Tuesday (The Wedding):
Not that I had anything I wanted to do, besides sit and relax and avoid the August heat, but it really is nice to get away from the family sometimes. With my family, we spent so much time figuring out what to do, and how the logistics will work, that it seems like we don’t do very much. We’re almost too big. While with Elana, she mentioned that when it was just her and Ariel and the kids for the first 3 days of the trip, it was actually easier and less stressful than when she got “help.” I’m not surprised. I yearned for Wednesday and Thursday when I’d have a break from the family. Of course, since I had no idea what I’d be doing, I was pretty damn scared. To build on that point, 2 days before I was to arrive at Ayalim for 2 days of “construction,” I received an email “You don’t need to bring anything, just show up when you can. We wake and start working at 6am. Bring a sleeping bag.” Glad they told me about that last bit 2 days ahead of time.
I took the train to Bet Yehoshua to meet Nadine for the day. She lives in Netanya and is my cousin’s cousin, but I guess we became friends 5 years ago. We went to lunch and then to Poleg beach, which is supposedly one of the nicest beaches in Israel. I really can’t contradict that statement. We didn’t take any pictures, which is likely because the last 5 times we’ve hung out (mostly in NY when she’s on vacation) it’s always for lunch during the day. After the beach I took the train to Tel Aviv, and then a cab to Savion, where my family had driven and were staying for the next 2 days. The Wedding, 2 hours later, was fantastic. However, we did get “lost” on the way there, to the point that we took the same circle 4 times. There were close to 700 people, in all types of formal wear. Some people were wearing jeans, some were wearing shorts, some were dressed up. The bride was in a white gown while the groom was wearing a suit. The wedding didn’t fit to any sort American customs, but was focused on having fun. This means, there was tons of dancing, and music and happiness. The bride and groom where danced up and down the isle by their friends and a drummer and shofar blower, and during the festivities that followed, they seemed to do what they wanted to do, which meant a lot more dancing and drinking! With 700 people, you’re not going to waste your time thanking everyone or talking to everyone.
Unfortunately, I was forced to sit through two, 5 minute speeches and two 8 minute videos where I had no idea what was going on. I gotta learn this language already! After doing shots and dancing for a few hours, Lori and I left around 1am to head to Beer Sheba, where she lives. I must have explained to 15 people that I wouldn’t be at dinner the following night w/the rest of my family because I’d be volunteering…though I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d be doing.
Rules for Learning a New Language Part 1: Do it while you are 3-6 years old or don't do it at all. It's freaking impossible now that I'm 29. My grandfather somehow knows 7 languages, and I'm stuck with 1.5, ascribing a 0.35 to my spanish and a 0.15 to my Hebrew. Actually, I'm probably a 1.3, with 0.25 and 0.05 respectively. I have taken the courses, I have the Rosetta Stone DVD’s, but nothing sinks in for more than a few hours. I’m thinking that I just want to learn vocabulary words so I know what people are talking about. I'll respond in English and I can stop trying to learn how to put the words the right order, or conjugate them, or make the masculine noun match with the masculine adjective, match with the masculine verb or whatever.