On Friday began the official house-hunting process in Modi'in. Luckily, it was an off week at Yaakov's gan, so he was able to come with us and offer his professional opinion of the houses we saw. "I'm f-i-i-i-i-r-r-s-s-t-t-y!" was one incisive comment he made. Also, "I wanna press duh button!" It was good he was there. Our agent showed us a couple of things. The first few we immediately rejected on the grounds they did not meet one of our major criteria, namely, being a house. We are, at heart, suburbanites, and a "large apartment" or "cottage" (which sounds way cuter than it actually is - really just an apartment with steps) is just not going to do it. Finally, the last thing she showed us was a bona fide, unattached, proper, actual house. With a backyard, a basement, the whole nine yards (or about 2.5 meters), including a price tag that will ensure we stay in debt until the end of our days. However, aside from having to sell our children in order to afford the house (something we would never consider, I assure you. At least, I'm fairly certain we wouldn't consider it. Or, if we did consider it, we wouldn't actually go through with it. I think. How much could we get for them?), it was a pretty good house. At the very least it was nice to see an actual house for sale in Modi'in.
This Shabbat was the first one in a while that everyone was thank God healthy. (And for those of you worrying about the pee test - yes! I got to say it again! - all the results came back normal.) It was pouring rain and freezing, at least freezing for Israel, all Shabbat. We heard actual thunder and lightning Friday night, and through my sleepy haze I murmured the blessing one makes when hearing thunder and lightning - "Please don't let the power go out. Please don't let the power go out." Luckily, it did not. Shabbat morning Donny went to shul and the kids and I stayed home in our pajamas. They followed the strict formula which is 1 :) = 2 :( . In layman's terms, that means one part playing together nicely and happily, followed by 2 parts maiming and torturing each other. But they were cute jumping on the couch and singing hokey pokey, so that makes up for a lot. For lunch, we had the New New New People in Dimri. They are a couple who made aliyah a month ago, from South Africa. The wife actually babysat for us last week during the Night of Excellent Sushi. So they came over, we had a lovely time, and we learned if you want to live in a land of slow internet, large houses, lots of crime, and cheap household labor, South Africa is the place for you. We prefer the land of fast internet, "cottages," the occasional war, and free household labor (me.) All in all we had a great time and the kids fell asleep during lunch, so after our guests left we ran, nay, sprinted, as quickly as we could to catch some of that naptime. (We are now currently paying the price for the nap as Yaakov and Ariella have each been out of bed numerous times - my head hurts, my knee is itchy, can I color in bed, can I pee in a cup - but I think overall it was still worth it.) Then, because the kids and I hadn't been out of the house all day, we went over to the Wolfs for a playdate/seudah shlishit. I also had an ulterior motive - since the Wolfs have two boys, the energy level is pretty high, and I was kind of hoping it would tire Yaakov out. Oh well.
Tomorrow I return to ulpan. Maybe. Residents of Modi'in can get an extra 200 hours of ulpan (which is two months), but I have to say, after these last two weeks of freedom (well, aside from sick kids and cups of, you know it, PEE!) it's hard to motivate myself to go back. Also, I've begun my own ulpan - I'm reading Harry Potter in Hebrew. It's quite entertaining, and frequently amusing. For example, "filler" words such as "er" and "um" are translated to "nu." And my favorite line: Early on in the first book, Professor Dumbledore offers Professor McGonogall a "lemon drop." As he says in response to her questioning look, "It's a Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of." In Hebrew, the line becomes, "Can I offer you a Krembo?" That's right, Dumbledore is sitting on the ledge outside Privet Drive, eating a sticky, chocolate covered marshmallow cookie confection. Two or three of them, according to the story. The translators figured, well, lemon drop is a quintessentially English treat. Therefore, we will substitute our own, quintessentially Israeli treat. Although at least they could have written in some wipes or a washcloth so the poor guy could get the stuff out of his beard.
That's all for now. Remember to vote - so far our Loyal Readers have proven themselves to be much nicer than we are, as you can see by the poll results thus far.
The T-Shirt Paradox
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