Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Heinz Catch-up

One of the beautiful things about living in Israel is proximity to so much family. Definitely not the case in Vancouver. Turns out, cousin Michal works in Modi'in once a week in the evening, so last night she came over for dinner. We plan on making this a fairly regular occurence. Because of the *grumble grumble* bus system, when she comes over, she can't stay later than 9pm. However, we had such a great visit last night, that I'll take frequent hour/hour and a half visits over nothing!

Now if we can just get the other kids cousins here.

In other news, Monday night we went to an English panel of the candidates for mayor of Modi'in. It was very interesting to witness the wheels of the political machine in Israel, and realize that politics are the same all over: Take everything every candidate says with a grain of salt, and wonder what they really mean. Although we discovered we aren't yet eligible to vote (the criteria is, you must be a resident for 6 months as of some day in October 2008. I ask you, why not just make the criteria that you must be a resident as of March 2008? Now that is very Israeli!), it was a very interesting evening, and we were very grateful for the opportunity to hear the candidates in English. Please G-d, by the next election, we'll understand their platforms in Hebrew.

In other other news, I went on a supermarket tour this afternoon! Why a supermarket tour? Because I have (half) jokingly said that that we run the risk of buying oven cleaner every time we search for fabric softener. Think about it - you go to the market to buy meat, you know what shortribs are, you know what a rib roast is. What's the Israeli equivalent? How do you say "low fat" in Hebrew? What are all the kinds of fish? What is that weird green fuzzy thing in the fruit section? Where's the buttermilk?? Elana Kideckel runs a wonderful market tour called "Supermarket Savvy" that answers these questions and more! She also includes some basic nutritional information, and includes a booklet with translations of important words, like "fat" "sodium" "cholesterol." It was so helpful, and I feel so much more comfortable with what I'm buying. And I had a couple of important questions answered - I can't have aspartame or sorbitol, very common sweetener additives. The Hebrew for aspartame and sorbitol is:

Aspartame and sorbitol.

I also met a neighbour on the tour! Although, she'll be moving to another neighbourhood soon. If you're reading this and you live in central Israel, contact Elana for a tour! It's worth it.

And to add icing on the cake, while waiting for the bus to take me to the supermarket for the tour, 5 different people stopped and asked for information - directions, where is such-and-such a street, when does the bus come, where does the bus go - and I was able to answer all of them in Hebrew AND respond to a joke the gentleman waiting with me made about all the requests for information ("Modi'in" - the name of our town means information!).

All in all, a very good day.

Next on the calendar: will our mattresses arrive tomorrow?

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