Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We're Here (Part I)

If you've seen people who look suspiciously like my family lurking around the US East Coast, don't clean your glasses--it really is us.  Chana, Penina, Ilana and I are here for three weeks (!), seeing family and friends and, in general, acting like tourists (Chana and I even took a trolley tour around Boston).  It's been lovely seeing so many people.  We're now in NY before going to DC and then, of course, back to MA.  Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Healthy Ability to Laugh at Oneself....

I would posit that a healthy ability to laugh at oneself is a requirement for being a new immigrant.  Case in point:

Yesterday, I was at a business office with Penina.  I had been there several times before and each  time appreciated the "take a number" system (or, as I think of it, "the deli system").  Alas, the number machine was empty.  When I sat down at the window of one of the clerks, I tried to note the lack of numbers by saying, "Ein misparAYIM hayom?"  He looked at me and asked, "What?".  I said it again.  He ignored me and began studying his computer intently.  At that point Penina leaned over and said, "Mommy, you just said there are no scissors today.  MisparIM is numbers".  Luckily, the clerk handed over my paperwork then because I was laughing too hard to do anything but leave with the shreds of my dignity intact.

I redeemed myself later by having an entire (if short) conversation with a worker in one of the stores in the mercaz when he asked if I was a visitor (I was, indeed, buying a really touristy item for our buddy Eitan from Philadelphia).  I told him, no, we had made aliyah and I lived in the neighborhood and, in fact, had even bought a tallit from the same store a few months ago.  So there ;)

Chana and I have started taking a conversational ulpan.  It meets twice a week for an hour, which is a stunningly huge drop from the 4.5 hours/day I was used to, but we figure something is better than nothing.  In the inspirational category: there is a 94 year-old man in the class who looks and acts so much younger it seems impossible that he is really 94.  He even walks to and from class by himself (with a cane, but steady enough on his feet that is seems a bit superfluous).  These older olim are very inspirational!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fun, Fun, Fun

We ended the school year with a bang with Uncle Jeff, Auntie Marissa and Salo coming to visit.  They were here for their friend's son's bar mitzvah, but we got to spend lots of time with them ;).

We even stayed for Shabbos at a hotel in Jerusalem so we could see them more.  This was a real treat, as the food was excellent (and not cooked by me!) and the Prima Kings Hotel is in a great location, so some of us walked to the Kotel on Shabbos afternoon.  It was Shalom Shachne's first time being at the Kotel since we made aliyah!  I'm not sure I've ever been there on Shabbos and it was so calm and peaceful and, frankly, especially nice that the tzedakah collectors were not there (while there are some, like the super sweet lady, whom I like to give to, some of the collectors are just WAY too aggressive [Hey, Batsheva, remember that guy?!]).  It was lovely to be at the Kotel on Shabbos, when there was absolutely no time pressure to finish up, see other things, catch the bus back home, etc....

Shalom Shachne and I *did* take the bus back, but it was after Shabbos.  Meanwhile, Jeff and Marissa put their plan to spoil all the kids into effect and rented a room at their hotel for the cousins to have a slumber party in, then took them to the mall on Sunday for extra spoiling.  SS and I went back in to Jerusalem Sunday afternoon and met up with them and then we all went on the bar mitzvah tour's evening event: a trip to Genesis Land in the Judean Desert, a "go back in time and meet Abraham" kind of place.  The view there was amazing.

The bar mitzva boy's parents really know how to throw a party, as there was a wonderful meal, a drumming circle led by professionals, comedian Yisroel Campbell and, of course, camel rides:

Of course, after all that partying, we all went into the week tired and cranky, but we'll make it through ;)