So here I am--one day away from my workshop.
Yesterday I got my talk in order--still about 500-1000 words too long, but I don't speak until Tuesday, so I want to see how tomorrow goes before figuring out how to cut it.
Then Nurit and Colin and I went to the Tel Aviv boardwalk. Filled with people--all ages, all kinds of dress. We walked up and back, then ate some good food. They went out and I continued to work.
Watched "Fill the Void"--see the review here: http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/134713/israeli-film-fill-the-void-is-jane-austen-for-jews. It was terrific--the review says it better than I can, but it was a complex and sympathetic (but not romanticized) look at Haredi life.
This morning, Nurit drove me to the mall to get my phone recharged. Then I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to get an internet plan. Did not succeed--turns out that google nexus phones are not compatible with Orange sim cards. Then I tried calling Dave. No luck there either. On Wednesday, after my conference ends, I'll find a store and go in. Either they figure out how to get me what I need or I want my money back so that I can find another option (which may be renting an Israeli phone!). I got the nexus so I could use it in Israel. Not sorry I have it--I really like it, but to be told that google phones just aren't common in Israel, so they can't help me--well, that's kind of bullshit.
In the meantime, I've managed to make myself understood in several stores with people who don't speak English. My Hebrew is moving from execrable to merely dreadful. Still won't be enough for the workshop tomorrow, but that's okay--the translator will either work or not. Either way, I've prepared to the best of my ability and the rest is up to God--or fate--or what you will.