Technically speaking, I wasn’t kicked out of Ulpan today, I was simply told I couldn’t come back because my month was over and I didn’t pay for the next month. I don’t think it unreasonable of me to not want to pay for an entire other month since my class ends next week, but they were completely unwilling to be flexible, so I left at the first break.
Since our nanny was planning on staying all morning, I took advantage of the free time to grab a workout. I hopped on a green bike and started pedaling toward Yafo. Riding bikes around here is very unlike San Francisco. There are bike lanes on all the boulevards, but there are no regulations about who can use them. (And if there were, nobody would follow the rules anyway.) The most common sight is a parent on a motorized bike, with kids on front and back seats. Also, there’s the more-than-occasional person riding top speed on a motorized bike while smoking. And talking on the phone. And perhaps, running the dog. Sometimes motorcycles use the bike lane. Sometimes kids with scooters go between the bikes, ringing their bells because the bikes are in their way, even though the rest of the boulevard is empty. Oh wait, that’s my kid. Yes, he thinks he owns the sidewalk. How very Israeli of him. Anyway, you get the picture.
My ride today was quite pleasant. I’d fortunately chosen a green bike that was in good shape, with two tires pumped and brakes working. I rode along the water, enjoying the view. Then my friend from Ireland called and I tried talking on the phone while biking. And not wearing a helmet. How very Israeli of me. And also not safe. I promise I won’t do it again.
I arrived back at my favorite swimming beach in one piece and returned the bike in just under the allotted free half hour (what’s with me and saving money today??). I changed into my suit and slowly walked into the clear, cold water. And walked. And walked.
It’s shallow for quite a long time at that beach! I’m not one who likes to tiptoe into the water and feel the cold slowly creeping over me. I more of a plunge-and-get-it-over-with type of person. Oh well. I swam back and forth – from the end of one cafe’s green lounge chairs to the end of the next cafe’s green lounge chairs – twice. Maybe half a kilometer. Maybe more, but who knows because the software for the fancy watch I bought still hasn’t been updated to include the advertised swim distance function. It tells me only how long I swam. How practical. Since I couldn’t just check the time on my watch to see how long I’ve been swimming while I’m actually in the water.
Once out of the water and hurrying along to gather a baby and pick up a preschooler, I realized that my legs were sore. What a great feeling! Does that sound weird? You probably have to be an exercise addict like myself to think being sore after a workout is a good thing.
Just for the record, now that I’ve been kicked out of school, I’m planning on keeping the nanny and using my free mornings to swim and bike and run. Maybe I’ll study a little Hebrew on my own and practice some violin too!