I was in my car today, driving to ulpan, happily singing along to the Chanukah songs on our new CD, when someone honked at me. Now, you are probably thinking, "This is Israel, stupid, it would probably be a more interesting blog entry if you wrote, ' I was driving to ulpan, and no one honked at me!'" But what was interesting about this particular honk is that my honker and I were both sitting at the red light. I was not driving too slowly, or God forbid thinking about moving into his lane, or God really forbid not accelerating the second the lights turned to red and orange. We were both just sitting there. So I looked over and opened my window, groaning to myself that he was probably going to ask for directions. The last guy I gave directions to is still driving around in circles around Modi'in. In fact, there's a whole group of lost folks who had the misfortune to ask me for directions. Occasionally they run into each other and curse me out together. Anyway, it turned out that this nice man believed that I had a pun-cher. "Pun-cher" is Hebrew for "puncture" which is English for "flat tire." I was on a semi-busy road so I did what any normal person would do: Pulled over to the side of the road and panicked. I am good at that. Especially the panicking part. All of the stereotypes of women and cars? They're talking about me, folks. Time for another hysterical phone call to Donny! It had been a while since the last one; I'm sure he was feeling the void. Unfortunately, though, Donny was at the gym and unreachable. So I did what any normal person would do after panicking and calling Donny: I called Lisa. Lisa told me that I should probably not continue on to ulpan; best to turn around and either drive home to go to a garage. Very reasonable. So I did, praying that my tire would stay intact for the 7-minute drive back home and I wouldn't end up driving on the rims.
FINALLY, Donny finished at the gym and was able to discuss this situation. Since the car is leased through Microsoft, they are responsible for maintenance. However, the Elbar (that's the car company) said that the driver is responsible for "pun-chers." So I drove to the tire guys recommended by Nafi and Lisa. Donny gave me very specific instructions that the guys were only to FIX the tires, and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES was I to buy ANY TIRES AT ALL. If the tires really needed replacing, then the leasing company would take care of it. So I drove off. Of course, the guy there wanted to replace all four tires. One tire - the one that started all of this - was "k'var met" with both a rip and a nail in it. He did put air in all four, and me, being the typical woman, had to call Donny every two seconds to confer with him. "He says I need new tires."
"Do not buy tires."
"Maybe I should just replace the tires."
"Do NOT buy tires."
"But he says I need new ones!"
"DO NOT BUY TIRES!"
In the end, the garage man filled up the tires, put the spare on, and did not charge me anything, so we like this place very much. The next step is for Donny to take the car into Haifa one day and the car people will take care of the tires then. For now, I have three half-dead tires and one as good as new!
After the tire debacle, I headed to ulpan, a bit late, but I am a nerd so I went to class. Then Ariella and I had some intense shopping to do. First, Donny called me because he realized all of our bottled water and seltzers had large quantities of salt. This is because Israelis love unhealthy things. The cereals are basically lumps of sugar mixed with some sort of grain, the dairy is high in fat, and there are bakeries everywhere you turn. And nothing there is "lite" if you catch my drift. But then there was the problem of water. Water is essentially healthy. How, the great minds thought, can we make this bad for you? So they got together the brain trust and decided on....sodium! Lots of it! In water! Anyway, the bottom line is that Donny charged me with the task of finding less-sodium filled water and seltzer. Between researching drinks, finding a soap to replace our beloved "Dial" and waiting in line at the cheese and meat counter, it was a very tiring trip. Plus, I got the checkout lady that likes to harrass me about the credit card. They should really have my picture up at each checkout lane with a sign underneath "Loser - doesn't want credit card" and then just stop harrassing me. Well, this particularly aggressive kupait was not happy with my consistent refusals (although Donny would have been proud - "Do NOT sign up for a credit card.") I think she got back at me by being a touch too rough with my groceries. After scanning them, she didn't push the items down the bagging area to make room for more. She piled everything on top of each other, so things kept falling down and rolling all over the place. It was not by accident, I tell you. She was getting her revenge! No matter. I stood strong. (By the way, today in my Supersol "Random Bag" I had shower soap, tomato sauce, bananas, and garbage bags. I thought of you as I packed it.)
Tonight Ariella had another playdate. This is her second one this week. She had a lovely time and the mother said she understood everything and was even able to speak a little when she needed. The mom thought Ariella was naturally shy. Ha! The language barrier has softened her a bit, but just wait - I am sure she will be back in full force in the near future.
In other funny Ariella story: When I picked her up today, she asked me, "Mommy, is Moshiach coming today?" in a way like you might ask, "Mommy, is it going to rain today?" I told her that as far as I knew, he wasn't scheduled to come today, but you never know. Apparently, during gan, there was something "white coming from the sky" - I think it might have been one of those planes that writes messages, but I'm not quite sure - and when the kids saw it while they were playing outside, they all shouted, "Moshiach! Moshiach!" I tried to explain that the kids saw something strange in the sky and thought it was a sign that Moshiach was coming. "You mean it was writing a sign saying Moshiach is coming?" Never mind, I thought. Anyway, Ariella was disappointed that Moshiach was not, in fact, coming, because she always loves company. Then we had to have the discussion about when he will come, when will be rebuild the Beit HaMikdash, when the first Beit HaMikdash was destroyed. ("I know it was a long time ago, but tell me when - two thousand and what?") So Ariella, for one, is very earnestly and eagerly awaiting the Final Redemption.
Response to Comments Section:
Jenny, of course you can still be a loyal reader without reading the entire blog. Obviously, reading the blog in its entirety is recommended, but not required. There will not be a quiz at the end. And I think the elevated relationship thing can apply to the entire family - since it started with Ariella and Noam, anyway.
ONT - it really has been a long time, so long in fact that I'm not sure who you are. Reveal yourself! And then I'll be all embarrassed that I didn't remember who you are! It'll be fun!
Sbad - only if they are belted and hooded, though. It is the time of the winter solstice, so perhaps it's not a bad idea...
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