Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wedding Safes and Ulpan

Yes, you read that correctly- a wedding safe.  No, it's not a prenup, it's a real honest to goodness safe that you see at weddings here.  There is a guy standing near it (a bouncer type).  He has a big empty bin near him and a safe.with a slot on top.  You can either (or both if you're very generous) place your gift in the bin or, if you are giving money, put it in one of the handy dandy envelopes on top of the safe, write your greeting, seal the envelope, and put it in the safe.

So....having a safe at a wedding is kind of not cool.  But not making the groom or father walk around with a wad of envelopes in his jacket is totally cool.  You can all discuss that one at the Shabbos table.

The wedding we attended was for our cousin's son, and it was just great to be one of the Israeli cousins coming to the wedding and not one of the American cousins rushing in for the wedding and rushing back.  Very different experience and very lovely.

Ulpan started today!  Since they usually have about 20 people per class and ours has only 10, they will only be holding class two days per week instead of the usual five, which is fine with me.  If today was a normal gan day, I'll be glad to only do this two days per week.   I mean my brain cells will be happy.  It's a very steep learning curve.  Today we had to introduce ourselves and talk about a topic.  The topic was noise - like it or hate it?

Seriously, that was the topic.  So I regaled everyone with the story of how, when we lived in Washington Heights, our apartment was next to an elevator and it was very noisy.  That's when we invested in our first "white noise machine" and every since then we can't sleep without that machine going.  So the entire class learned the word for....ADDICTION! 

It's also fun in Ulpan, I see, to try to figure out the English equivalent of a Hebrew word.  For some, there are no equivalents.  Like the Hebrew word l'haazin means to listen to music - no English equivalent.   We also got into hiphil, poel, niphal, etc.  Those of you who have studied Hebrew grammar are now starting to cringe.  I'm with you.  I'm hoping that just living here and hearing Hebrew all of the time, it'll become second nature, as will the darned rules about things that are masculine or feminine.

Today we also got a call that our washing machine is being delivered tomorrow - hopefully without a broken door.  But I had to call back because I have been here six weeks now and I am smart enough to figure out that that is no guarantee that they intend to take away the broken machine that is sitting in the middle of my kitchen. 

The nice lady on the phone informed me that the delivery man will probably expect some moolah in return for shlepping the old machine out.  That's what I was afraid of.  AND the delivery window is between 10 and 3 which worried me - I mean I don't want to miss Day 2 of Ulpan!  They promised to call me one hour before delivery.  We'll see.  My gut tells me to stay home and not expect them to do this, but not sure yet.


  1. Ulpan is me'od kef. I did it 5 days a week and it was intense! 2 days a week will be more manageable. I hated the grammar lessons. It takes too much time to try to conjugate correctly so now I just conjugate the verb I need in some form and expect the Israeli I am talking to to understand my point. Seems to be working OK for me :)

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