Filed under: Cultural Differences
This morning I took a field trip. Voldy needed me to go to the IBM service center in the northern Tel Aviv suburb of Givat Shmuel to get memory upgrades for two of our computers. It involved taking two busses – the #66 out of Tel Aviv to this Frumi neighborhood (Frumi is Hebrew for “penguin;” it’s what secular Israelis call the Hasidim), and then the #7 to Givat Shmuel.
It took an hour for the #7 to arrive, so I had some hang time in the Frumi neighborhood. Today is (finally!) Purim. It feels like it’s been going on for a week already. Let me just say something – HASIDIM REALLY LOVE THEM SOME PURIM. Purim in Israel is sort of like Halloween, minus the trick-or-treating and occult origins. It’s all about the costumes. And the Hasidim were going ape-shit over it.
As far as I could tell, there are like four main popular Purim costumes: Shriner and Policeman (for boys) and Princess Bride and Bumblebee (for girls). There were others (clown, Torah [!!!! – not a popular costume in Harlem or even Maple Glen, let me assure you], cowboy, pirate) – but those four were really everywhere. I wish I got better pics. The
“Shriner” thing was everywhere – like big “Fred Flintstone-y” type poobah hats.
Anyway, after getting the memory upgrades for the laptops, the bus back was totally stuck in traffic as the Frumis let their pais down. They aren’t trick-or-treating, but everyone’s out on the streets, dressed in costume and pushing babies in strollers. It’s just about strutting your stuff, I think. And they carry around/give each other big fruit baskets – the kind of things clients give to you around the holidays in New York. And some of the teen boys were really drunk and carrying around bottles of liquor. And I saw 10-year-old boys lighting cigarettes for each other! Shame on them!
And every 10th car had speakers on top of it BLARING crappy/tinny fakokta music and with a voice wishing “Purim Semeach.” I mean, this was so loud (and not moving, b/c of the traffic) that it was total torture for me as I waited for the bus.
Drunk, Shriner/poobah dressed Hasidim in fruit basket-carrying packs, pushing strollers. That is some scary shit.
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