Monday, October 6, 2008

I suppose we could have stayed in bed this morning*

Today after ulpan, we went to Yishpro Centre to buy sheets. We are currently using borrowed sheets (on our new mattresses!), which have to be returned for Sukkot. We finally had a free afternoon, so off we went. The journey started off on a good note, when we were offered a ride to the #6 bus stop, saving us a 10 minute walk, although this meant a 10 minute wait at the bus stop. But always: better a wait than a walk! We got to Yishpro, and on a whim, decided to check out Murphy's Irish Pub. Which is all the way on the other side of Yishpro (Yishpro is pretty big). And here's where things started to go downhill. We got all the way to the pub, only to discover it was closed. Poor Morey was so disappointed - the idea of pub food** and a beer?!

I was so disappointed, because we had to walk allllll the way back. After a quick lunch at Cuppa Joe, we went to the brand new supermarket, which was great. Morey shopped, I talked to Cigal on the phone. While Morey stood in line, I went to Home Centre to get the sheets. And here's where things continued to go downhill. In hindsight, this is where we should have just called a cab and gone home.

First, we maxed the credit card. I knew we were close, I just haven't had a chance to sit down and look at the statement online and make a payment. My bad. Morey ran to the caspomat (ATM) which was 30 seconds away and came back to find the kupai (checker) had started ringing up someone else. Who had a very very full cart. 1,121 shekel, 30 agarot and 25 minutes later, Morey was finally able to pay.

Thanks to the maxed out credit card, we weren`t able to buy sheets, which was the reason we went to Yishpro in the first place. So we wound up buying only lightbulbs, and a gas hose to replace the one we're borrowing for our stove. We also ran into one of our ulpan classmates while shopping. Simon's always great to chat with; he has such a sunny disposition. I've never seen him get frustrated over anything.

Off we go to the bus, and once again, I served as Modi'in (information) for the bus. I either look like a bus company employee, or like I take the bus a lot because I'm always being asked about the bus routes. And here's where everything really went downhill. We want to catch the connecting bus from the train station next to the mall that goes nearest our house because we're laden with bags and don't want to walk far. Except the #6, which picks up at the mall to go to Yishpro, doesn't drop off at the mall. So we wind up walking to the mall (which thankfully, wasn't too far, but still...), around the mall to the other side, to wait for the 1A.

The bus driver wasn't too effusive when we confirmed that he was a 1A (the drivers rarely remember to change their sign from '1' to '1A') and double-confirmed that he went to our street, but he did nod, which we took to be a yes. Except, when he got to our street, he went up the hill instead of down, taking us very far from our destination. We were the only people on the bus at that point, so we stopped the bus, then stood our ground about how he went the wrong way. He didn't argue with us, just put his head in his hands***, which made me feel really bad for him. I'm sure he had had a bad day, and just wanted to go home, which maybe is why he decided to skip our street. However, we had 7 heavy grocery bags, plus our heavy backpacks with our (oye) school books, which we were not going to shlep all the way down the hill.

He just sat there, so finally I asked him in Hebrew, were we just going to sit there all night? He asked where we wanted to go, and we told him, and told him again that the way he went was not correct. He finally closed the door to the bus and started moving, and I asked him where he was going. He said, "L'baita, l'baita" (to your home, to your home). And he drove us to our stop. We conducted this whole exchange in Hebrew, and we were successful! Yay us! I just wish I knew how to say, "I'm sorry you're having such a bad day, and I hope it's better tomorrow." Instead I thanked him very profusely, and hopefully gently, and wished him a "G'mar chatima tova" which is the usual greeting for the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It basically means, "May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for Good." I truly wish for him a better day.

Meanwhile, while basking in our foreign language success, we got home to realize we were overcharged by one shekel for our stuffed grape leaves (thank you Leah for translating!), and our sparkling wine for Shabbat was not in any of the bags. But it most certainly was on the receipt. And somehow, we lost the box of Earl Grey tea I put in the cart, which was not on the receipt. And last but not least, when I took out one of the lightbulb boxes from the bag, it had a suspicious tinkly sound. Guess we get to do all of this again tomorrow....

* We should have known something was up: we missed our bus to ulpan this morning.
** We have since discovered they're probably not kosher, so maybe it's no great loss, anyway. Still, a beer would have been nice.
*** Like Moshe in Parshat Korach when Korach confronts Moshe about who made him a leader, anyway? and King David in Tachanun. Don't know if the bus driver's a great leader, but it's a recurring theme in Jewish texts - when leaders (a bus driver leads his passengers, no?) are questioned when they themselves question their own leadership, they put their heads in their hands.


Rachel Inbar said...


Yes, not kosher there...

Sorry you had such a yucky day.

Alissa Altman said...

Oh, I just knew that was going to be the case - pub food so close, yet so far...

And it overall wasn't a yucky day, although I guess re-reading the post, it sounds pretty yucky ;)