"August...No, Next August..."
Today Or and I left army (read: work) a little early to go to a kenes mishtachrerim - "discharge convention". It's a convention that soldiers who are about to get discharged from the army attend, to get information about work, universities, psychometric exams and other similar things. I still have a while until I get out ( about 1.5 years +2 weeks, but who's counting), but thought it would be good to get some information about schools for comparison and to check how much money I get from the army when I get out. I am expecting my phone to never stop ringing for the next few weeks as every single person there took my details, and I am just too polite of a person to say "No thank you, I'm not interested". That, and at a lot of places you get entered in a draw to win prizes. I got a lot of free things (mainly markers, pens and keychains) which is always fun.
I was disappointed to find out that the 16,000 shekel I get when I get out can't be used for school abroad. That leaves me with a few choices. A) Wait 5 years until I can collect the money and use it to pay off my debts which will have formed because I didn't have the money to pay for school in the first place. B) Use the money to take various courses here in Israel before I go to the US in the summer. These would include skydiving (my mom's is not so pleased about this one), bar tending (I think she is less pleased about this one) and various computer certifications. The skydiving would be for fun (yes, jumping out of a plane can be fun) and the rest so that I can get a job to pay for school). C) Launder the money by using it to pay for my family's house here and collecting the money from my parents.
Haven't decided what I'm going to do yet but I think my mom wants me to do choice A while I am leaning towards B.
At one booth at the convention (the bar tending course) the guy asked me when I finish the army. After a certain amount of time in the army you can use the 16000 NIS before you actually get them, and then get reimbursed. I told him August. He said that was a bit of a stretch but that I still would qualify for the reimbursement. "Not this August, next August." Was my depressing response. "Oh" was his.
The convention reminded me how much time I have left. Not to get big-headed about the fact that I'm almost half way done, and more time in the army than most the people on my base.
In other exciting news: The pipe to the hot water heater (that happens to sit directly above my room) sprung a leak and I just spent the last hour trying to patch it up until a plumber can fix it tomorrow. I would have thought that duct tape designed to seal rooms from chemical warfare attacks, that just happened to by lying around my room (I'm in the Home Front Command, what can you do) would have done a better job. The dripping has stopped but there's not going to be any tooth brushing or showering for me tonight (which I really would have liked after coming down from the disgusting attic in my house). At least it's not nearly as bad as last time (just over a year ago) when many of my possessions got ruined. Here's to hoping tomorrow is a better day.