American society is based on convenience, my friend Bret said. Many other societies – including Israeli – are not.
Here’s an example of what that means. Went to IKEA a few weeks ago and bought myself some curtains (yes, again with the curtains! but please indudge me; I’m doing these posts out of order, and this one’s a little different and not JUST the curtains story again; trust me). Except when we went to put them up, we discovered that my windows extend all the way to the ceiling, and we wouldn’t be able to use the wall hooks that came with the curtain rod set. Also, the curtains extend all the way down to the floor and will need to be hemmed to fit the length of my windows.
Step 2: I go to Hertzl street, where there are many furniture and decorating stores, and score myself some ceiling hooks that should do the trick. Same width, same color. These babies should go into the ceiling and hold the curtain rod from above. End of story.
Step 3: Except, when we’re putting up the curtains, we realize now that the hooks descend from above, we were going to have an issue with the hooks themselves being in the way of the the curtains. We’re going to need strategic little holes to sneak the hooks through. So, we try making them ourselves. Bad move.
Step 4: Enter, Alona – the dressmaker recommended by my friend Lawrence. She’s going to hem the curtains to a shorter length, and also repair the damage we made with our do-it-yourselves hole. Will she also make more professional holes for us? No, she says. I don’t have this machine. For this, I will send you to another guy I know who does this work. OK…
Step 5: Pick up the hemmed curtains and take them to the guy near Shuk HaCarmel, who makes button holes. I forget his name, but that’s him in the lead picture. He makes the holes while I wait, takes less than five minutes, and charges only 10 shekels (about $2.50). Score!
Step 6: Except when I try and get the rod through the newly hemmed curtains, it wont’ go past the mended hole above that we made and Alona repaired. Her repair work, it seems, extends too high, into the “curtain rod tunnel real estate.” Groan. Also, the hem on the left curtain ain’t right. It’s too high and lopsided. Oh, dearie. Looks like I’m bringing that one back tomorrow at breaktime during school.
So you see, buying curtains in Israel isn’t the one step process it would most probably be in America. No, first there’s the curtain purchase, then there’s buying special hooks for them, then you get them hemmed, then you get special button holes sewed into them. Throw in a mistake or two, and now you’ve got six steps to complete the job instead of one. Who could ask for anything more?
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