How to become an Israeli...

Last week I went mountain biking with Zach, his friend Nadav, and Nadav’s father. We went to a place called Ofer. I was a little worried about the ride because I really didn’t know the terrain. It was supposed to be quite technical. So, we meet up with Nadav and his father, Uri and head off to this great spot. We ended up at Har Horshan and Uri asked me to pull up beside his car to tell me that he went the wrong way. Ok, we turned around and went to the right place. We get there and start getting out stuff together and I can see that Uri is a lot more uptight than I am. He is a bit over weight and his equipment is pretty old. So now I stop worrying so much about me and start to worry about him a bit. We take off on the bikes up this little trail and it is very technical right away. We all need to get off and hike a lot, but Uri starts to complain about it. Lama, kolezman tsrchime lalechet? (Why do we always have to walk?) He is going on and on about it and his son Nadav is just speeding up the trail as fast as he can, maybe so he doesn’t have to hear or something.

While all this is going on, I start in with my usual trip of trying to be the pacifier by telling him that it is hard and I have to walk too and what not. This approach doesn’t seem to be helping. He is still complaining and going on about it. After we get to the top of a little section, we stop for a hafsaka (break) and I start saying how tough it was and he looks at me and says…

“Why do you keep belittling yourself? You are a better rider than me. Stop doing that.”

So I stopped for a second. What do I say to this? I am just being a polite American. You know, if you don’t like the food you are being served you eat it anyways and say thank you. So, I looked back at him and said,

“OK, you suck!”

He seemed a little shocked at first, and then, we got along great for the rest of the day! So, I learned how to be a little more Israeli today. By the end of the day we had all crashed our bikes, watched a bunch of little kids fly through the air on these rusty nail and rotten wood rampote. (I was corrected when I said rampime which is male plural of ramps; it was explained to me that anything dangerous was female when pluralized in Hebrew… (Right)…) so now we have a place to go mountain biking in world class terrain, a crazy downhill mountain bike park, and I have a new friend named Uri. What fun!

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