Strange Israel

As of this week I have lived in Israel for 4 months. It’s been a great place to travel and visit, but like all countries, it has its fair share of weirdness. I have refrained from addressing this strangeness in my blog up until now, but I think the half way point is as good a time as any to show you some of the things I think are peculiar about Israel, that I see everyday. First, I’m leaving out all the AK-47s and other miscellaneous machine guns you see everyday on the street, and that fact that every street in the Old City in Jerusalem has security cameras programmed to pick up on the slightest aberrant activity: that would be too easy. Second, don’t get your hopes up, nothing is too strange. Israel isn’t Japan, for that ask Aadel or Jimmy about the Enchanted Forest in Joypolis.

1 Random Graffiti in Tel Aviv: it looks like a man gutting a dragon puppy.

2 Random Graffiti in Tel Aviv II: I have no clue what that website is but go there at your own risk.

3 SOY: Kosher Hot Dogs

4 Yogurtland: This is NOT Yogurtland. It’s some bad imitation with some Teletubby penguin hybrid that thinks he’s a yo-yo.

5 Mao: When I first saw this I was confused and with closer inspection it all makes sense. Why shouldn’t Mao have a red nose and pigeons on his head and the body of a dog? But what is a sub-teen, or 3008? Is this thing really guaranteed perfect?

6 Kosher Wine: You know it’s kosher because a rabbi is on the bottle. But why is the rabbi happy? Because wine gladdens the soul.

7 Falafel, Chips, Hummus: This is what all Israelis look like when they eat falafel.

8 X-boy: I think I know a couple of people who would like this store…

9 Grease Hoos: I pass by this store all the time in Rehovot and I’m pretty sure it used to say “shoos.” Which makes it even worse.

10 Electrical Boxes: This is also fun. All the electrical boxes around Rehovot are painted with some cartoon character: usually Disney but this time there’s Dora the Explorer and her pet ape.

11 McFalafel: No. Way. (see next blog entry)

12 We Are Watching You: This sign is in a disturbing number of bathrooms in the Weizmann. I think the basic idea is to clean up after you make a mess in the bathroom, but instead of telling you to aim accurately there’s a picture of a man getting sucked into a toilet. And to make it even worse there’s a pair of eyes with a message reading “we’re watching you.” UM WHAT.

13 Dear Students: This was my welcome letter to Israel. I had to read it three times and I still had no idea what it meant. What is nis? Who filled my arrival? What is the hanita? I have come to learn the answers: I found out quickly that NIS is shekels, the hanita is the woman in charge of my dorm (her name is Hanita), and I still have no idea who filled my arrival, or with what.

14 Ploor: PLOOR!

~ by jonathanmtsai on February 1, 2011.

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