Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #64 – it’s a long way from Mayberry…but not really

For a place where they won’t (no matter what!) bag your groceries for you, the service (when you really need it) is unreal…
When my dashboard lights started flashing tonight (and I had visions of an encore presentation of ‘Grandis, Interrupted’) I grabbed my phone and dialed who I thought was my Israeli mechanic. About 4 minutes into the conversation (it takes that long when you speak broken Keeta Aleph Hebrew the way I do), the voice on the other end reminded me that he was my Israeli lawyer who has the same first name as my Israeli mechanic. As if he gets these phone calls all the time. Mind you it was 5:30 at night and I dialed him on his cell. He wished me the best and reminded me the full name of my mechanic. And so I hung up, dialed the mechanic and described the problem. He asked where I was (I told him the street name and that I was in the middle of doing taekwondo carpool). He reminded me that he lives on that street and that he’d be home in half an hour and that I should meet him after carpool in front of his house so that he could take a look and find the problem and did I have his private cell phone number?

Were there no sandwiches in Israel before the Amerikayim showed up?
The hardest words to decipher in script with no nekudot (vowels) are the English words that have been adapted into the Hebrew. Pizzeria, mayonnaise, and my all-time favorite, sanvichim. Today in ulpan as we all fought off flies, we memorized the story of a Dr. Ticho from Jerusalem. I was so proud of myself for memorizing the story I recited it to my kids who were alternating between cracking up at my inflection (I’m a very enthusiastic story teller) and gagging from boredom. I recited it in the car while waiting for the mechanic and again over dinner – our weekly favorite, salami sanvichim.

The car is YES okay but now I must to do my homework
I feel like I am unraveling the mystery that is the consistent way Israeli’s misspeak, if, in fact they misspeak, in English. It’s a structural thing. Tonight’s homework is to practice saying the Hebrew equivalent of “I must to eat, I must to read, I must to speak, I must to pay….” In Hebrew there is no distinction between how many and how much. Interesting. How many do you want for this juicy watermelon? How much children do you have? Love and like are not distinguishable, at least not yet. There is a way to say you love someone but in Keeta Aleph, we love each other the same way we love pizza and sanvichim.

I must to do my blood work
I went to the Kupat Cholim this morning, waited my turn, and did my blood work. Results to be available on-line in a day or so. Sounds easy enough…

It’s Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan – you can’t forget it here!
The kids had shows and parties. Shiurim (classes) abound. We had special Rosh Chodesh cookies in ulpan. And everyone (including trempers) wished me a Chodesh Tov.

Chodesh Tov!

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