¡Hoja!

This semester i finally started studying two very important languages. No, not Armenian and Irish – i’m talking about Spanish and Arabic.

Spanish is in huge demand. In fact, i’m still not officially signed up for the course. It is given in five different groups, each with its own days and hours, there’s only one that fits me and technically it is full, but the teacher agreed to accept me. This group has sixty students and it is only one of five. I’ll have to go through some more bureaucratic hoops to get an official grade too.

Our Spanish teacher gave us homework for yesterday. I didn’t do it, of course. No-one was really sure whether to hand it in. At the end of the lesson one female student asked loudly: “Do we have to hand in the homework?”, to which i immediately replied: “Shhhhhh!” Then someone told me quietly: “You should forgive her, she is an atudait.”

If you are not Israeli, this requires an explanation. Atudai (עתודאי, f. -it, pl. -im) is someone who is allowed to complete an academic degree before he is drafted to IDF service. So it means that she a). is a geek and b). hasn’t been in the army yet and hence she doesn’t know what a “kit bag question” is. In IDF slang, a “kit bag question” is a question better not asked, because the reply can be positive. It originates at a very common story – the commander tells the unit to run and some stupid soldier asks – “With the kit bag or without the kit bag?” The reply is obvious. This story is very famous, but when i was at tironut (boot camp) someone actually asked this exact question.

Another Hebrew saying goes: “Suckers never die.”

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1 Response to “¡Hoja!”


  1. 1 Karma 2006-11-21 at 01:31

    Good for you. I feel like I should choose between learning Spanish or Arabic, I can’t imagine taking both on. But important stuff.


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