Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Snapshot of Daily Life

So, here's a look at a typical day for me right now:
Around 6 a.m. I wake up.  It's very bright and noisy here in the mornings and once I am awakened I have to get out of bed to "use the facilities." I don't want to wake Mark up, and I probably couldn't fall back to sleep anyway so I catch up on computer stuff - email and Facebook.  By 7 a.m. Mark and the boys are up, so I take a shower, and we all eat breakfast and get ready to go.  At 7:45, Jonah, Micah, and I start the walk to their ulpan.  By 8 a.m. we are usually there.  Micah likes to walk ahead of us so he gets their even earlier.  Jonah and I walk together to the Rakevet, and then he goes the last two or three blocks on his own.  Their school starts at 8:15 and ends at 12:45 for Jonah and sometimes 12:45, sometimes 1:30 for Micah.  Micah goes on Sundays but Jonah doesn't.  Most Sundays he comes with me to my ulpan instead.  Two of those weeks he had private lessons with Ami, and this week he stayed with Adam on Rusty Mike Radio (Rusty Mike) the whole time.  He got to record two mini commercials "You're listening to Adam in the Morning on Rusty Mike Radio" and "You're listening to ulpan teacher Ami on Rusty Mike Radio" which they play often.  He doesn't like it when we use this word but it is very cute.
Today was my last day of ulpan at Ulpan L'Inyan (Ulpan) which made me feel sad.  But no, Jonah, I didn't really cry. I'm sad because I really like my classmates Robyn from Cherry Hill, Chuck from Philadelphia, Lenny and Rodin from Arizona, and Ashira from England and other places, and I don't know that I'll see them again.  I also adore my teacher Caren.  She's such  a good teacher - very patient and friendly she lets us ask questions and explains things very clearly.  I'm not sure I could have a better ulpan teacher.  The Ulpan L'Inyan system is similar to the Pimsleur whose CDs I was listening to in preparation for our trip.  I learned a lot with this one-hour-per-day ulpan, and have promised Lisa Fernandez I would try to talk to her in Hebrew when we get back  I also want to create a Hebrew chug for friends who want to get together and practice our Hebrew when I get home.  I know that Lea and Jan are interested, and I hope Stacy and Sandy and Adi will come too.  But good luck finding a time when we can all get together!  Ha ha.
So, after ulpan I sometimes go about three blocks from AACI Association for Americans and Canadians in Israel) which houses Ulpan L'Inyan to the gym (Body and Soul Gym) for a class - I've enjoyed several different ones like Dynamic Sculpting which is step aerobics with hand weights, Health Fitness which was Pilates, CORE which is not aerobic but lots of different and interesting core strength exercises, Yoga (self explanatory), Strength and Stretch which was a lot like a combination of Core Flow and Daily Method, and Zumba which was a very fun way to do aerobics.  The Zumba teacher is an amazing dancer and he really gets our blood pumping.  I was able to join this gym for about $14 for the month due to a great GroopBuy GroopBuy) coupon.  Very cool!  I've definitely gotten my money's worth!  My gym membership expires next week which is ok since I won't be going that direction for ulpan anymore.
Some days after ulpan I do some shopping. I have several favorite stores that sell housewares and are cheap like outlets.  I also walk around the two malls that are right there in Talpiot.  I had to buy some new sneakers for example so I tried on shoes at at least four different stores in the two malls and bought the best ones for a reasonable price.  I really like to shop for hats here.  They make the kind that I really like and they are not very expensive. My favorite hat that Mark got me from Israel before was an Imaga hat and the Imaga factory and showroom is on the second floor of same building where AACI and ulpan are.  Some days I just get a chai tea or another treat.  Lots of days I go to the grocery store across the street (Supersol Deal) and get things we need for home.
Imaga Sign

Imaga Factory

Imaga Showroom

On the days that Micah has school until 1:30, Mark and I go out to lunch somewhere on Emek Refaim. We've almost completed our mission of trying every restaurant that interests us there.  All we have left are La Boca and Taiku.  Yesterday we went to Ryu and we have also been to Magic Carpet (Marvad Haksamim), Olive, Joy, Baba, Luciana, Caffit, Cafe Cafe, Falafel Adir which is currently under renovations, etc.  Micah and I went to Sushi Rehavia by ourselves and Mark went to Buffalo Steakhouse by himself.  We tried all the pizza places when Pesach ended - Pizza Sababa, Big Apple Pizza, and Pizza Italia.  We've had juices at Rebar, gelato at Aldo, and snacks at McDonald's. We've had chai and coffee at other Aroma Cafes so haven't been to the one on Emek Refaim.  Oh, wait, I think Mark went there with a friend or colleague.  So there are very few places on Emek Refaim that we have not tried. I've even gotten my haircut at two of them: David's and Yaniv Malka's.  We also frequent the Post Office and some places just off Emek like Marzipan and Falafel Doron.
So, after lunch we pick up Micah and Jonah from school. Sometime they have playdates with Benjamin and Alon, Chaim and Bat El, and one Saturday Micah had a playdate with Shemer and Adir.  Sometimes they come to our house and Alon and Benjamin have each slept over at our place as well.  In the afternoons, there is ulpan homework, math workbook time, reading time, going to the library, and once in a while going to a museum or other outing.  On Fridays there is no school so we usually go to the shuk and grocery store all together.  Or Mark goes alone and the boys and I stay home a veg out.
Usually dinner is at out own house - some kind of meat, some kind of vegetable and fruit for dessert.  In the evenings, Mark and I have gone out a couple of times leaving Micah and Jonah home alone.  We went to the Ballet as part of the Jerusalem Festival, we went out to dinner for our anniversary, etc.  Sometimes in the evening I go back to the gym for a class or go to Israeli dancing with Boaz Cohen.
Twice a week Mark was doing laundry at our friends' house but now he is taking it to a laundromat once a week.  We tried to go to a movie last week. It was such a hot day.  But the movie was only in Hebrew so we got ice cream and came home instead.  Big bummer!
As I think of more things, I may come add to this post.  But basically, this is what it is like for us living here.

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