Archive for July, 2004

Evil Wal-Mart (EW for short)

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

The Evil Wal-Mart theory has been brought to my attention a couple of times recently, reminding me of some questions I’ve had about what makes Wal-Mart Evil. Rather than do any “reading” or “research” on the subject, I thought I’d put my questions up to you, my 2.5 or so loyal readers. Before beginning, please note that I am not trying to articulate my own opinion or claim that any of my conclusions are valid, being that I’m quite ignorant about economics in general or the American economy specifically. Rather, I’m attempting to expose my own ignorance in the hopes that some of my astute readers will help me out.
This has become quite the treatise. I had no idea I had so much to say about a subject I know virtually nothing about. I’m going to quit yakking and just post it, if you actually make it through this please feel free to correct me on my economics, factual knowledge, or anything else:


and I’m back

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

It’s good to be home! The trip was pretty rewarding, though for the first few weeks I felt like I was doing nothing but moving dirt from one place to another. Which is true, but it’s all about your attitude toward the moving of the dirt.
Most of my time in Israel was fairly dull. Since it is probably the last season at Ashkelon (for more info, check out this “compelling excerpt”), we worked 6 days a week instead of the usual 5, from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. I spent my days in Grid 38 pickaxing, troweling, patiching (sp), looking for floors, pits, walls, and fill and then removing same. In the late afternoons we spent two hours processing pottery–washing the sherds, laying them out for “reading” (when the archaeologists determined the type and period of the pottery), marking them with the complex system of numbers and letters that denoted their findspots, and so forth. Towards the end they added an afternoon shift. The supervisors took turns staying at the site until 8 p.m. supervising paid workers and any of us who wanted to volunteer.
We were digging through several Philistine levels and hopefully reached the Late Bronze age toward the end. My most exciting find was a decorated ivory comb which is featured on the official Ashkelon 2004 T-shirt.
On Saturdays I did some touring around which I’ll write about later, for now I’ll close with some vital Hebrew vocabulary words:
yes: “ken”
no: “lo”
ice cream: “gelidah”
how are you?: “maneshma”
good: tov
thank you: “todah”
please or you’re welcome: “bavacasha”
hello or goodbye: “Shalom”
Jaffa Gate: “sha’ar Yaffo” (note: knowing how to say this in Hebrew will not guarantee that your handgun-toting non-English-speaking cabbie will know where it is, desipite it’s being the main tourist location in the country)
Dan Gardens Hotel: “Malon Genay Dan” (I was so proud of myself when I was able to say this to the non-English-speaking cabbie (not the gun-totin’ one))
I don’t speak Hebrew: [Confused expression] “Sorry…” [Resigned shrug]
break (as in “time for a”, very important at 9 and 11 a.m. at the site): “hofsekah”
stop: “reggah”
where….?: “ayfoh….?”
what….?: “mah….?”
why….?: “lamah….?” (my conversation is about as profound in Hebrew as it is in English)