Friday, May 21, 2010

**Ani Lomedit Ivrit...

There is an older woman (maybe 75 or so) I see fairly regularly walking her dog in my neighborhood. I like to practice my Hebrew with her - and did so when I saw her while I was waiting for the bus to go to water polo practice the other night. She asked if I’m “doing Aliya” (this means the right of return giving an opportunity for non-Israel born Jews to establish permanent residence and citizenship in Israel). And I tell her no, that I serve at the Bahá'í gardens and point uphill to where my office is.

I further explain – in stilted Hebrew – that I play water polo at Technion University and that I learn Hebrew from my friends. She understands that I have a boyfriend who plays water polo at Technion……………

“no! there are like 30 or 40 of them!”
I get a very weird – very questioning look.

“no! it’s not like that!” and I manage to convince her I don’t have 30 or 40 water polo playing boyfriends…. But she’s still certain that I have at least one. “Israeli boys is very nice – they is very fit, yes?”

She then starts pantomiming just how nice they are and waxing dramatic on my 'imaginary Israeli boyfriend'. Please note the imagination being exercised in this scenario is hers...

“Israeli men, they are very fit when they are young” – holds her hands up to her chest and starts marking out pecs and a six pack. I’m pretty sure she was using the Hebrew words for such things, but then realized I didn’t understand her words so starts using little sounds – like the ones kids make when they are assembling legos “tchk-a tchk”.

*You should know that by this point I’m already trying not to expire from laughter/not offend her by outright laughing*

“And then when they marry – they go boom!” (pantomimes a ginormo gut)
“And they wife do too” she admitted after a brief pause and sort of contemplative look.

Sometimes learning a new language is really awesome.

**Translation: I Am Learning Hebrew

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