On the Honey and the Beesting

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Akhuy lahalo, wa mesh metjawez...

The title reads, in the Akko/Haifa dialect of Spoken Arabic: My brother is alone, and unmarried.
These are the kinds of things that I am learning to say in Spoken Arabic class. Because not only are they pertinent to real-life occurrences (it just so happens that my brother is, in fact, alone and unmarried), but they're great conversation starters. How many people can say that in four languages?

Yeah, you're jealous.

My homework, which is to construct paragraphs using our vocabulary, consists of paragraphs such as the following: (keeping in mind that today's lesson was on verb negation, and therefore, our homework paragraphs have to reflect that.)

"Today I go to the university, but yesterday was Saturday and I did not go to the lesson. I painted the house of my grandfather but the day after tomorrow I will not swim in the pool. My brother is alone and unmarried but he likes women. My sister likes flowers, but she does not like the flower from her boyfriend"

It's kind of like I snort lines of coke and then am all "time to do Arabic homework!"

Sweet. Sweet.

It's cold and rainy, cutting out beach plans for the week. Instead, I will stay at home and compose cracked-out passages in Arabic, stalk people on facebook.com, catch up on North American tv recaps on televisionwithoutpity.com, and only venture out to the occasional bar or toilet-paper-purchasing expedition. In that order. Note that "going to class" goes unmentioned. Not that I'm hinting at anything.

I turned 21 this Sunday (thank you, thank you) which means...absolutely nothing, except that I'm 21 years older than I was 21 years ago. I have been able to drive for 5 years, gamble for 3 years, and drink (legally) for 2 years (in Canada. 3 in Israel. Which is in no small part of why I am a Zionist). It is only the United States which has come up with the brilliant idea of limiting legal alcohol to the older half of it's university population while the younger, 18-20 year old half (who are clearly more resistant to temptation. Clearly) is expected to drink orange juice. For three years. Riiiiiiiiiiight. Israel and Canada have a better approach to the whole thing: If a) you're going to allow them to use guns which are meant to shoot (i.e: kill/maim/wound/permanently disfigure) human beings, you ought to allow them to drink when they're off-duty. And b) if you're going to toss them into an institution away from their parents/legal guardians, you don't seriously expect them to adhere to a 21 limit for three years out of the college experience. Hell no! Part of the "college experience" (even though, FYI, I managed to get into a university, which makes me better than you) is coming home completely trashed and partially disrobed at three in the morning, vomiting on your roommates brand-new-and-wildly-expensive-strappy-sandals in the front hall, and waking up to discover that pictures of the Mathlete team doing body shots off of your questionably-dressed-but-entirely-passed-out-midriff are circulating the psychology department's listserve, eliminating any chances you had of being selected for that thesis program. And knowing that you did it all legally (or at least legal under the liquor laws of your particular province. The jury is still out on the "public nudity" clause) makes it worth the heartache you will cause your poor mother, who fervently awaits your call. Alone. In the dark. With the heat shut off. Because they do that. It's a mother thing. It's like in their DNA or something

For those who care, my birthday was a weekend of fun events. Normal bar on Friday, sushi (!) and nargilah bar on Saturday, and shipudim (like shishkabob, but no vegetables and only the meat. So I guess like skewers) with the family on Sunday. Flowers, Sfat candles, beaded necklaces aside, the best present I got was from my parents: Makeup, jewelry, and money. They clearly know what I like. Thanks, and keep it coming!

So really, the only comment I have to make on turning 21 is this little song that I heard in a store in a Haifa mall, which disturbed me to no end and yet is stuck in my head. And it should be mentioned that the words I've written below are the only lyrics which appear in the song.

They only want you when you're seventeen
When you're twenty-one
You're no fun
They take a Polaroid and let you go
Say "they'll let you know"
So come on
(Repeat seven times to the beat of poorly mixed techno music. If you really want to reflect the pitch of the singer accurately, smoke heavily for 45 years. Extra points for smoking out of your tracheotomy catheter)
We only want you when you're seventeen
When you're twenty-one
You're no fun

At which point I left the dressing room, and my conversation with the saleswoman went something like this:

Me: "I'm sorry, but is that the Date Rape song, or the Statutory Rape song? I get them confused"
Her: "I think it's about models..."
Me: "So....the Statutory Rape song?"

PS: I googled it, and it seems that this song is called "Seventeen" by Ladytron.
PPS: Who cares?
PPPS: I can't even begin to describe how much more fun I am at twenty-one than I was at seventeen


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