here is my desk and bookshelf. Homework is out on the desk for that authentic student look. The Israeli flag was given to me by Yael the lady that works in the gift shop of the Regency Hotel. Note the blue water bottle on the desk this is a very important item. If you are coming to Israel you need one of these. It gets so hot here you always need water with you. Almost every student on campus has something similar to this. Next to the desk is my wardrobe that has a built in floor length mirror. I decided not to take a picture of the closet because I didn't think that would be very exciting to see.

My light switches and electric sockets are cover up as shown. I'm not sure why but I'm going to guess it has something to do with the safety of the sealed room. The light switches and sockets in my room mate's room are not covered. The sockets in the kitchen are covered like this.

This is a mezuzah attached to the upper right door frame. There is also one outside our front door and many of the offices and classrooms at school also have them. Every hotel room at the Regency had them as well. Inside is a piece of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21) These verses are part of the prayer Shema Israel. They are placed on the doorways in Jewish houses in order to fulfill the Biblical command of Deuteronomy 6:9

That completes the tour of the sealed room. I hope you found it interesting.

Questions from the last post: Uncle Joe- The roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is another point of argument. The roof currently needs replacing but they cannot decide who owns the roof. Since it is an honor and a privilege to take care of the church they all want a piece of it. I'm guessing they will still be arguing about the roof until it falls down on them.


  1. What a view to have while walking to class it is beautiful and full of history. You sure are getting a work out every day going up and down those stairs. I liked seeing the security gate, entrance to your building and your dorm room. Thanks for explaining the window and door of the sealed room. Fascinating about the Mezuzah attached to the upper right door frame. A constant reminder of the faith. I'm enjoying your blog with the pictures keep them coming!


  2. It's really nice to know what your room looks like. Now I'll visualize you in your room Do you spend a lot of time in there, or just when you're studying? Do you have drills for the bomb shelter? Have you noticed any interference with your computer because of the thickness of the walls? I'm assuming that you're on a wireless network, right?

  3. Love the pictures. As always, I get questions:

    Who's your bear friend?

    The cacti outside your window look like prickly pear. Are those wild in Israel or were they planted?

    Was looking at the new building they were constructing out your window. All the windows have a kind of keystone structure over the top but one. I can't think of any reason they would do that. Even if it was just "for pretty" I'd make them all the same. Could you ask why?

    On that set of stairs there are tall, skinny trees on either side. Are they "Cedars of Lebanon"?

    Thanks for putting the pictures in with so much detail. When you zoom in on your room floor, you could've seen a dust bunny if one was there. :)

    Any chance for a night-time picture out your window? Trying to imagine some of those churches/mosques lit up. Bet it's special.

    Thanks for taking time to share your life.

  4. Hey Anna,
    I posted a picture of "Baby White" on my blog! Have fun we miss you. Send me your address in an email so WE can send you something. Its!

    Love you,
    Be safe... Jennifer, David, Lola Belle, and "Baby White"