Friday, April 24, 2015

I Have No Idea What You Just Said

These three things happened to me just today.

Phone call #1:
Got a phone call.  Someone speaking Hebrew reallyreallyquickly.  I answered, "Lo hevanti" [transl: HUH?]

She spoke a bit slower - something about my husband and challos.  Hmm, knowing my husband, who is still recovering from the trauma that was Tax Season 2015, he probably bought challos and left them in the store. 

OK, I answered (in Hebrew that is "OK"), he'll come back for them. Since there was not the usual moment of silence after I speak Hebrew (during which the Israelis realize that I have not understood a word of the conversation), I figured I'd gotten it right.

We have been here for three years.  We have learned a lot of Hebrew, ok?  Really!  So when I walked into the restaurant today and they asked me if I wanted the English menu, I declined the offer.  I mean, really, dude.

Waiter comes to take our order.  We know what we are doing, do not mess with us. He asks us all of the usual questions, and we answer like pros.  We got this.

Then he said something else.  It was a question. Clearly he wanted me to choose between one thing and another.  I caught a word, and repeated it. I glanced at my husband, who looked likewise clueless. The waiter repeated the word followed by a questioning tone.  I gave my all-time favorite answer, "B'seder."  I was hoping he didn't ask if I'd like a touch of cyanide in my omelet, or if I preferred that he serve me bread from two days ago.

Seriously, I have no idea what he asked me.

The meal was fine, though, and I didn't taste whatever it was I chose to add.  Or not add.  

Close call.

Phone call #2
Then I got a call from the Hyundai dealership.  I mean, I think it was the Hyundai dealership.  We don't own a Hyundai but we used to.  "Susan?" the nice lady asked.  "Ken," I answered. (I got this).

Then about forty thousand Hebrew words came out of her mouth.  I got none of them.  What I ASSUMED was that there was some kind of sale going on and it was incumbent upon me to take advantage of it.

I took a risk.  I said, IN HEBREW, "I am not interested in a new car right now, but thank you." Apparently I did not say something entirely stupid.  In other words, it really was a lady from Hyundai and there really was a sale.  

She proceeded to talk more.  Many, many words of Hebrew.  Finally I had to shut her up, I mean it was such a waste of her time.  I said, "Well, thank you and Shabbat Shalom!"

So all in all, not bad for someone who is totally clueless.  I can fake it pretty well after 3 years.  And there's always "B'seder" and "Lo Hevanti."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Exercising and Dyeing

I am getting older.  I have, um, never been very good at things like "taking care of  myself."  Let's just say no one ever mistook me for Twiggy.  Or even John Wayne.  Or Cookie Monster.  Well, maybe Cookie.

So I decided two things lately, neither of which I decided independently like a real adult should.

I decided to begin exercising (after my doctor said "Hey! Your blood sugar is getting high!  Stop being an idiot and start exercising!")

I decided to dye my hair (after my friends said, "Hey!  Your hair is all gray!  Stop it!  You don't have to look old!")

So I began exercising.  First I started walking for 1/2 hour every day, after my daughter came in my door and dragged me outside the first day.  And asked me after that, "Did you walk today?  Hmmm?"

The walking went great for about a month, then I started developing foot problems.  No really!  I did!  So I thought well, I need another type of exercise, so I found this great website called  No,, no, just kidding.  It's called "" and it's fantastic.

Why?  Because they let you exercise while you sit down.  I am not kidding.  Well, that is, for the first month or so.. You do lots of cool exercises from the comfort of your chair.  I thought, "Hey, I can do this!"

Then, one day the next episode came on and they said, "Today we are going to begin standing up from our chair."  No, I did not turn the computer off.  I stood up, and now I am up to ALL STANDING EXERCISES!  I know, I also think I should plan to go to Rio in 2016.

OK, change #2 - Dyeing - oh, stop with the drama, it's dyeing, not dying.  sheesh.

My hair is really gray.  It is an icky color.  I mean, I cover it so no one really sees it but me and my immediate family, but whatevs.  I need to feel like I look nice when I look in the mirror and talk to myself (yes, I do, so what of it? ).

So I made THE DECISION.  I decided to color my hair.  Not, I'll admit, a life-altering decision like "I'm going to quit my job and join the circus" or "I'm going to move to Outer Mongolia to find myself" but in my world it's a biggie.

So I go to my Israeli hairdresser - a lovely older woman who does a great haircut.  And I tell her the news, I have decided to color my hair.

I then receive a lecture about "color" (Hebrew - צבע) vs "streaks" (Hebrew - גבנים).   

No, no, she says, you don't want color, you want streaks.

[What do I know?] , I said, I'll leave it to you.

And she proceeds to apply blond streaks to my gray hair.


The result is, um, weird. 

Hmm, she says, you'll probably need another round of a reddish color to make it brighter.

Next day I go back.  She says, "You need red!"  I was thinking Julianne Moore, she was thinking Crazy Israeli Ladies with Purple Hair.

My hair became streaked with purple.

Went back, saying "Add brown."  She does, but the purple is still there.

Next week, after I cried for a couple of days, I went to, let's just say a hairdresser who was not an old Israeli woman, and he did a faaaaabulous job.

Funny story - I am sitting waiting for the dye to take and I see one of the hairdressers putting on his tallis and tefillin and davening shacharis.  Way, way, cool.

So, now I am exercising and admiring my lovely brown hair with auburn and blonde streaks.  I really am!

I know, no one can really see me do either thing, but trust me, ok?