Tonight Paola came over for dinner and we cooked risotto together - something I've never done. To be more clear about the situation, Paola cooked and I watched. According to Paolo, "Risotto is not like pasta, where you can just boil the water and then leave it alone. Risotto is like a baby and you have to watch over it and give it what it needs." We had a lovely meal together and spoke only in Hebrew for most of it. After dinner we stood out on the mirpeset (balcony) and chatted while looking out over the city. We talked about Catholicism - Paola has found a mass in Hebrew that she is going to on Sunday evenings- about Judaism - Paola asked me what relations were like between Orthodox and Reform Judaism, and I gave a complicated answer that didn't fully answer the question, but it's a hard question to answer - and about other things as well. I am so excited that I already feel like I have a close friend here!! I feel extremely fortunate.
In other news, I have been reading some short stories (In Hebrew) in class by Etgar Keret - and I really like them. We've been reading from a quirky collection of stories called "Missing Kissinger." It is great to be able to read and understand literature written in Hebrew, even if I have to look up a lot of the words and the teacher has made a point of informing us that Keret's writing style is purposefully easy to read as often his characters are children. Nevertheless, I think these are excellent stories - thoughtful and unusual - and I'm going to try to buy a collection of his short stories and try to read them on my own. He has definately been translated, so you may want to check him out: http://www.etgarkeret.com/