Friday, September 30, 2005

Shana Tova

Happy New Year.

There you go, one of those statements that I can still translate. I have noticed of late, I can’t remember which language I speak, I know people have been waiting for the day to come when I open my mouth and can’t talk and I think it has arrived. 5 hours every day of learning Hebrew, or rather learning Hebrew Grammar and checking homework, changing the verbs in newspaper headlines from passive version of פועל to the active version פיעל.

When I followed all the rules of Grammar and received a wrong answer to a question, I asked the teacher why it had to be the other way because based on the rules my answer was correct…She explained that ‘the language lives’ and not everything goes according to the grammar we spend learning day in and day out. I then asked her what the point was of studying it? I then had to stay after class and have a talk with her. I hadn’t been reprimanded by a teacher in about 7 years, it brought back so many memories….chewing gum in class and getting an after school, talking in prayers, locking the drama teacher out of the classroom…eating chocolate in the physics lab where no food was allowed, oh and of course talking in Hebrew class being thrown out and spending the rest of the lesson outside….could that be why I need to be in Ulpan?

Language is the ultimate system. It has a set of rules which organises words, and classifies them in order that we can understand. It has an aim i.e. to achieve communication and interacts within the environment to evolve and change and create more words. There is also a hierarchy, as I am constantly reminded to raise my level of Hebrew from the ground to a higher level (the Queen’s Hebrew? Maybe, King David’s). There lies my intrinsic problem with learning it – I can’t deal with adhering to a system, perhaps I will create my own language.

Apparently when you start dreaming in Hebrew then you can be confident that you know the language as your subconscious which can take you anywhere can also take you there in Hebrew. Well at the moment my dreams are like silent Charlie Chaplin movies, I seem to be caught somewhere in between knowing English and Hebrew, which leaves me speechless, or rather incapable of comprehensible conversation.

Can I please have a Babblefish as a birthday present next year?

Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, Safe, Successful, Exciting, Fantastic, Brilliant and Good New Year. (When we were playing ‘Who is that Ulpan member?’ I found out that my trade mark is that I say Good with a weird accent and also it is a staple addition in most of my half baked sentences).

I also wish for all of you to have dreams with volume, sound and words.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Last week in London

In London, if you are not listening to an iPOD then you are doing the Su Duko puzzle in the paper. Latest headlines are concerned with winning the Ashes, Prince Harry turning 21, Peter Andre getting married, the shooting in Harvey Nick’s, Prince Harry’s girlfriend and the new sculpture in Trafalgar Square. Nobody seems that concerned about July 7. I didn’t see any mention of it anywhere, only in general conversation with people, and now along with ‘Mind the Gap’ there is the statement ‘Please do not leave any bags unattended’ on the tube.

So what do you think an eyesore or modern art? I must admit doesn’t really fit into the environment of Trafalgar. Loved the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Tate modern, especially after seeing the film, her colours are vivid, vibrant and her message is at times grotesque, political and confronting.
Why was I on London again? For a friend’s engagement, which was beautiful. I also had the opportunity to catch up on the latest fashion. I am a big fan of the military style jacket, love the colours teal and deep purple contrast well, the sequin jackets I can take or leave (I took one).

When I was leaving, I was asked the question do I feel like I am going home? I wasn’t sure until I was at the airport receiving the once over from an Israeli security guard, and I used my temporary Israeli passport for the first time. It was confirmed by the meal on the plane of Pita and Hummus, the clapping when the plane landed and topped off by the Nesher (taxi) to Jerusalem which of course dropped me off last and bumped hard over every possible pothole and speed hump. Feels like home to me.