Birth-control and postcards

Ah, the beauty of a second language.

Today, after spending the afternoon in Zichron Yaakov with my best buddy Orli and her cute babeleh Yinon, it suddenly dawned on me that I’d forgotten to do something very important: send my dad a postcard.

See, my dad collects postcards from all over the world and so, although one of his major life philosophies is “never go anywhere,” if someone else happens to go “anywhere“, they are always requested to mail my father a postcard from wherever they end up.

I have sent him postcards from many places around the world and today I was to send him one from Zichron Yaakov, an unbelievably gorgeous town on the Israeli coast in between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

So, with little time to spare – we were supposed to be heading back to Jerusalem already – I started on a run through the midrechov (pedestrian road?) to find a postcard.

“How do you say postcard in Hebrew again?” I asked myself as I rushed forwards. “Oh yes, I remember…. I think.”

I stuck my head in one of the first stores I passed and asked:

“איפה אפשר למצוא גלולות?” (Eifo efshar limtzo glulot?)

And when I got a confused look, I said, “Postcards.”

The guy and girl in the store started laughing and said, “Gluyot.”

Then they said in Hebrew, “We were thinking we don’t have glulot around here.”

Oops. Then I realized. That isn’t the word for postcard. That’s the word for birth-control pills!

I was a little (OK, very) embarrassed but they were very nice and they told me two stores that might carry postcards. Again I was off.

It started pouring on me. Ah, perfect. Makes the story so much better, having rain dripping off your nose. Because though I currently live in Vancouver where it rains a lot, I almost never experience there, the down-pours that Israel gets sometimes (may we get lots of rain over the next couple of months).

I ran into a kiyosk.

האם יש לכם גלויות?

Well, at least I learn.

But no, they didn’t.

The second store they recommended was a bookstore and there, finally I found a pretty unattractive postcard of Zichron Yaakov. There were only two postcards in the bookstore that were actually of ZY so it wasn’t hard to choose. I quickly wrote my dad a message, ran to the post office and mailed the postcard with a stamp I got from my dad before I left Jerusalem this morning.

My dad says that now he needs to remember the story that goes with this postcard which hopefully he’ll actually receive.

I’m just happy I didn’t have to ask for a stamp too. Who knows what word I may have come up with for that.


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