December 19, 2011 | Hebrew
Studying Hebrew, Heading to Italy
On the eve of an Italy vacation, I simply cannot make up my mind which language to study.*
Tomorrow I head off for eight days in Italy. Brandt and I are visiting his sister and her family in Genoa for the holiday.
Trying to decide which language to study right now—Hebrew or Italian—has been causing me pain and suffering. I do not want to miss out on a chance to polish my Italian before I go to Italy, but my Hebrew is in a very fragile state right now, and I am worried it will end up in the language equivalent of an ICU if I suddenly drop it for some number of days to focus on a Romance language.
So far I have stuck with Hebrew while the following words loop repeatedly through my head: “You are a huge idiot not to be working on your Italian right now.”
The other day I went to visit an Israeli shop I had heard about in the East Village, Holyland Market at 122 St. Marks Place, between First Avenue and Avenue A.
Holyland Market, St. Marks Place
Cereal in Hebrew
If you have followed this blog in the past, you may have noticed I like taking pictures of food with foreign languages on it.
Spices in Hebrew
Hellmann’s in Hebrew
Holyland is quite a small market, but with a very high Hebrew density. I can’t say the Israeli guy working there overwhelmed me with his friendliness, but he tolerated my presence in any case, which is something.
Yaffa Cafe, St. Marks Place
On my way home, I stopped by Yaffa Cafe, an Israeli-owned restaurant down the street. I had never been there before, but I loved this place.
You might, too, as long as you don’t mind eating at tables so close together you are practically sitting on your neighbor’s lap and said neighbor might actually eat your food by mistake. That kind of thing used to bug me when I first moved here, but I learned long ago to pretend there is a great deal of space around me even when there isn’t.
If you find winter dreary, Yaffa might be a place to counteract that for you. It has a warm, decadent interior and is the opposite of dreary. I studied while drinking a delicious latte and an orange juice. The place was jammed full of people by the time I left.
Food for the Eyes and Also the Stomach
Studying on Zebra Stripes
I am packing Hebrew and Italian grammar books for my trip. And Hebrew and Italian Pimsleur. Just thinking about that language combination makes my head hurt a little, to be honest.
* Note from January 10, 2012, the day I am actually posting this: I know, this entry is tardy, but may I just pretend it (and some subsequent ones, about to be posted) aren’t? I am behind. Again. This time because of vacation and a bout with the flu. I know that posting belatedly is very unbloglike conduct, but I have some observations from the second half of December and the early part of January that I don’t want to neglect.