Thursday, October 29, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #73 – my dryer, my ulpan, & a dream come true

No clamp? No need!
When the washer/dryer installer guy came in August and asked if I wanted to buy the (aluminum) dryer venting tube for 200 shekels I said yes. After all, a dryer needs to vent. When he merely smushed it onto the back of the dryer I asked him if he would be putting a clamp on it to keep it in place. “No need,” he told me. “It will stay.”

Fast forward – and a word of advice
When your dryer venting tube falls off and disintegrates when you try to smush it back into place and you decide you need a replacement dryer venting tube and you want to just buy one because you have clothes in the washer and tons more laundry to be done, be prepared to pay for something packaged in a box that has the following warning in English:

Vinyl tubing - flamable. Not to be used with a dryer.

Be prepared to read this label and ask about aluminum tubing and to be told there is no such thing as aluminum tubing here and that this is what everyone uses. Be prepared to call your dryer installation company and have them take down your number so that they can call you back to let you know when they can first schedule you. Then call the local appliance repair guy and pay another 200 NIS for replacement tubing. The aluminum kind. Or you could just skip to the last step. Yes, that’s what I’d recommend.

How does this movie end, again?
My ulpan class is an eclectic mix of colorful characters. We resemble a movie cast – something from along the lines of ‘Summer School’. We have a group of young South African soccer players, a Frenchman, a middle aged married couple, a soft-spoken child genius, a kollel learner and his devoted disciple, a mini-support group of moms, and several others. I am the slow-moving pregnant character, of course.

I wondered what everyone’s motivation would be for the test this past Sunday. I mean – there is no report card. There is no failing ulpan. Ulpan is like this whole other dimension. If you say you are going to ulpan, nobody asks how you do on the tests. It’s understood. You go there to learn Hebrew. You are “in ulpan,” that’s what you do. End of story.

Today the tests came back. I got a Metzuyan! And everyone knows it.
I remember attending an Israeli child’s birthday party in Brooklyn with Barbara years ago. At the end of the party the little girl opened all her presents. In front of the guests. I figured the party had fizzled out too early and the mom didn’t know what to do next so that’s what we did. I never thought about it again until Barbara attended an Israeli girl’s birthday party here a few weeks ago. At the end of the party the little girl opened all her presents. In front of the guests. So it seems, maybe, possibly (though I need more evidence to test my hypothesis), that it’s a cultural thing – at an Israeli birthday party the host opens the gifts in front of everyone.

And so, why would I be the least bit surprised when the ulpan teacher went over each person’s test and grade in front of the entire class today. Suddenly I understood the motivation for studying for the test – to avoid public shame! The teacher started out with an announcement about our overall performance. “It’s not so worse. But it’s not so good.” One by one we got an analysis of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Plus each other’s grades – Metzuyan (excellent), Tov Maod (very good), Tov (regular good), and my favorite grade, Tov Menus (good minus).

More Google Translator – finally a lunch menu! But is it Kosher? And who is Perry?
We are pleased to announce the provision of hot meals nutritious and balanced school students.
Kashrut is Mehadrin.
The cost of a dose - ₪ 12.
Hmgshit: Pizzeria bloc
Baguette with ham
All dishes will be added Perry.


  1. Perry = fruit? (pe-ri?)

  2. whoever figured that one out - very cool! michal

  3. yes but how about the baguette with ham? what on earth is that?

  4. baguette with ham = "cham"? (warm)

  5. turns out it was pastrami. i guess the language that doesn't distinguish between like and love also doesn't split hairs over pastrami vs. ham. although you'd think it would...