During my 5-week stay, Irina truly welcomed me as a son. She accommodated wholeheartedly to my needs while keeping her distance when necessary. I can't thank her enough for providing the emotional nourishment I needed in difficult times as well as feeding me such delicious food all the time. (She makes amazing schnitzel and vegetable soup!). Her maternal presence filled the spaces of this apartment and really made my stay in Israel wonderful. I'll never forget our late-night conversations in the veranda as we enjoyed our beer, sharing our stories and laughing in the summer Israeli heat. Anyone who is a young student and is staying long-term will find Irina heartwarming and extremely helpful to adjustment in Israel. She's an ultra-cool woman.
About the apartment: though old and a little bit dark, Irina keeps it very clean and organized. The room is quite spacious for one person, so I always had place to put my suitcases and other miscellaneous items. The apartment is generally empty throughout the day as Irina works until evening. Hahagana - one of the main train stations in Tel Aviv - is only a 15 minute walk away, with nearby buses allowing full access to the city. A 20 minute bus ride got me to all the popular hubs and streets (Dizengoff, Rothschild) in Tel Aviv. The shuk (open marketplace) is a 5 minute walk and full of juicy vegetables. Also a note: mosquitoes and cockroaches are natural nuisances in Israel, so definitely ask Irina for ointment and traps. Otherwise, I had a blast! Would definitely visit again, if I have the chance.