Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Israelis don’t jaywalk.
March 30, 2009, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Cultural Differences


It is truly the exception that proves the rule.

I have experienced many instances of Israelis cutting in front of me in line, owning the sidewalk, pushing me to get on the bus first; every cliche of the “pushy Israeli,” I have seen.

Except one.

Israelis will not jaywalk.  (OK, very rarely will they.  People who do are probably olim like me.)  One theory is that cops used to ticket people for jaywalking.  I don’t know the reason behind this phenomenon, but it can be 2:00 a.m., no cars on the road, the street could be so deserted that dogs’ll be screwing in it, but an Israeli will just be politely standing there, minding his/her own business, doing his/her best imitation of a Brit, waiting for the light to change.

I secretly love this, b/c it is the one area where I can play an old familiar role: the pushy, I’ve-got-somewhere-I-need-to-be, hipster, don’t-fuck-with-me, a-car-wouldn’t-DARE-hit-me New Yorker.  You see, I have news for you:  in many ways Tel Avivians out-New York NY’ers.  It’s weird, but similar to how San Francisco is gayer than New York, well [*blasphemy alert!*] Tel Aviv is kinda tougher than NY.

[*all people are individuals and behave independently; in this post, I generalize,  but it is meant light-heartedly and does not come from an ugly place]


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

OMG! This is so true. I’ve seen Israelis waiting at a red light, no cars in sight! It is so opposite of the “pushy” Israeli.

Thanks for the laugh!

Comment by Yehudit

HaHa, anytime.

Comment by skatp

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