Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mornings

Fun factOut of the 14.3 million Jewish people in the world, 43% reside in Israel. 

Mornings in Tel Aviv are super quiet; it's actually my favorite part of most days here.  6:30 AM walks are usually with only a select few dogs, traffic is light and the temperatures are beginning to stay cooler and cooler while the sun is still rising. 

Weather this time of year is absurdly consistent; it's basically the same. exact. thing. every single day.  A few clouds in the morning, then clear skies the rest of the day, highs in the mid-eighties.  We've been told a few different things in regards to what fall and winter are like here (opinions vary depending on what people are 'used to' for winters) but from what I can gather it will stay fairly mild, and we won't see snow unless we venture towards the mountains - sometimes even up in Jerusalem.


Another reason I have grown to prefer mornings here is kind of a selfish one - no one randomly approaches me on the street and starts speaking to me in Hebrew.  Now let me preface that with, I'm extremely grateful that Tel Aviv is such a friendly city, and that every fifth person on the street wants to know 1. what kind of dog Kai is 2. how old she is or 3. directions to somewhere.  (Top three reasons I'm usually approached).

As a sidenote, even having headphones in does not detour people from approaching me... I try it daily.

But recently  I've shifted from feeling confused when someone approaches me in Hebrew, to now kind of annoyed.  Not with them - but with me - because I know VERY little Hebrew, and even if I did I can't help with directions yet. My response always makes me feel like a brutish ape - usually I kind of grimace and half yell "WHAT" and they either quickly switch gears to English, or they keep speaking Hebrew and I have to put on an I'M AN IGNORANT AMERICAN AND HARDLY EVEN KNOW ONE LANGUAGE face and ask if they speak English, in English.

Roughly 80% (of who I've encountered) do.  The amount of languages most people here can *fluently* speak actually simultaneously blows my mind, and leaves me feeling super incompetent.  It's not a secret that most of the world seems to know at least enough English to get by, yet (majority) of American's notoriously never pick up another language - not very well at least.  And I guess I had never really formulated any feelings around that until I actually immersed myself in a culture where it mattered.

Example: I heard a girl at the beach the other day quickly switch from Hebrew, to English, to Portuguese. 
Sigh.

It's unrealistic to declare that I'm going to be fluent in Hebrew by the time we are done here - Hebrew is a super tricky language, and even learning the alphabet system would be a feat for me. However, I am now much more dedicated to learning basic words and phrases to get by.  So far I know... roughly five words (can we count Mazel Tov?).  Current state learning is simply using a pretty cool app on my phone, but I think we both may eventually move to a tutor once or twice a week for awhile, as that's a resource that's available to us.

Anyways, those are some of my thoughts on the week.  If anyone reading knows some Hebrew and wants to give me some pointers, I would appreciate it.

Have a fabulous day, cheers - 
Kait

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