Friday, January 16, 2004

Sof Shavua

It's been a bit of a lonely weekend for me thus far--not counting Thursday's terrific party. Luise, Gosha, and Bernd really went all out with their apartment, covering the walls with foil, moving out all the furniture, filling the tub with ice and cheap Israeli beer, and renting sound equipment. There were people from all over there--artists from Germany, volunteers from France, a handful of Israelis, Italians, and even a few Palestinians. I tried practicing my horrible Arabic, to no avail, but they were all very encouraging. I talked to an Arab drummer, who I had seen perform a few days before, and we talked about religion and Israel and Palestine. I suppose my first real conversation with a Palestinian. The strange thing was how western they seemed in a lot of ways, blond, blue-eyed, excellent English (better than a lot of the Israelis I know here), well-educated. I don't know what I expected. Anyway, the party was a great time.

But yesterday I spent the whole day in my apartment by myself. The idea was to study like a maniac, but something happens to me in absolute solitude for more than four or five hours: I sort of shut down mentally. This is not good for me. I guess I need human contact for at least an hour every day. I didn't get nearly as much studying done as I should have, but I did do quite a bit of Hebrew. Today I am scrambling to get out of my apartment, but none of my friends are answering their phones, and I can't just head to a coffee shop as everything is closed for Shabbat! Well, tonight I go to church, and I'll get my fill of people there.

1 comment:

Grandma said...

Dear Becky, I don't even know if my comments get through because you know I am a neophyte at this stuff. Anyway, I think part of your problem is being bombarded by conversation in languages in which you aren't fluent. As you say, that is improving but it must give a feeling of isolation that you aren't used to. You will continue to improve, I know ,and in the meantime you just have to cope. Think of all the positive aspects ( don't you hate to hear that?) of what you are doing. I will have to tell you the poem my mother used to tell me when you want to hear it. Ane next time, don't go so far from home, although by then you should be able to talk to just about everybody fluently in everything but Swahili!! Love, GM