Shabbos Report and Book Report and Presents and The Dentist and My Driving Test and Things My Shaliach Never Told Me
Not much new but, hey, it's a blog about my life, so when my life gets boring you have to expect that the blog won't be all "50-comment extravaganzas"!
I was sicky sicky on Friday. As in, gastrointestinally not doing well. Anyhow I had no Shabbos plans (no invitations! Sniff sniff! And didn't get my act together to invite other people over either.) Yael, who has to be one of the nicest and most generous friends in the world, brought over some stuff so I could have a proper "sick Shabbos" at home (she was going out of town). Just like I asked, she brought over some whole wheat challah rolls (I'm on a whole-grains, no white flour, sort-of no sugar kick at the moment), and stuff with which I could make a nice soup. She introduced me to kohlrabi, my new favorite all-purpose vegetable!
OK, let's stop and talk about kohlrabis. I had never seen one in America. This is a Thing My Shaliach Never Told Me. In Israel I see them all the time, even at my local makolet, but they looked weird so I never touched them. They are round like big tomatoes but have a thick light-green skin and pieces that look like green onions sticking out of them. Yael explained that you peel them and you can either eat the insides raw (it's white and sort of crispy inside), or use them like you would parsnips or potatos in a soup. They add substance to the soup and some taste without adding a starch like potatos do. I looked them up in the Weight Watchers book: a cup of cooked kohlrabi has only 1 point! And a cup of raw kohlrabi has 0 points! They are my new potato!
Anyway, Yael also brought me not only a bunch of teabags to make sure I had some on hand, but also put them in a Magic Tea Box, which she gave me as a gift! I've been wanting a Magic Tea Box for a long time, which she well knew. It made me very happy.
Another thing that cheered me up before Shabbos was that my Israeli neighbor, Nechama, brought over a delightful little flower plant for me that she bought at a local nursery and planted herself. When I get my act together I'll post a picture. So now I have two roommates: the cactus plant I got at my one-year Aliyah anniversary party, and Nechama's flower. It's a rollicking good time.
I spent Shabbos in bed. Friday night I just made kiddush and then was too tired and stomach-achy to eat so I just slept. For 14 hours. Today I spent all day eating soup (kept it on the blech the whole of Shabbos. It tasted really good. I used the turkey neck I'd cut off and frozen before Thanksgiving. Yum. Turkey and vegetable soup simmering on the blech. Yum) and I read Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie cover to cover.
Let's talk about Peter Pan. I was inspired to read this book after seeing Finding Neverland. I thought it would be a happy happy adventure story, akin to The Hobbit. But no. Like Saturday Night Fever, it turned out to be much darker than I expected it to be. That book is a psychotherapist's dream novel. However, I feel much more cultured for having read it, and it put many scenes from the movie into perspective.
Also, it got me thinking about all the children's books that have language too hard for children. I mean, I'm sure that Peter Pan used to be suitable for bed-time reading to a 6-year-old, but what little kid these days understands words like "enigma" or "classical education"? Also the sentence structure is so convoluted by today's standards. Most of the humor would just be lost. What do parents do when the story is for children but the language is too complex? I want to hear from people here. Do you read the story the way it is, or change the language, or give it to them to read themselves when they are older?
Or maybe this is just me? When I read The Lord of the Rings as an adult, I couldn't believe that my roommate had read it when she was in elementary school. It seemed so advanced. Do kids read it and get it, or read it and miss a lot?
I also started reading, over Shabbat, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, which is also very dark but it's ADVERTISED as being dark. And it is, deliciously so. I only started it but am enjoying it immensely.
Feeling much better now, though I think I'll be sticking to simple foods tomorrow as well.
Alright, so I never updated you all on my Driving test. In short, I failed it. And not because of corruption either, but because I was nervous and made stupid mistakes. Imagine that, Chayyei Sarah making mistakes! Mashiach must be coming! No, seriously, I'm an experienced driver but this was bad, and the fact that it was all in Hebrew only made it worse. So after Pesach I'm going to take more lessons to get more comfortable with the roads (especially the highway, which I hadn't practiced in my lessons and so, when we headed onto one, I got super nervous, even though I have driven literally thousands of miles of highway in my life and usually love it). Then I'll take the test again, and I'd BETTER pass it this time. If I fail it the second time, I'll have to go back and take the written theory test AND 30 lessons before I can try a third time. That would suck. So now I'm under a leetle beet of pressure.
OK, the Dentist. First dentist appointment since my aliyah was last week. I made the appointment because I wanted to get my teeth cleaned. Who knew that here, making an appointment with the dentist is not the same as making an appointment with the hygenist? I could have made the appointments for the same morning but who knew? That's a real Thing My Shaliach Never Told Me. So I made an appointment with the hygenist for after Pesach, and the nice Israeli (but with fluent English) dentist examined my teeth, took x-rays, told me my teeth are structurally all fine, no cavities, and see you in a year. The cost for the visit? Zero shekels. The x-rays cost 40 shekels, the equivalent of about 9 dollars. I love socialized medicine. It is so clutch.