The Big Felafel

Stuff Israeli People Like #1-8

After reading the hilarious blog, Stuff white people like, I thought I’d take a crack at what Israeli people like. Keep in mind, this is from the perspective of someone who made aliyah (moved to Israel), not a native Israeli. I’m sure after a few more years I won’t even notice these little details, so I want to try to write it all down now.

  1. Tashlumim – Paying in installments. For example, you go to the supermarket and buy pasta and sauce. At the checkout they ask you if you would like to pay regular or in installments. 9 times out of 10 Israelis will say yes to the tashlumim. Are all these Israelis really living from month to month or has society seduced them into the illusion that they are spending less by dividing up the payments?
  2. Magenta hair – In America, women tend to get blonder as they get older, but here in Israel, women get magenta-er. The shades range from maybe-it’s-brown to the bubble-gum variety. I guess they figure, everyone can tell it’s dyed, mind’s well beat the system by showing off.
  3. Decorating cars for weddings – Decorating a car for newlyweds is a must in Israel. Even if you protest and say you don’t really care, it is guaranteed that your car will be decorated and will follow strict decorating guidelines. First, it must be decked out in ribbon, not balloons. The ribbon must go in two strands across the length of the car and taped down every 3 inches creating a rippled effect.
    And now for an interesting episode that I encountered with the decorated British car in the photo below. A few Shabbats ago, we were eating in the park when we heard a police car shouting over a megaphone. They warned the owner of this taxi-lookin’ car to come down or they would open the car by force. And they did! They duct-taped the driver-seat window and then cut out the window using a special knife. As a huge crowd gathered, we just watched, confused, as the police searched every inch of the car and then proceeded to tow it away. As my good friends from The Mighty Wind would say, “Wha happen?!” So curious…
  4. Construction – With expensive luxury apartments going up left and right, Jerusalem is feared to turn into a ghost town, with Americans only visiting during the holidays. In the meantime, we can look forward to getting hit on by the construction workers on our walk to work.
  5. Honking before the light turns green – I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to make the light turn yellow before it turns green, but it has caused the most unbelievable anxiety in traffic. As soon as people feel the yellow light coming, they already start honking. Before it even turns green
  6. Traffic Circles – They just love ’em. And if you want to see the mother of all traffic circles, check out the double laned one on the corner of Pierre Koening and Hatenufa(?) in Talpiot. I still can’t figure out who is supposed to go where and when.
  7. Techno Music – It doesn’t matter where you are – hippie fest by the Sea of Galilee, watching Nolad Lirkod (Born to Dance) on TV, or eating in a religious-owned felafel joint, Techno music is everywhere. It just manages to take over every possible scenario. What ever happened to the good ol’ days of YoYa?
  8. Funny lookin’ cars – Oh, man, it makes me laugh again just looking at it. I have never seen these types of cars anywhere except for Israel. I guess it is the equivalent of a mini-van.. of sorts.dscn0114.JPG

I’m sure I’m missing lots so if you’re feeling generous add your own “Stuff Israeli people like” in the comments.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Stuff Israeli People Like #9: Faxes (and a survival guide) | the big felafel pingbacked on 13 years, 8 months ago
  2. Car decorations | ISRAELITY pingbacked on 11 years, 12 months ago


  1. How awesome was watching that car have its window smashed up? I was loving it! I actually had to pry myself away…

    That should be its own post!

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  2. * Molly says:

    Oh, Becca, you are too funny!

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  3. Too hilarious! Magenta hair and funny looking cars?! I’ve been here so long that I think I’ve stopped noticing either. No, that’s not true. I still definitely notice magenta hair.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  4. I noticed that in the pictures for a funeral of someone who just died that was in the news (I can’t remember which shooting it was. that’s bad.), the guy’s mom had the craziest RED streaks through her hair. like full blown candy apple red streaks. WTF? At the funeral?

    I really really wanted to jump on this bandwagon, the “stuff people like” wagon. There is a good site on the opposite, too:

    There’s also though I don’t find it that funny. You may, I’m just a bit of an elitist when it comes to what Jews find funny, think on philosophy, etc. Hey, just me, I’m a weirdo.

