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My First semi-conversation in Hebrew

December 14, 2015

 

I have to start somewhere so I'll start not quite at the beginning. 

 

A week or so after moving into our apartment on Nachmani I knew that AM-PM (essentially a 7-11) was not the supermarket for me. While they offered every sort of frozen pizza and snack food; and beer and ice cream are always on sale; I knew I needed a go to place to buy the essentials. Lucky enough we were one block off Rothschild Boulevard and one block over from the non-kosher (open on Shabbat) market טיב טעם (Tiv Taam - "good taste", "tastes good", whatever). The pictures in the windows advertising their wares, were attractive, even enticing. The store seemed quite small from the outside but like Dr. Who, it was amazingly spacious - as in packed with stuff on the inside. 

 

One quick look around and it was clear there was an abundance of smoked fish and many of the products were from Russia. Like going to Brighton Beach. 

 

Avi came with me. I had been in Ulpan (language school) for a week. I could nod my head and say "yes" and "no" but that was about it. We did our shopping and went up to the cash register. There was barely space on the counter to put the stuff down. Everyone in line ahead of us was speaking Russian to the cashier. I started to panic. Avi assured me that she spoke Hebrew.

 

We got to the front of the line with no place to put more than one item at a time. That is the idea. She scans and you pack. If you don't pack she doesn't scan. We finally get everything through and the following conversation ensues:

 

Cashier: 

כרטים מעדון, יש

Club card, you have?

 

Avi:

אין לה

She (meaning me) doesn't have.

 

Cashier: 

למה לא

Why not?

 

Avi:

היא לא רוצה

She doesn't want it.

 

Cashier: 

למה לא

Why not?

 

Avi:

לא צריך

Doesn't need it.

 

Cashier: 

.למה לא

Why not?

 

Avi:

לא יודע

Don't know.

 

Cashier: 

.למה לא. היא צריכה

יש מבצאים

Why not?  She needs it. There are sales.

 

Avi:

בסדר. נכך

All right. We'll take it. 

 

Cashier: - pointing to the accumulation of chocolates and disinfectant and toilet paper on her counter.

אתם רוצים.  הם במבצא

You want?  They're on sale.

 

Barb:

לא תודה.

No thanks.

 

Cashier: 

למה לא.  הם זול.

Why not? They're cheap.

 

Avi:

לא צריך

Doesn't need it.

 

Cashier: 

.למה לא

Why not?

 

My contribution to the conversation was as minimal as one can imagine but to this day every time I use my כרטים מעדון (club card) I think to myself, "why not?"

 

 

 

 

 

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