Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Monday, January 23, 2006

What do the Rabbis say about jaywalking and cereal?

While I'm waiting for the water to heat up so that I can bathe, I thought I'd check in. The week is going well so far, just as I predicted and as all of you told me, I can concentrate on class much better now that I have a permanent place to live. The days are still really long and tiring, but I've heard that you build stamina and get used to it. One of the great things about college is not having class all day, but Pardes is 8:30 - 5:00, with optional prayer at 7:15 am and optional classes after 5:00! I'm searching for the balance between trying to get involved and get the "whole experience" and knowing my limits and pacing myself. The classes themselves are challenging. I was not entirely prepared for how difficult they would be, because it's a different kind of learning than I have ever done before. Knowing that something will be difficult is one thing, but actually trying it and getting lost and confused right off the bat and then trying to make sense of it is when you actually feel how hard it is. Anyhow, the challenge and newness (did I make that word up, and have I forgotten English already?) keep my mind constantly working and occupied, and I'm really enjoying all of my classes. In other news, I'm trying to quit jaywalking. Now I know how smokers feel. In Israel, of all places, where nobody has any patience for anything, I crossed the street because absolutely no cars were coming, even though there was a "red standing man light," and not a "green walking man light," and I noticed that the people on the sidewalk next to me did not cross. I thought it was strange, but that maybe they were daydreaming or something. The incident, however, was not isolated, I began to notice that people were waiting to cross until the light was green, even when the coast was clear. Finally, I asked someone, and it turns out that the police actively give jaywalking tickets. How else would Israelis resist crossing a clear street because the light told them not to, when they don't even drive in their lane? Part of me values all of the time I'm saving by jaywalking more than the shekels, but then again, I don't know how many shekels the ticket is, and I'm not really trying to get in trouble with the cops. So, I'm trying with all of my might to wait for the green light...I'll let you know how I do. If anyone hears of a gum or patch to help me out, I'd be very appreciative. Finally, I lied for the first time about my Hebrew speaking ability. I was in the grocery store, buying cereal, and I saw that the kind I wanted was on a shelf above my head (if you can imagine) and was stacked very precariously. I took a box, and thought it was clear, but three boxes fell. Only one hit me in the head, so that was cool. I took the time to put them back, and just as I was putting on the last one, a guy from the store came up and started telling me something in Hebrew. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but I decided that since I had fixed the cereal situation, it couldn't really matter much what he had to say to me. He could tell that I had no clue, so he asked what language I spoke. I really just didn't want to talk about the cereal anymore, so I told him that i speak Hebrew and English, and kept acting like I knew what he was saying. The crowning moment was when he took the box down because he didn't like the way that I had stacked it (which was prob. what he had been saying in Hebrew) and when he fixed it, it fell down again. Haha. I think the moral of the story is to take cereal from the bottom shelf, but then again, I'm not sure. I promise I will put up pictures soon, but I have not been home in the daylight this week, so as soon as that happens I can show you my home!


Blogger MOS said...

Maybe the man who stacked the cereal can be hired to arrange your socks. As far as ignoring traffic signals, do you want to be on the "most wanted list" in more than one country?

1/23/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger DOS said...

This is a good sign. I told you that in Cincinnati they don't jaywalk either. And I don't think it is because of tickets, in the Midwest it just is not done. In New York, it is against the law to stand still. In Los Angeles, who would be STANDING at a red light?

1/23/2006 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Auntie Anne said...

How about crossing in the middle of the road, my favorite kind of jaywalking not that I want to encourage you to a life of crime

1/24/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger SuzukiBeane said...

I love hearing about all the little things about your travels! Who would have known that about jaywalking?! (Incidentally, I know of a good support group :p)

P.S. Congrats on finding a place to live! The apartment sounds lovely.

1/25/2006 09:54:00 PM  

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