    Alas, I don’t have the creative energy to make another blog. REGRET! I was thinking: Stuff Israeli-American Whitebread Southerners Like.

    Whaddya think?

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  5. * Nicole says:

    Everything you wrote is crazy-true!

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  6. * QuietusLeo says:

    “magenta” is delicately referred to as “eggplant”. Either way I think it’s an ugly shade for hair.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  7. * Raizy says:

    Wow, the picture of that weird white van brings back memories! When I lived in Israel, I begged my husband to get any car other than that one, and of course he came home with that exact van. I HATED that thing! There was no way to belt the children in properly, it was bumpy and uncomfortable, and it looked so weird. I was so happy when it finally got stolen.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  8. * Abbi says:

    Techno music- also found at small children’s birthday parties, usually mc’d by an obnoxious magician or even a robot (for a 5 year old girl’s bday party?!). WTF?

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  9. * TJ says:

    Great post. I really had a good chuckle. It’s so strange though, I notice that the younger Israelis go for this weird orange, and don’t touch up, so it fades to a really weird metallic orange…maybe that’s where the magenta phase starts!!

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 11 months ago
  10. Hey – I used to drive a Renault Express….(the weird white covered pickup).

    Re: traffic circles. They used ot be a big hit in the US, till traffic studies proved they only work up to a point…and then cause even MORE congestion (and then a traffic light works better).

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  11. * moshe rabeynu says:

    During my sojourn in Israel I noticed that Russians, especially, Georgians, like to pish ba’kvish.

    | Reply Posted 14 years ago
  12. * moshe rabeynu says:

    I had a nightmare last night and I am still shaking. I know there must be some deep and hidden meaning behind it and I am hoping that someone out there might be able to help me interpret this dream, as Joseph helped the Pharaoh in ancient Egypt. I dreamt that I was the meat in the sandwich between Tzippi Livni and Sarah Palin, you know what I mean, that I was “Lucky Pierre”. But, in this dream, upon my awakening in the morning, I had a terrible taste in my mouth and found myself between Golda Meir and Madeline Albright. Oy, gottenyu!!

    | Reply Posted 14 years ago
  13. * r says:

    We hear Trance not Techno music.
    We talk loud like the Americans.
    We like to check on the girls 😉
    We can always find someone who know us on a buss or in some strolling the city.
    We very happy and friendly…
    We like to take action and we proud to be Israeli’s!

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 9 months ago
  14. * jean says:

    Love the “tashlumim” inclusion.

    “r” is right –ya gotta add “rinsing the eyes.”

    Fans! Table fans attached to the wall (why, please, why? lol) and in older cars, fans attached to the dashboard.

    Fluorescent lights where there should never be any.

    Things b’yoker. Because more expensive stuff that is blatantly labeled “expensive” always means better value, doesn’t it?

    Singing along with really corny musical tv shows. But that’s sweet too 🙂

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 8 months ago
  15. They also really like those transparent plastic folder thingies! Every piece of paper comes in one of those protectors!

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 2 months ago
    • * Rebecca says:

      Ilene, so true! I’ll definitely have to add that in the next roundup. Any other ideas?

      | Reply Posted 13 years, 2 months ago
  16. * Or says:

    about the car, as an Israeli, and as a police volunteer, I can guess that such intense car check can only be due to suspesion of drug dealing, or weapon smuggling. how long are you in Israel? where do you live in Israel? have you served in the army?

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  17. * Lielle says:

    this is hilarious. i’m a native israeli currently living with a swedish roomate. she is slowly adjusting to the “yalla yalla” culture as i call it, and keeps bringing up hilarious topics just like you did there (“how come everywhere I go in this country the toilet seats are ALWAYS up?!” and we were just talking about tashlumim the other day!). i’ve never really noticed most of it, or considered it being unusual. i guess us israelis carry our own special biblical logic. it’s like plastic milk bags. ya’ll just wouldn’t understand 

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago

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