Daily Archives: August 4, 2011

Israel

Where people applaud when the ‘plane lands safely on terra firma in Ben Gurion Airport.

Where taxi drivers tell you you have to make aliyah, then tell you everything that’s wrong with the country.

Where cab drivers show you pictures of their grandchildren and ask if you have a shidduch for their unmarried son.

Where people take phone calls on their cellphones in the midst of a speech that they are giving.

Where chummus is served as a side dish with every meal and on the ‘plane with breakfast.

Where the bus driver worries that you are not sure where to get off and makes sure you know where you are going, and the little old lady sitting next to you offers you some “mayim karim” (cold water) as it’s so hot out there.

Where a watermelon rolls all the way down the aisle of the bus when the driver brakes suddenly, and splatters against the front door, and everyone laughs and helps the owner clean up the mess.

Where you use more languages that you ever thought possible – Hebrew, English and French.

Where store owners flatter you so much you feel it’s necessary to make a large purchase. Then they talk you out of buying something that they don’t feel looks right on you.

Where the store owner plays Jewish Geography with you and you exchange business cards because he just might be able to help your son when he makes aliyah and wants to prepare for the army.

Where the roads have improved, but the driving, not so much!

Where you cannot figure out how to order just a regular plain coffee….and where a café Hafuch is not a cappuccino.

Israel – where my soul feels at home.

What would you add to this list?

New York City….

A year ago the idea of driving into the city alone was enough to make me break out into a cold sweat. Today was the second time I did it alone and I barely even thought about it. Truth is though, that the traffic was a lot lighter than it usually is – no school traffic I guess, so I didn’t get stressed.

In fact I had a really fun day (read the next Joy of Kosher Magazine to find out what we were doing at Prime Ko with Chef David and Chef Kame) until it was time to get the car. I had parked in a nearby parking garage, armed with my coupon for cheaper parking. I have no patience for street parking, especially when the streets are that busy.

It took them 20 minutes to find my car. 20. Minutes! They had the ticket with the number on it. They insisted I drove a Nissan Acura, even tho I told them they needed to be looking for a Honda Accord. Guess who was right?! Seriously – the “hello pretty lady” when I handed in my ticket was a nice touch, but one that turned sour as they couldn’t find my car.

Thankfully they found it – I had to prove it was mine because it had the wrong freaking number on it that didn’t match my ticket…

Still not a fan of driving into the city.