Kessef In My Coffee
I had something official to do downtown involving some bank, agency or lawyer a few weeks back. I hadn't realized how badly my Hebrew had deteriorated in the year I've taken off from ulpan during our Construction Project until I stopped in Arcaffe for coffee.
Now, I happen to really, really like the coffee at Arcaffe. The place is spacious, relatively quiet, the music is usually a quiet jazz and the tables are actually big enough to work on. Yossi came with me, since banking and officialdom generally require Hebrew skills quite a bit above Kitah Aleph.
I've figured out how to handle simple transactions in Hebrew, like ordering coffee in its various permutations. I can even bluff my way through some transactions, like the multiple offers of things I don't need at the cash register on my way out of the grocery store. I understand the offer, but not necessarily the details. I know how to ask to have groceries delivered, and how to ask for either regular or multiple payments on my credit card.
But on this particular morning, Arcaffe's cashier asked me a question I'd never heard before. We'd ordered cappucinos, which go by the name cafe hafuch (upside down coffee) here.
"Do you want kessef in your coffee?" she asked me, as if this was routine.
"Kessef?" I asked back, astounded. I looked frantically at Yossi. "They put money in the coffee here?" I queried, incredulously.
Yossi almost fell over laughing.
"Ketzef, Sarah, ketzef," he managed between gasps of laughter. "You know, foam."
Uh, yes, I'd like foam on my cappucino.....although for just a moment, I had this appealing mental image of a ten-shekel piece sitting in the bottom of my cup. Put kessef in my coffee, I'll drink here every day.