Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Spesh Delivery
June 5, 2010, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Cultural Differences, Just Sayin' | Tags:

Another quick one from a few months ago. 

I was running around doing pre-moving errands.  I had to keep stuffing things and digging them out of my pockets – keys, receipts, credit cards, etc.

I got home to find out I had lost my Teudat Zehut (*very* important ID card you’re supposed to carry at all times and need for all kinds of official stuff).

Kuh-rap!  Now I was gonna have to wait in beaurocracy zombie-death hell lines for a few light years to get it replaced.

Maybe someone who found it will put it in your mailbox.  I mean, what can anyone else do with your ID?

Score!  Thanks, Kind Stranger I Never Met.


Birthday Footnote
January 24, 2010, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Feelings, Just Sayin' | Tags: ,

My birthday is so last week, I know – but one more thing about it.  The gym locker I like to use happens to be # 39.  Forty, of course, is right next to it, but the metal part where you put your lock is broken off.  So, I’m going to continue to use # 39, if that’s alright with you.

Also, on the night of my birthday, literally when it turned 12:00, I was out on the street, having just exited the gym.  I know I’ll be 40 all year, but there’s only one moment ever when you turn forty (now, technically I wasn’t 40 yet; as several friends pointed out, since I was born on the east coast of the USA in EST, this was a unique window where it was my birthday in Tel Aviv…yet I was actually still 39).  But anyway!  So, since there is only this one moment to mark when you’re actually turning 40, I decided to really mark it.

The street wasn’t packed around me (it was midnight), but there were some people.  I’m brave – but not that brave – so I waited until the light changed green and traffic started rushing by to yell

I’m 40 !!!

…really loud (yet, not at the top of my lungs, and kinda not very enunciated).

Still.  A cool moment.  My friend Marko tweeted right back after I tweeted about it this to wish me Happy Bday…and call me a Mess.  Love him!

Tel Aviv Blossom of the Week
January 23, 2010, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Cool Things, Just Sayin' | Tags:

Taken with my BlackBerry camera, so you don’t get the full effect.  But this a blossom from a tree on me & Pete’s regular walk.  It has been in bloom for about a month now.  (In Tel Aviv, plants bloom all year, because it never gets very cold.  I think the blooms have something to do with when the tree/bush/flowers were first planted.  So, while not every plant is blooming all year long, all year long there are new blossoms on various trees/plants/bushes.)

These are soft & fuzzy – a bit like these, but longer and shaped more like pine cones.  Here’s another beautiful blossom I posted about last summer.

People It’s Funny to see Wearing a Yarmulke
January 16, 2010, 12:02 pm
Filed under: Just Sayin' | Tags: ,

Just like I had the idea to do a running series on G-Fish of all the ass-crack on display here in this country (e.g. construction workers, plumbers, teens, nuns, kindergarten teachers, rabbis, Netanyahu), I’ve been wanting to do something similar with people you usually don’t expect to see wearing a yarmulke.  Maybe it’s only me, but I dunno, for me it’s funny to see a cop wearing a kippa, or a security guard, or a soldier.

The reason why I haven’t done either of these yet, is because I am just not that fast with my camera.  Particularly with the ass-crack, which peeps probably don’t want posted on the Internet despite broadcasting it 24/7 during their actual lives, it is a bit dicey trying to inconspicuously grab a shot of the crack.  I don’t know how my friend J-Scot does it.

But anyway, here, crudely caught at a distance by my BlackBerry camera, is subject no. 1 – a garbage man.   When is the last time you saw one of them rockin’ the Yarmulke.

Just sayin’.

Separated at Birth
December 26, 2009, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Just Sayin', Pop Culture | Tags:

Saw these teens as I passed by on my bike.  First thought: how much do they remind you of Jimbo Jones and Dolph Starbeam – two of the bullies at Bart’s elementary school on The Simpsons?  LOL.

Fun with Mangled English Graffiti
December 26, 2009, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Just Sayin' | Tags:

As a gay guy, I can really appreciate this sentiment.

But as an Anglo struggling to communicate in a Hebrew speaking country, I had to feel some private smug superiority when reading this.

Sloppy Seconds
December 12, 2009, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Cultural Differences, Feelings, Identity, Just Sayin' | Tags: , ,

So, it’s Hanukkah right now, but the thing is – this ain’t my first time at the rodeo Hanukkah in Israel.  When I arrived here (ironically on Xmas) last year it was the 6th night of Hanukkah.  So, as the giant menorahs – or as they’re called here, Hannukiot – go up in the public places and powdered jelly donuts (a tradition for Hanukkah, here in Israel) are sold every place else, this is not new for me; it is something I have seen before.  And this is a very new and very odd feeling for me.

You see, up until now, everything has been new: first Purim, first Pesach, first Lag B’Omer, first White Night, first Tisha B’Av, first Sukkot, etc.  And every new cultural aspect that came with the holiday – from giant Hannukiot and all the donuts everywhere for Hanukkah, to the bread products in supermarkets covered up for Pesach like a crime scene, to drunk Frumies wearing Fred Flintstone grand poobah costumes falling down on Purim, to people dining outside in cafés underneath sukkahs – was a novelty.  This year, none of it will be.

Now, that’s not exactly true.  My first trip to Israel ended January 9, and I didn’t make Aliyah until March 1, so….I’ve never been here for February at all.  And, I was home in America for the biggies Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, so I’ll get to experience those in Israel for the first time in 2010.

But the majority of rites of passage (like how in America, the Valentine’s stuff goes up the day after New Years, then St. Patty’s, then Easter, then baseball season starts, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day-July 4th-Labor Day, Back-to-School, Halloween, NFL season, etc…) I’ll have been through once before here already.  And without novelty, you have…..reality?

Not that any of this is bad.  I didn’t have Liron and Danny and Felicia and Anna and Eric and Leah and PETEY!!! and iGoogledIsrael and my apartment and MY LIFE here.  The marking of rituals and comparison with one year ago provides a wonderful opportunity for me to see growth and changes in my life since moving here and reflect on them.

But it’s not as simple as novelty anymore; I won’t have that to coast on – for lack of a better way to articulate it.  To continue to be meaningful, my life here must continue to evolve and deepen and take root.  And it is!  There’s on-camera talent work for coming up in 2010, hopefully more creative and marketing writing work, a lot of firsts for Petey, hopefully a boyfriend and who knows what else?  It is just a bit of an odd sensation to watch the yearly rituals and changes happen around me, and them not being completely new anymore.    I can’t say it any better than that, it’s like Aliyah vertigo or something.