Tuesday, December 13, 2011


That's numbers, people.

Today I reached a big milestone in my absorption. I said the number 7,500 in Hebrew. And I think I even got it right.

Every oleh has absorption goals. Some people want to "Drink Turkish coffee out of those tiny, tiny cups" or "Blithely wear t-shirts with inappropriate sayings because you don't realize they're inappropriate" or "Serve dinner to children at 8 PM (instead of getting ready to herd them into bed at that time so you can collapse on the couch I mean clean up.)"

For this year, I chose the lofty goal of "Writing checks in Hebrew." Until now, I took the easy way out and just wrote all my checks in English, because anything with four digits or more stumped me. But, I told myself, you are Israeli now. You must do as the Israelis do: Go to Eilat for Chanukah.

No, no, not THAT. We're talking about numbers. Pay attention, please?

Right. So I decided that this year, I would work on my Israeliness through numbers. Unfortunately, my go-to pal Google Translate is of no use here. Type in "1,465" in English, and it helpfully spits back, "1,465" in Hebrew.

But I will do it. And in fact, at the bank today, I did NOT need to say "elef PLOOSE elef PLOOSE elef PLOOSE elef PLOOSE elef PLOOSE elef PLOOSE elef. V'od chamesh mayot."

Yay me!

Next on the list:

Answering the phone with, "Ahh-lan!"


Anonymous said...

So wait. How DO you say 7,500 in Hebrew?

Baila said...

My friend and I have a routine going. When she calls, I answer "Ah-lahn", then she says, "mah koreh", to which I say, "mah nishma" and then she goes, "mah inyanim" and then i say "eich holech" and then she says, "achla" and i say, "me-oooleh" and then she saysh "mahksim" and I say "kaparah alayich".

After which neither one of has any idea who initiated the call or why, so we just say good-bye, feeling VERY Israeli about the whole thing.

toby said...

Baila - that's so awesome!

I decided that I would consider myself Israeli when I could say "Hareshut haleumit livtichut badrachim" at the same pace as the guys on galgalatz. I can do it now! But I'll always be an olah :)

Bethami said...

i dunno. maybe im just too used to living in modiin and am not aware of how unisraeli i am? i cut in line, ask rude questions, and can keep up with the other cars on the highway but will never give up writing my checks in english....

f/e said...

congrats gila! but i beat you all, i can say sababa to a waitress in front of my kids and totally mortify them.(an olah using slang in front of teenage offsprings is a great way to embarass them, esp if the word has a reish in it) but then again i refuse to say 'mami' to anyone, so i guess my absorption is not complete.

Gila Rose said...

I'm fairly certain it's "שבעת אלפים חמש מאות"

Baila - that is awesome. I never even heard of that last one. Though I do love me some "eich holech"

Toby - I think those radio guys out-Israeli the Israelis.

Bethami - you also have a mucho cool Israeli haircut.

f/e - yes, I can't call people younger than me, (or my age) "mami." Though my daughter and I have been "ayzeh bahsah"-ing it up lately.

SaraK said...

Gila, I never thought the day would come, but the comments [Baila's especially] had me laughing harder than the post. Although this was 100% spot on: But, I told myself, you are Israeli now. You must do as the Israelis do: Go to Eilat for Chanukah.

I've been ending g-chat conversations with "OK, mami. Yalla, bye." Does that count? :)
And how come I didn't know you could even write checks in English??

[and I would have commented much earlier this morning, but my work internet filter blocked your blog because of sex!]

OneTiredEma said...

@SaraK, I learned about the English check writing from a (bilingual, natch) oleh vatik from England who refuses to write checks in Hebrew.

Mami, sababa, these are things I will never be able to pull off. Achla, maybe. I can do meuleh or mitzuyan without feeling too stupid. Sometimes.

Kathleen said...

To me, you all sound very Israeli. Good to know that checks can be written in English!