Thursday, January 24, 2008

Three completely different subjects

1. Katan o Gadol?
This question (small or large?) should not be asked after someone orders coffee. There should either be one size, or the questions should only be to confirm that you want a large coffee. I've met only one person here in Israel who ordered a small coffee. One. And this morning I finally met someone (okay, the waitress at the bagel shop) who completely agrees that the questions is a ridiculous one. Of course, she had to ask me first, but then she agreed with me. Who wouldn't with a question like that. It's a variation on the question, "Cake or Pie?" Why not both?

2. My Hebrew would be better if....
I spent more time in cabs. Because I've got the rental car here, I'm not in cabs so often. Yesterday was an exception. I left my car at the hotel, took a bus into Tel Aviv with the students, (more on that in the next section), took a regular bus back and had to take a cab back to my car. I jumped into the back seat with my three bags (don't ask). It was a spotlessly clean cab. At one point, I could see the driver weigh whether he should take the highway or the local road. He chose the highway and as soon as we made the turn we could see that cars were stopped for a construction project. So we started talking. And then I was told to sit in the front seat if we were going to have a proper conversation. Since we were essentially parked, I wasn't getting out of a moving car, which made the process easier.

One of my friends (who demands not to be named publicly in this forum) takes cabs fairly often and talks to the cab drivers all the time. She's Israeli, but her Hebrew is pretty good and I'm sure that's part of the reason.

3. Buying clothes in the grocery store
After nearly a month in Israel, I finally had plans to see a few family members. So I went to Tel Aviv and met up with Steve and Ayelet at the mall. (Full disclosure - I met up with Ayelet a few nights before, but it wasn't planned) . And I'd (almost literally) run into Boaz on the streets one night which also shouldn't count as a proper visit. So the three of us had lunch and afterwards I convinced Ayelet to go with me to the SuperSal.

We walked in and noticed it was more like a combination grocery store/Walmart. Before you got to the food section, there were sheets, towels, and then clothes. So Ayelet started looking at shirts. I successfully convinced her to try one one. But, you ask, are there dressing rooms at the grocery store? The answer would be an easy and resounding "no". So we took three hangers from the shirts, two big towels from the towel section and fashioned an improptu McGyver dressing room for her.


Ok, she tried the shirt on over what she was already wearing but then needed a mirror. I suggested finding the section of the store where they sell mirrors (she didn't believe they'd have one) and we finally settled on using her reflection in the door of the frozen food freezers. She did not buy the shirt.

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