Yesterday at about 5:30 PM I took the #5 bus to meet my friend R. She usually works at home, but is still taking various diagnostic tests before her surgery and has bouts of tension when she can't work, so she called me to accompany her on a theraputic shopping expedition. I sat down on the bus next to a friendly-looking woman who began talking to me in Hebrew, and it took me a minute or two to realize she was my favorite former Ulpan teacher, Ruti!
Ruti has retired now, her son who was about 10 years old when I took private lessons in her home is now a computer programmer. She looks only a little different, shorter hair, but still the same open face and manner of the former kibbutznik I suspect she is. After my initial self-consciousness about speaking to her in Hebrew, I relaxed a bit and felt confident enough to pay attention to my accent. What can this mean?
It was such fun to see Ruti after all these years, and realize that yes, I have achieved some fluency and comprehension in the language that bedevilled me for so long, that I ended up buying myself a new outfit! Rena claims that it cheered her up as much to see me buy something new as it did for her to buy for herself. I am usually not interested in shopping, and only went along as a mitzvah. Photo to follow.