Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #19 - it might be time for a vacation

Water is water but cold water is not hot water.
35 liters is NOT 35 gallons – it’s 3 ½ buckets of water. The plumber confirmed what I’ve been saying all along – the hot water runs out after just one shower. It’s true – Amerikayim DO love their hot showers. But I’m becoming Israeli. At this point, I even love a lukewarm shower…

Housekeeper Karma?
In Brooklyn my housekeeper (who was of such a short stature my kids were astonished when they first saw her and wanted to know if she was still growing) used to carry around a step stool with her wherever she went. Initially I thought the parallel between me in Israel and my Mexican housekeeper in Brooklyn was all about language barriers. Both our kids would come home to us speaking the language of the land, neither of us would understand them.

Now I can feel for her challenge of height. I haven’t met many really tall Israeli women but my kitchen was most certainly built for some sort of Israeli giant. On my first trip to the Gush Center (before my lift arrived and I had any dishes to unpack), I purchased a step stool so Rosie could reach the sink. Since then I’ve purchased 2 more – bigger ones, for myself (yes, I made the man helping me in the Gush Center stand on it to see if it could handle something close to my weight) so that I can reach my dishes, my glasses, my cookbooks, my coffee mugs – pretty much everything that I have.

Have Step Stool, Will Cook. Well, sort of.
For Shabbat lunch we had some corn, bean and olive salad with some humus and some salami. Sunday’s dinner was scrambled eggs with salami and leftover corn, bean and olive salad. Bob casually mentioned something about wanting to eat something other than eggs and salami. He’s not picky. When Barbara was born we ate steak and French Fries – the only meal I could prepare one-handed – through three months of colic. But how much salami and eggs can you feed a man? So today I used my frying kitchen (which I’ve made my “dairy” kitchen). I made pancakes for breakfast and then semboosak for lunch. For dinner there will be spanech jibn but I’m not sure I can muster the strength for a side dish. Maybe couscous. Thank Gd for the instant hot water on my Mai Eden machine.

To Ulpan or Not to Ulpan.
I decided not to put Barbara and Asher in Ulpan. My decision has been met with mixed reviews – some raised eyebrows and some thumbs-up. I’ll let you know how that works out. My Ulpan starts September 14. I CAN’T WAIT!!!! I have 14 unread text messages from Cellcom and Mai Eden and then there’s Eddie – my Israeli driver’s ed instructor with the American name but not one word of English in his vocabulary. I’d love to know what he’s telling me – it always sounds so very important! Today when I called my obstetrician I would have liked to understand the phone menu choices instead of getting a run-around for 15 minutes only to find out I’d been dialing the wrong number in the first place.

There’s no letter in the Hebrew alphabet that gives the G sound in George.
Last night in a fit of unpacking enthusiasm continued (read: Bob cannot stand living with boxes), Bob singlehandedly unpacked the entire attic. Becky had napped in the day so she was by his side in an unending quest to find Curious George. Curious George is so much a part of Becky’s life that I packed him only at the last minute. Unfortunately he did not make the box manifest so other than knowing he was in a high numbered box, I could not tell her exactly where to find him. And so the treasure hunt began.

Back in Brooklyn Bob drove his dream car – a Mazda Miata convertible. We (me, the kids, the neighbors, his parents and siblings) joked that he looked like a giant (almost 6 feet tall) driving around in one of the kids’ toy cars. Last night when he was unpacking the attic which has sloping ceilings, making some of the spaces just 2 feet tall, he was reminiscent of that giant.

Tale of the Tape.
It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and I have no idea where my kids are. Asher and his friend are somewhere in the house – a good guess would be in the attic playing Wii. Rosie left with Bob to return a plastic table with chairs to a neighbor and then they were scheduled to hit the makolet for a treat (read: 2 shekel slushy from the pizza store). That was about 2 hours ago. Hmmm. At about the same time, Barbara and Becky left on a highly covert operation. They said they were taking their collective 7 shekels and walking to the makolet to buy slushies. When they wouldn’t let Rosie come I began to suspect something a little more complex. They are still not home but I’m confident the story will ultimately involve closer to 20 shekels (smuggled out in a sparkling pink pocketbook) and lots and lots of Hubba Bubba Tape.

Becky and Barbara met up with Bob and Rosie. Each one (minus Bob) walked in with a Hubba Bubba Tape dispenser of gum. There are 6 feet of tape in each package. Rosie walked in with no less than 3 feet in her mouth. The entire front of her face was protruding as she struggled to chew. She looked, well, like Curious George.

With the magic button making the water hot via super expensive electricity we are still limited to four hot showers. Thankfully what passes for Asher’s shower is like a blink in time. Barbara will shower with Becky and then there’s those 3½ buckets that were heated by the sun….a bonus, I suppose. Looking forward to our trip to the north. To a hotel. With showers. Without quotas.

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