Thursday, July 21, 2011

Adventures in Acquiring a Library Card in Israel

This is a popular story in our family and the punch line has become one of Jonah's favorite quotes.

Near Micah and Jonah's first ulpan, Ulpan for Teenage Olim, there is a community center with an English and Hebrew library.  We decided to visit and to try to get a card so that we could take out books since we don't want to buy books here.  Not only are they more expensive here, they are heavy and we don't want to carry them home.

The librarian asked me to go upstairs and talk to Svetlana in order to sign up for a library card.  Svetlana is a very nice woman from Russia who speaks Hebrew and Russian but only a little bit of English.  I am a woman from the US who speaks English and only a teeny bit of Hebrew.  It was frustrating for us trying to communicate about the process by which we were to get our library card.  She kept trying Hebrew and I wouldn't understand. Then she'd try English and didn't know how to explain.  Finally, she says, "sprechen sie deutsch?"  And I said "lo, habla espanol?"  And she said "lo."  So we just kept going on in her broken English and my even more pathetic Hebrew and finally I filled out the paperwork, brought back the blank check for security purposes, and several weeks later, we got our card.  :-) 

The library has been an important resource for us because we need books for Micah and Jonah to read during Shabbat services.  And of course, we got a great story out of it.

It is also fun to run into friends at the library. Micah and Jonah see friends from their ulpan, their first summer camp (Camp Shelanu), and I saw my ulpan teacher Caron with her daughter.  It is a nice place in the community.

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