Monday, September 18, 2006

We just got home from ulpan. For some reason I don't seem to be looking at my watch every ten minutes in class any more; I think most of it sinking in! One woman in the class was getting frustrated. She said she never learned about infinitives in English and she didn't see how she was going to learn them in Hebrew. I must admit, I secretly enjoy seeing other people struggle because then I don't feel so stupid. Anyone would laugh standing at the door listening to supposedly bright people repeating the same things endlessly. Mi at? Ani Vickie. Mi atah? Ani David. Actually, we're waaaaayyyy past who are you, I'm whoever. We're up to: David lo oved; hu lomed ivrit b'ulpan b'matnas b'Ramat Beit Shemesh. Ani nasuah b'David.
Et mol, Ellen v'ani linsoah l'yerushalayim m'po al autobus. (David doesn't work; he learns Hebrew in ulpan at the matnas in Ramat Beit Shemesh. I am married to David. Yesterday, Ellen and I traveled to Jerusalem from here on the bus). That last sentence I just put together from what I've learned. I don't think it's v'ani (does that mean with I'm?), but I don't know how to say "me." Whatever. The best thing about today's class was that as we were leaving we ran into our friend, Toby, who's in the gimmel class and she gave us a ride to the micholet in her brand new, air conditioned car. Have I ever mentioned we don't have a car? I gave us ER and Gilmore Girls and I really don't miss television at all. I gave up my two dishwashers and I sort of kinda miss those, especially after Shabbos when my counters are stacked with dirty dishes. But I practically GAVE AWAY my Chevy Blazer and I have to say, that's what I miss most of all. (Of things! I'm only talking about things. There's no way to put into words how much I miss my friends and people I love...)

{Huge sigh}

So Shabbos was good, as usual. On Friday night, we had two sets of friends who met each other for the first time and I think they liked each other. They both brought their 19 year old daughters who very graciously helped me serve and clear. Zvi had just gotten back from Artzot Habrit (the United States) 2 hours before Shabbos from a week of fundraising for Jewell, an Aish program he heads here - but he and Kalmon had all kinds of dvrei Torah (words of Torah) to share with us. They all stayed until late - it was so much fun!

I slept a little too late on Shabbos morning to make it to shul, so I stayed in my robe and davened at home. David and I ate lunch by ourselves and then he took a 4 hour nap while I read a novel that Faygie had lent me. It was so relaxing! I did make it to my 5:00 shiur and then came home to have Shalosh Seudas with David. He even helped me with the dishes after Shabbos. We had to do them in 3 shifts because there isn't much room in the racks. I washed; he dried. How cool is that?!

Yesterday after ulpan (Sundays ain't what they used to be...), Ellen and I hopped on a bus to Yerushalayim (David went on a 9 mile walk with her husband, Kalmon). Even Ellen was feeling a little sick on the bus, so it's not just me. But we were also talking with a woman who was in the seat behind us from our ulpan class who was going in to meet a rabbi she'd met on frumster. (When we asked her today in class how it went, she just shook her head and said, "Dudly.") At least here in Israel she has more choices.

Anywho (yes, it was supposed to read like that) Ellen and I perused a few shops in Mea Shearim before heading up Strauss to Yafo Street. Our 2 goals for this trip was 1. to check out a butcher on Agrippas Street that delivers in RBS and 2. see the move United 93. Neither of our husbands want to see any movies, but even Naomi Ragen recommended it. Well, we were both hungry; it was about 3:00 at this point and we hadn't had lunch, so we went to Cafe Rimon (is there any place better?) and split a Greek salad. Then we stood on Yafo to wait for the #5 bus to Malcha Mall (also known as the Jerusalem Mall or the Kenyon). The #6 passed by but I've been on that bus twice and I know it stops every few feet and takes an hour to get there so we let it pass by. By now it's almost 4:30 and the movie starts at 5. So we (okay, Ellen - she's been here a year already and her Hebrew is somewhat better than mine) asked the security guard at the bus stop if the #5 stopped there and he said no, while vaguely waving his arm up the street. So we walked a little ways to a couple other bus stops and then gave up and flagged a cab. You have to understand that taxis and cabs are a way of life here for pretty much everyone. Even if you have a car, it's expensive to run and you only use it when you have to. No private cars are allowed on Yafo street at all, only buses and cabs.

There were only about 12 people who were in the theater with us. The movie was pretty intense. They purposely didn't use well-known actors because they wanted the focus to be on the story. I can't figure out how they could reenact what was going on in the plane when no one lived to tell the story, but it seemed to be a credible account of the way events happened. When the FAA was trying to figure out what happened to flight 11 and then looked out their window and saw the smoke pouring out of the north tower of the Twin Towers, our hearts were beating so fast. Unfortunately, as the tension was building and the story moved back to flight 93 where the terrorists were just about to make their move, the movie came to a grinding halt and the word "Hefseka" came up on the screen. Break time! Intermission! On a 90 minute movie! Here we were on the verge of terror and all we could do was laugh. Nobody even got up from their seats. After about 5-10 minutes, the loudest bull horn you've even heard was blown, making all of us jump about 3 feet. Then they blew it again and re-started the movie. I remember Lyuba, the Russian lady who had the alterations shop next to Aish, who kept saying, "Only in America." I totally understand now. But it doesn't even come close to "Only in Eretz Yisrael."

You already know the ending to the movie. Suffice it to say that when they showed each person calling their mothers, husbands, wives, children to tell them goodbye and that they loved them - it was pretty gut wrending.

We actually got out of the movie 20 minutes before the train was leaving and were able to make it to the station in time. We were so exhausted we didn't want to wait for the #14 in Beit Shemesh to take us back to RBS so we shared another cab. It was about 8:30 by then and David had only been home about 2 hours from his hike. I don't think my exhaustion even compared to his. I think he needs to build up his endurance a little at a time and not push himself so hard so fast. But that's just my opinion.

This weekend is Yom Tov! In Israel all the chagim (holidays) are only 1 day Yom Tovs except for Rosh Hashanah, so I guess we have to wait for Sukkos to have a long Chol Hamoed (days between the first day of the holiday and the last day). We're eating out 3 of the 4 meals and having guests for Shabbos lunch. We need to put a grocery list together and go to the new grocery store in the mercaz this afternoon; I can only imagine how crowded they'll be later in the week.

By the way, I haven't changed soooo much. I realized this morning that my cell phone was missing. Someone called me while I was on the train and I thought I had put it back in my backpack, but it wasn't there this morning. We called cellcom and they are only allowing incoming calls on it for the next week. No one answers it when I call it. The train company is going to look for it, but I was told there's a 99% chance that they'd never find it. It's a rented phone and under warranty, but we have to pay $50 (that's 237 shekels!) for a replacement. {Another very deep sigh ...}

Got to go make that grocery list.

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