After reading the hilarious blog, Stuff white people like, I thought I’d take a crack at what Israeli people like. Keep in mind, this is from the perspective of someone who made aliyah (moved to Israel), not a native Israeli. I’m sure after a few more years I won’t even notice these little details, so I want to try to write it all down now.
- Tashlumim – Paying in installments. For example, you go to the supermarket and buy pasta and sauce. At the checkout they ask you if you would like to pay regular or in installments. 9 times out of 10 Israelis will say yes to the tashlumim. Are all these Israelis really living from month to month or has society seduced them into the illusion that they are spending less by dividing up the payments?
- Magenta hair – In America, women tend to get blonder as they get older, but here in Israel, women get magenta-er. The shades range from maybe-it’s-brown to the bubble-gum variety. I guess they figure, everyone can tell it’s dyed, mind’s well beat the system by showing off.
- Decorating cars for weddings - Decorating a car for newlyweds is a must in Israel. Even if you protest and say you don’t really care, it is guaranteed that your car will be decorated and will follow strict decorating guidelines. First, it must be decked out in ribbon, not balloons. The ribbon must go in two strands across the length of the car and taped down every 3 inches creating a rippled effect.
And now for an interesting episode that I encountered with the decorated British car in the photo below. A few Shabbats ago, we were eating in the park when we heard a police car shouting over a megaphone. They warned the owner of this taxi-lookin’ car to come down or they would open the car by force. And they did! They duct-taped the driver-seat window and then cut out the window using a special knife. As a huge crowd gathered, we just watched, confused, as the police searched every inch of the car and then proceeded to tow it away. As my good friends from The Mighty Wind would say, “Wha happen?!” So curious…
- Construction – With expensive luxury apartments going up left and right, Jerusalem is feared to turn into a ghost town, with Americans only visiting during the holidays. In the meantime, we can look forward to getting hit on by the construction workers on our walk to work.
- Honking before the light turns green – I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to make the light turn yellow before it turns green, but it has caused the most unbelievable anxiety in traffic. As soon as people feel the yellow light coming, they already start honking. Before it even turns green
- Traffic Circles - They just love ‘em. And if you want to see the mother of all traffic circles, check out the double laned one on the corner of Pierre Koening and Hatenufa(?) in Talpiot. I still can’t figure out who is supposed to go where and when.
- Techno Music - It doesn’t matter where you are – hippie fest by the Sea of Galilee, watching Nolad Lirkod (Born to Dance) on TV, or eating in a religious-owned felafel joint, Techno music is everywhere. It just manages to take over every possible scenario. What ever happened to the good ol’ days of YoYa?
- Funny lookin’ cars – Oh, man, it makes me laugh again just looking at it. I have never seen these types of cars anywhere except for Israel. I guess it is the equivalent of a mini-van.. of sorts.
I’m sure I’m missing lots so if you’re feeling generous add your own “Stuff Israeli people like” in the comments.