Tuesday, June 02, 2009


So I was originally planning on going to Turkey and Israel and maybe Paris this month. Was supposed to leave yesterday. But due to family illness (nothing life-threatening, thank goodness), my trip has been delayed for one month. I'll be visiting Istanbul and Tel Aviv in July, instead of in June.

Although I was all ready to go, tickets purchased, armed with histories of Istanbul and glossaries of Turkish and Hebrew, my suitcase packed with lightweight, summery linen dresses, and a perpetually scowling Freud doll, I'm actually relieved and elated that I won't be going for another month. This way, my father can get healthy and my mother can attempt to stop worrying (well, maybe only a little). And we had trip insurance, though apparently once you use it to cancel a trip, it expires, kind of like when you insure your tires and have to replace them- you need to take out a whole new policy on the new tires.

I intend to spend the next four weeks trying to jog my memory of the child's Hebrew that has somehow slid down deep into my unconscious, so that I won't seem like a complete idiot when I meet up with a friend in Israel (reason no. 1 why I'm glad to wait until July). Yes, I'm suddenly very self-conscious about this. Why did I choose to learn French, a language that can only be spoken in Northern Europe, parts of Africa, and in an utterly unrecognizable form in Canada? And why did I choose to learn Latin and ancient Greek, languages that cannot be spoken at all? Oh, right: Renaissance scholarship. Very useful for scholarship and teaching; much less useful for travel- at least until we figure out a way to travel back in time. And as soon as that happens, I'll immediately travel back to age 12 and get my mediocre command of Hebrew back.


plam said...

Me, I didn't so much choose to learn French; it just came with growing up in Montreal. It has occurred to me, though, that Spanish would be much more useful.

I'm hoping to go to Turkey in the fall, although for tourism, not scholarship.

Pamphilia said...

You're lucky that you learned French by default. When I got to Montreal I couldn't understand the accent and idioms so I thought that all 8 years of French had been literally sucked out of my brain. It took me three months to finally understand those dipthongs and funky old-fashioned expressions. And even then, all I ever felt comfortable conversing about was food, hardware (the landlord never fixed anything; I was quite the regular at my local quincaillerie), and 16th century poetry. Then again, what else does one need?

Flavia said...

Best wishes for your father's recovery, P.

Pamphilia said...

Thanks, F! He's doing much, much better.