Sunday, December 16, 2007

Try lingual

Jo and I took a field trip uptown, which included a visit to the wonderful Fairway supermarket. Over by the Israeli cucumbers (called Persian cucumbers at markets not on the Upper West Side) I overheard a woman ask her companion, "Aifo haagvaniot?" I know so little, but I do know a) how to ask "Where are the tomatoes?" in Hebrew, and b) where the tomatoes are at the Fairway. So I answered, gesturing in the direction of the tomatoes, "Shahm." Then the woman said something very quickly, and I had no idea what was going on, and could barely hear what she said, regardless, because of the thick fake-fur hat I was wearing at the time. I answered that that was pretty much all the Hebrew I knew, and, I believe, repeated this at least a second time... and then she said that she'd been speaking English, and she wanted to know something about deliveries. It's a sad fact that Israeli-accented English plus furry hat equals Hebrew I do not understand. After feeling oh so smart, in just a few short moments, I felt oh so ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

Phoebe, it's a good thing to feel ridiculous ever now and then. You don't want to lose the common touch - Besides, a grad degree in French studies from NYU is more than enough sophestication.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

I have common touch to spare, I assure you.

Anonymous said...

I was just kidding, I promise. Your anecdote was an interesting micro class negotiation.