Friday, June 25, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #148 - at a moment’s notice

If you are going to come live here you need to get comfortable with a few concepts
You will be asked, at a moment’s notice, to send things to your child’s school. Things like drinks, toffees, pickles, Bamba, a jumbo tub of humus. There will be no note. Your child will come home and say nothing. In the morning as your child is about to leave you will get the verbal memo.
Mom! I need to bring cucumbers to school today!
You mean pickles?
No, actually, cucumbers.

Somehow, my children require labor intensive items at a moment’s notice. For Yom Hatzmaut Becky insisted she needed to bring a cake with an Israeli flag on it. She would get in trouble with her morah (teacher) if she did not. I think my kids bank on the fact that I don’t call their morahs to verify their preposterous claims. This week I sent Barbara in with a homemade piñata. A piñata takes 3-4 days to make. “We” made ours in one so that Barbara wouldn’t get in trouble with her morah. Hmm…

There are parties for party’s sake here
There are ‘beginning of the summer’ parties as well as middle of the summer parties and, of course, end of the summer parties – each one complete with bounce-houses and cotton candy. There are ‘signing up for after-school activities’ parties in the beginning of the school year as well as chumash parties, marking the completion of sections of Torah learning – throughout the year. All at a moment’s notice.

Sounds like a party to me
There are ‘carnivals’ the kids host at lunchtime where older kids sell candy, pizza, and pickles skewered onto toothpicks to the younger kids. For this you must send in candy, pizza or pickles (and toothpicks) if your child is one of the older kids. Lucky for me I get to send in money so my younger kids can buy candy, pizza, and pickle kabob.
Mom! I need 9 shekels! I’m getting one slice plus two pickles at the carnival today!

There is the Boker Keeta (class party in the morning). For which you will be asked (the day before) to send something – like a jumbo tub of humus (I maintain a standing inventory now).

And there is Erev Keeta (class party in the evening). This usually involves bar-b-q. And a raging bonfire. As in 30 boys loosely supervised by their Rav horsing around by a raging bonfire for 3 hours. Which brings me to the next concept you may have trouble warming up to:

The Israeli fire culture. But I like to call it ‘institutionalized pyromania’. Bonfires occurring, in true Israeli fashion, to celebrate any event, at a moment’s notice.

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