I committed a cultural faux pas, it's true.
The University of Haifa is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city, and to get most places in the city like the shouk (market), malls, restaurants, beach, it is necessary to take a bus. When I first got to the University, I didn't know how much I would be taking the bus, and thus I elected not to get what's called a "Rav Kav" when I had the opportunity to the first week of school. A rav kav is essentially like a smart trip in D.C and is for frequent travelers on the city's bus system.
I elected not to get one because I didn't know how much I would be taking the bus, and whether or not it would be worth it financially. I didn't think I would be taking the bus enough to make it financially feasible. That was about as far from the truth as possible.
I take the bus all the time, almost every day. Obtaining a rav kav requires a trip down to the central bus station, showing them your passport, and getting a special paper from the International School to show that you are an international student.
And after I realized my mistake of not getting a rav kav the first week of classes, it took me almost two months to obtain the necessary paperwork and go all the way to the central bus station to get one.
Now that I have one, I don't have to try and find 6.90 sheckles in my wallet every time I ride the bus, I can just swipe my card....more like a local.