Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Camels, Coffee, Kisses, Cold Showers, Quality Family Time

A devoted reader wrote to me today: DevotedReader: omg jen your blog is pathetic... update it! :)its been 45 days
DevotedReader: what if someone only keeps track of you on your blog and they think you got eaten by a camel or something...

In fact, I have not been eaten by a camel. I am alive and well, though I do wonder - has anyone ever been eaten by a camel or has anyone ever eaten camel? If so, please let me know what it tastes like.

In recent days - I've had a few Hebrew mishaps I'd like to share with you.

First - every day, I feel the dire need to quench my thirst for God's gift to the earth - coffee. However, if it is past 6pm - I need to drink decaffeinated coffee. Now we've been over this before in a previous post (which was refined and more enjoyable in an actual Israeli "publication") - but its impossible to get American style coffee in Israel. So the only option is really a Hafuch (meaning flipped) - which is basically a Latte. Anyways, the word for decaffeinated is "Natool."

I waved down a waitress at my local coffeeshop and said "Ani Rotzah Hafuch Chatool!"

"What? I don't understand what you want." She was perplexed.

Hafuch Chatool!? (Certainly my Hebrew isn't so impossible to understand, right!?)

As I wrote before - Natool is the word for decaffeinated. Chatool, however, is the word for cat.
When I ordered - I actually said "I would like a flipped cat."
******
Another moment which occurred at this same coffee shop:
Similar to entry ways at most restaurants in Jerusalem, the security guard at the door asked me if I had a weapon.

"How dare you talk to me like that!"

"No I will not give you a Neshika!"

The Hebrew word for gun is "Neshek." I thought he asked me for a "Neshika" - a kiss.

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In other news, Jerusalem of Mold strikes again.

In the past two weeks - we've had the pleasure of calling our landlord everyday. First, our microwave broke. This shouldn't be so tragic but my roommate was frantic.

"Jen, I cannot live without a microwave. I can't cook anything without one." Roommate of Mold's cooking specialty is prewrapped and precooked pizza OR his piece-de-resistance - pasta, tomato sauce, frozen veggies, and hot dogs. Together. In one bite. Delicious!

The next day - our electrical wiring shorted an hour before Shabbat. The water heater refused to heat water and after one ice-cold shower, I phoned an electrician who raced to our home in a matter of minutes. So fast, in fact, that I answered the door still in a towel, dripping from the only-ice-in-Israel-coldest-shower-ever (see coffee posting to read about Israel and ice cubes). He requested that I put on some clothes and we got into a linguistic discussion over whether or not the water heater was "broken" or simply "not working." Luckily, "please fix it as soon as possible" translated completely to each language.

One minor glitch: Landlord I sometimes want to knock cold, owner of Jerusalem of Mold, decided he doesn't have an interest in fixing what the electrician found to be an outdated and dangerous electrical board. You might remember that we're not fond of anything that might catch on fire so we felt inclined to research the situation. We asked the electrician to read though our lease which is entirely in Hebrew and to which we admittedly signed our names with minimal knowledge of its contents. The man who fixes electric things noted that Landlord I sometimes want to knock cold is required to fix all things which break. In the meantime, the electrician jerry rigged the water heater to be on the same fuse as the coffee maker and refrigerator. We wondered if we might need to climb into the vegetable drawer for a warm shower and wash our hair in freshly brewed coffee. By Monday morning at 7am (after an early morning phone call - "Did I wake you? Yes its 6am!) we were graced with warm showers once more.
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And finally, my mom and sister were here this past week. It was a wonderful visit. I haven't seen my mom since June so there were long overdue hugs in order. My mom successfully broke the shower curtain rod and the roll out couch. To her defense each object was already half broken - and at least, unlike her sweet daugher (me) she didn't light them on fire. We had a delightful time hanging out in the Shuk, visiting family friends, shopping, eating, and relaxing at the Dead Sea with Leslie, her boyfriend and Ron's host-dad from his high school semester 10 years ago. Leslie and I felt like mini-celebrities when three bus loads of boys from Ramallah asked multiple times to be in pictures with us. We hope we are on the front page spread in the next issue of Ramallah Illustrated swimsuit edition.

For Purim - my mom dressed as "Soccer mom 2.0 New and Improved - Rabbi Mom" and I dressed up as one third of a traffic light with two close friends, and doubled as a fire fighter in order to put out my roommate - who dressed as - you guessed it, my bed on fire.