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28 (Ulpan Diaries | ウルパン日記)

July 16, 2010

In Zefat | ツファットにて

Two days ago I missed the school bus for the Ulpan.
(Yes, I ride a school bus! Who knew I would be riding one again at 33 years old.)

This was not the first time. I also missed it for the first three days. On the first day, having been told to be at the bus stop at 7:55, I was there at 7:50. No bus. After waiting for about 15 minutes, I called Yuval and asked him to give me a ride to the Ulpan. After dropping me off, he went to the transportation department to ask what happened. They said there must have been a misunderstanding but all should be fine the next day.

But the next day, as I was trying to cross the street to get to the bus stop, I saw the bus leave. I had just missed it. That was, I don’t know, 7:47. I just know it was earlier than the day before. Yuval went to the transportation department again to complain, and this time they said maybe their clock and my clock weren’t on the same time.

The third day I don’t even remember what happened. The important thing was, I was at the stop much earlier than the time I was told to be there. On the fourth day when I finally got on the bus, it felt like a miracle.

After having no problems for a few weeks, I missed it again two days ago. I was there at the same time I always am, about 10 minutes earlier than the “official time”. While I waited unsure if the bus was running late that day, the driver drove past me on the other side of the road, going in the opposite direction. He waved at me. I think he was even smiling.

That day I went in to the transportation department with Yuval and complained to them myself. The department manager got the driver’s manager on the phone and yelled at him for a good few minutes. Then she assured me that the problem shouldn’t happen again.

But during class I was so mad and frustrated that I couldn’t concentrate at all. I angrily flipped through my notes for words I knew we had already learned in class – late (meuhar), early (mukdam) – to compose a few sentences to shout at the driver. I wasn’t late! Why do you come so early?? During the first hafsaka (break) I asked my teacher how to say “wait” and composed another sentence – why don’t you wait for me?? I would have liked it to be more like, is it too much to ask for you to wait a few extra seconds?? But I do know my limits.

Although I was not registering anything from that day’s lesson, I realized I was digging up all my accumulated Hebrew knowledge to compose an angry monologue to shout at the driver and really let him have it. I may have not been getting much out of class but hey – I think it was the hardest I’ve worked on Hebrew yet!

But I also realized that my argument of, why can’t he wait for an extra 30 seconds?? Can also translate to, why can’t I just be there a few more minutes early? I knew there was truth in this, and it just made me more and more frustrated.

After the second hafsaka and only about an hour left in the day, I told myself, enough already. Get over it and concentrate! But whether it was because I asked her earlier or not, my teacher decided to take up the word “wait” as one of the new verbs of the day. As I tried my hardest to put the anger past me, the class recited in unison, mehake, mehaka, mehakim, mehakot, lehakot. The word “wait” in the 5 forms we learn of every verb: masculine, feminine, masculine+feminine plural, feminine plural, and infinitive. Wait, wait, wait, wait, and to wait. The teacher proceeded to write a few sample sentences using the verb.
Dani, wait a moment! Hana, why can’t you wait? Kids, wait!

Every “wait” was like a bang on my head, bringing back the memory that someone did in fact not wait for me that morning. Bang, bang, bang.

As for that angry Hebrew monologue, it was never delivered because we got a different driver for the way back. And by the next day, the whole monologue had evaporated from my brain.

二日前、ウルパン専用のスクール・バスに乗り損ねました。
(ええ、スクール・バスに乗っているのです!日本でたとえるとしたら幼稚園や保育園のバス。33歳でこのようなバスにまた乗ることになるとは。)

バスを乗り損ねるのはこれが初めてではありませんでした。最初の三日間も乗り損ねたのです。7時55分にバス停に来てくださいと言われたので初日は五分前に。でもバスは定刻になっても来ません。約15分ほど待った後、ユバルに電話をしウルパンまで送ってもらいました。ユバルは送ってくれた帰りに交通課のオフィスに寄って事情を聞いてくれました。その日はなぜか行き違ってしまったようだが、次の日からは大丈夫だと言われたとのこと。

でも次の日、バス停の反対側から道を渡ろうとしていたら、バスがいってしまうのがみえました。ほんのわずかな差。その日は何時に行ったかわかりませんが、前日より早かったのは確か。ユバルは再び交通課へ文句を言いに行ってくれました。今度は、彼らの時計と私の時計が合ってないのでは、とのこと。

三日目は何が起きたのかもう忘れてしまいましたが、とにかく定刻よりも早く行っていたことは確かです。四日目にやっとバスに乗れた時は奇跡的に感じました。

数週間は問題なく過ぎましたが、二日前またバスを乗り損ねました。いつもと同じ時刻、つまり「定刻」より約10分前にいましたが。事情がわからず待っていたら、運転手が反対方向の向かい側の道路を通り過ぎていくのがみえました。私をみて手を振りました。微笑すら浮かべながら。

その日はユバルと一緒に交通課へ行き、英語が通じたので自分で文句を言いました。交通課のマネジャーが運転手のマネジャーに電話をしてくれ、数分間怒鳴り散らした後、もう二度と同じことは起きないと保証してくれました。

でもその日の授業は怒りのあまり全く集中ができません。ノートを乱暴にめくりながら「遅れる(メウハール)」や「早い(ムクダム)」など、既に習った言葉を探し、運転手に対して怒鳴る文章を作成しました。私は遅れなかった!なぜあなたはそんなに早く来るの?一回目のハフサカ(休憩)中に、先生に「待つ」の言い方を聞き、文章をもう一つ:なんであなたは待ってくれないの?

その日のレッスンはほとんど無駄になってしまいましたが、運転手に怒りを投げつけるための台詞を今まで習ったヘブライ語知識を必死に振り返り作成する自分に気付きました。今まで一番頑張ってヘブライ語を勉強した時かも??

しかし、自分が貫こうとしている「なんで30秒ぐらい余計に待てないの?」という言い分は、逆に自分があと数分早く行けばいい話じゃないのか?とも言えると実感し、自分の中の葛藤ははなおさら増すばかり。

二回目のハフサカが終わり、ウルパンも後一時間ちょっとの時点で、もういい加減忘れなきゃ、と思いました。集中しなきゃ!でも休憩中に私が質問したからかわかりませんが、先生がその日の新たに学ぶ動詞のうちの一つに選んだのが「待つ」。私が怒りを忘れようと心を入れ替えようとしている中、生徒が声をそろえてメハケメハカメハキムメハコットレハコットと合唱。つまり「待つ」を全ての動詞で習う5通りで:男性、女性、男女複数形、女性複数形、不定詞。待つ待つ待つ待つ、そして待つ。次に先生は動詞を使った例文をいくつか黒板に書きました。
ダニー、ちょっと待って!ハナ、なぜ待たないの?子供達、待ちなさい

待つ」が登場するたび、今朝逆に私を待ってくれなかった人がいた記憶がよみがえるようでした。

そして必死に作成したヘブライ語の台詞に関しては、その日の帰りはなぜか違う運転手だったので使うことはできず、次の日には私の頭の中から完全に蒸発してしまったのでした。

Much love,
Kaori

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    July 18, 2010 4:13 am

    This picture reminds me of France !?

  2. Amy Woods permalink
    July 24, 2010 1:32 am

    Funny, it kind of reminded me of the village where my family lives in Italy!

    ps…. you missing the bus somehow reminded me of us always running just a little late in college.

    • July 24, 2010 9:59 am

      We were always running late in college weren’t we?
      I never got how you got ready without running like me!😀

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