Wednesday, March 2, 2011


While sitting here in my Jerusalem apartment, I am going to tell you about how I learned Hebrew in India. There is an Israeli phenomenon where young people, shortly after their time in the army, leave the country for months at a time to explore and travel exotic places. Their brains are fried after years of service and they need an escape. As I learned from Nurit, my Israeli roommate, the places most commonly visited are South America and India. So many Israelis come through the small, laid-back cities of India like Pushkar and Hampi, that you can find remnants of them all over—signs and menus in Hebrew, a Chabad house, and even Hebrew speaking Indians. Because of the abundance of Israeli travelers in proportion to travelers from other countries, many Indians with poor geography think Israel is a huge place with a huge population. The locals that work in the tourist industry end up learning some of the key phrases to get the travelers to stay at their guest house or shop at their store. As I discovered in Pushkar, an Israeli hotspot in the Northwestern state of Rajasthan, they often stand on their stoops and holler “taltalim,” meaning “curls,” to the passing Israeli women who are known for their voluminous kinky hair.  While walking on these streets I often got the same cat-call, which I always greeted with a smile. Because as I have observed on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, to be confused with a beautiful Israeli woman is a compliment in my book. 

1 comment:

  1. You are a beautiful young woman with curly kinky hair!! But we love you anyway!! lol