Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Bin Men and Marching Bands

  1. When the yoghurt pot exploded all over the bin men today and they just laughed out loud at each other. Not a single trace of malice or annoyance.
  2. The end of Ulpan Party was an unexpected delight. This Ulpan (Hebrew Language School) has been a 'tikkun' for my previous experience, i.e. that one was largely disappointing and unsatisfactory in terms of it's teaching. This party was very simply arranged; Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, music from a band called Marsh Dondurma (Ice cream in Turkish??) and fantastic views over the city of Jerusalem, but it was exactly what people wanted to be doing and the music was really good. Well, to be during the three weeks, it would have to be-right?
  3. The other good thing about this event is that I was able to really express my thanks and appreciation to my Ulpan teacher, Mazal. Her teaching has really been incredible, she really successfully portrays her love of Hebrew, her knowledge of the linguistic links and transformation from a biblical, ancient language to one that is modern, vibrant and constantly growing. And that special thing that really incredible and intelligent teachers do; the art of making the complex straightforward.. something to aspire to!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Ice Coffee hmmm

  1. It's not that I miss Starbucks, but there is, just occasionally, something rather nice about sitting in an anonymous, could-be-anywhere-in-the-world coffee shop where the music is bland, the salad forgettable and the service is poor. It's just familiar, and yes, here in Coffee Bean, the internet is free!...I am sure the whipped cream on my iced additive drink is not included in the 88 calories it is purported to contain.
  2. Actually needing a jumper this morning was wonderful! I have totally forgotten the notion of cold, particularly the sort of cold that is not induced by aircon. By now, of course, it's back at 29 degrees..
  3. Was wondering about number three until an email arrived, just a moment ago, telling me how I had made my friend's day. Well, she just made mine. It's an amazing thing that it's so easy to forget that my actions have an effect on other people. I don't want to sound preachy, but I can't work out why these obvious facts, which totally enhance life and improve it no end, usually slip my mind. And always at the times that I need them most. Appreciation feeds appreciation, love feeds love. Thank you to the wonderful J for making me feel unbounded today!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Loving Ulpan

1. 8.20am, which, incidentally still seems to me to be a ridiculously early time to be anywhere, let alone an 45 minute journey from home, was in fact a wonderful time to be watching a small (schmooli style) silver tabby kitten chasing it's tail in the cafeteria at university. Nothing big or special, but I just enjoyed it enough to remind me that it can be these small moments that make a day.

2. So the lentils weren't soft. The onions were too big and too raw. The aubergine was too chewy. But my friends ate my version of 'Moussaka' anyway. Perhaps they were starving, or just really nice people. Or maybe, it's just because it was covered in cheese, and cheese is always good. Actually, even better than good if it's melted..

3. I admit it! I'm disappointed that the visitor who I was expecting couldn't come over. But it does give me a nice quiet evening in, perhaps an early night or even to complete some of the large pile of homework chewing it's way out of my bag. Or maybe I'll watch Curb.. :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Not really managing this every day but...

22nd July 2008

It's been a really hard day actually - disappointments looming large from the national to the personal but yet, today is a day where I want to remember that somethings were good.

1. Someone got behind a bulldozer and tried to attack innocent people again, leaving many injured but thank God, no casualties. The remarkable bravery and selflessness of people saving us from an even bigger catastrophe. On the bus, people around me making and receiving the "check in" call from relatives, checking that they were elsewhere at that time. I heard an old man gently reassuring his wife, "Thank God, I'm OK". I don't think I will ever get used to making and receiving those calls, like some of my friends are, and perhaps I don't really want to. But still, something about that old man on the bus will stay with me for a while.

2. The woman in the queue behind me in the Supermarket was a real cow, moaning and bitching about the amount of time she had to wait and how few people there were on the till. I didn't shout at her, or give in and let her go in front (yes, can also be a cold hearted bitch) but did quietly, in more or less correct Hebrew, tell her that her behaviour was unreasonable and put everyone else around her under pressure. I know it won't make any difference to her but the pressure of trying to operate in a language that I am not fluent in is immense at times. Every so often I realise how deficient I am, how people don't take me seriously or how many opportunities or just simple pieces of information I miss. So, it's good to count the occasions where I don't over-react, but also don't feel like a pushover.

3. I'm enjoying a rare breeze on a 30 degrees day. My sister and family are coming tomorrow and I know that all other stresses will melt away, even if just for a second, when I'm being hugged and kissed my five little girls and my wonderful sister. The anticipation is lovely.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Sunny Tuesday

1. Seeing dear A & A and appreciating their open hearts and spare door key. How wonderful to just place a key in my hand and say use it whenever you want! For them not making me feel like I aught to have left when they came home.

2. Overcoming a potential panic attack in a tunnel 50m beneath the ground. Seeing D who was so the right person to mull it over and accepting her love as she walked me home for the sake of my company. For her pushing me gently to think about things which are difficult.

3. Maybe this date that I am waiting for won’t be as bad as I assume.. Actually, the date went very well from one perspective; I spoke Ivrit all evening! This was not only good for the practice but also for the concept of fearless dating. It’s just an opportunity to speak Ivrit. Much easier to deal with.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Three Beautiful Things

1. Met one of those lovely rare people wrapped up in a bureaucratic job, but who actually was available when I turned up, was able to answer my questions, took an interest in what I was doing and encouraged me.

2. Received a lovely compliment from a fellow class mate and managed to be gracious and say thank you, without explaining it away or pretending that I didn't have skills.

3. Applied something I learnt to something I have known for ages!