A number of necessary things have so far not been done, thanks to my timing. Wouldn't you know it, I've arrived in the midst of the week of Sukhot, which is apparently not altogether unlike that week between Christmas and New Year's back in the States when everyone is either on vacation or working in a restaurant feeding people on vacation.
I am, incidentally, going to shamelessly exploit this condition to explain the recent gap in posts. I'm building up a hefty backlog of photos in my camera, which I am unable to upload for two reasons: whoever runs the network in my dorm is on vacation, and thus I can't connect the laptop to the net; and my sysadmin is on vacation, so nobody has the ability to make the extremely minor configuration change that would let me plug a flash drive into my workstation. If there's a cybercafe nearby, I can't tell, because I haven't learnt the Hebrew alphabet yet. So that'll have to wait ... something tells me hacking the Institute network my first week here wouldn't be the grandest idea.
Aside from the Institute staff being "on collective vacation" as I was told, it's little things like the fact that the grocery store I've managed to locate has been closing earlier than they let me out of the lab (hint: an early-morning teleconference in California keeps us in rather late) and that I thus have some yogurt and an apple to get through Shabbat. And the wonderful baker next to my dorm who's been selling me breakfast pastries didn't open today, either. Long weekend.
My officemate swears that there actually is some commerce in this country. Guess I'll see it next week.