A Subtle difference: Ties
Many new immigrants from North America have big-time cultural shock when they move to Israel. There are new standards for everything from bank hours to shorter weekends- but the subtle changes take you longer to notice.I knew I was no longer in America after I stood in line at the post office for a package that took two months to get here- did I mention it was shipped overnight express? Things like post offices, doctors and customer service are evident changes in our daily lives in the holy land, but it took me three years to realize that work attire is totally backwards here.
After working in several offices I now know that jeans are acceptable office casual and even formal with the right boots. After a tour of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem I learned that Judges are wearing t-shirts under their robes.
And of course I know that people do not wear ties at weddings, but what I didn’t know was that the ties are being worn by bus drives all over Israel. What a funny little society we are- I mean bus drivers with ties but Knesset members in jeans?
So while the cultural shock is almost all but lifted, I continue to notice the subtle changes in my new world: Every elevator in Israel has a mirror and parking on the sidewalk is completely normal.