Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hebrew, French Fried Onions, and Holidays

So we've been here 20 months!  And guess what?  My Hebrew is....a tiny bit better!  Yay!

I don't think I'm used to having to prepare my sentences and vocabulary ahead of each confrontation with an Israeli, but at least it has gotten a tad easier. 

Let's just say that I can tell my Hebrew is better by the fact that:
  1. I mostly understand what my three year old grandson Nadav says. Sometimes he has to repeat himself, though.  And he has learned to roll his eyes a bit at me.
  2. I can turn on the radio and figure out the topic of the discussion - but that's not really fair because it's always politics.
  3. I have had Israelis yell at me that I should stop being embarrassed to speak Hebrew because my level is not that bad.  But I bet then they go home and tell their families they did a good deed by making an olah feel good about herself. And then laughing. A lot.
  4. When random people call me on the phone and start speaking quickly I have learned to let it all wash over me and wait for the one word I know - like "dentist" or "car" or "pizza" and then ask a question, like, "Oh, this is about the _____________?" and not sound too stupid (well, I don't think I sound too stupid but I'm probably just fooling myself)
  5. I am VERY good at the Resh sound.  I can chhhhhhhhhhhhh the resh with the best of them.  Got a word with two Resh's?  Bring it on, baby, I can handle it.  
  6. I am outstanding at saying English words with an Israeli accent, which is sometimes all you need to get by.  Example:  Ani michapeset [I am looking for] eh tccchhhhhesh ken [a trash can] - works every time.
  7. I drive around in my car having Hebrew conversations with myself and a phantom friend and my phantom friend never corrects me.
No, seriously, my Hebrew is better.  For all of you who think you could never move to Israel because of the Hebrew, let me reassure you - you get used to sounding like an immigrant.  No matter how good your Resh is, the Israelis know you are American - sometimes they even start speaking to you in English (not very good English) with this knowing look in their eyes.

In other news, guess what?  Our little grocery store has bowed to the pressure of the Americans and started stocking French Fried Onions!  What a treat!  Now I can make my famous tuna casserole the right way (after having to go searching for cream of mushroom soup - American - and white tuna - American).   It's the little things.  I was so happy when I saw that that I actually called people to tell them.

So, by learning more Hebrew and acquiring more American foods, things are good.  

Oh, and by the way, there is NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING like the Yomim Noraim in Israel.  Every single person I have come in contact with (including the pizza delivery guy) wished me a shana tova last week and a tzom kal (easy fast) this week.  Aside from the nice davening, which you can find in other places, the feeling in the country is totally and completely centered around the chagim.  Think mid-October through December 25 in America.  THAT is how completely the country is involved in the holiday season.  So cool.


1 comment:

  1. I am pretty good at rolling my 'resh' in most cases except when I say my last name! Why didn't NBN tell me my own name would be difficult? I should have changed it to Cohen.