I won’t reiterate everything, but last week was my hardest week during my last 15 months in Israel. I felt like everywhere I turned there was resistance. From the drycleaning, to the bureaucracy of my University, to failing the driver’s test because of a simple misunderstanding of language, to being yelled at on the bus by some freak…when I read what I just wrote it doesn’t sound all that awful, but there was more than that and I felt like each day there were at least 3 altercations where I had to raise my voice, or where people were abnormally rude and/or unhelpful. At the end of the week I was just exhausted from fighting. So I decided to go to the shuk with my fella and stock up on veggies to have a long weekend in, making meals and resting. I was at a stall of an old man, picking tomatoes. I picked about 5 or 6 when one from the middle rolled down a little onto the next row. Not onto the floor, mind you, just 2 inches down from where it was, onto more tomatoes. This incensed the proprietor. He started screaming at me that I need to ‘pick from the top’ and snatched my bag out of my hands, turned it upside-down, thus scattering my half-dozen tomatoes among the ranks of those I didn’t want. You could call it the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, because all the pressure of the week welled up and I flew into a blind rage and started screaming – in English, thank you – to this man’s face. Where was my respect for my elders? (Gone.) My boyfriend literally had to peel me off of him, at which point I burst into tears. Tears in English. So let it be a lesson for those of you contemplating aliyah: You cannot have whatever tomatoes you want. You have to pick from the top.

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alli

10 Comments

  • Nah, you just develop a thick skin after a while and it all bounces off you… Except for the times when it’s so annoying you want to hit someone. With a sledgehammer. Repeatedly. To death. And then laugh a maniacal laughter as you dance on their remains. But I digress.

  • Actually I don’t see this as being all that different from the states. Admittedly, I have no experience with Israel. I moved from a rural area (WV) to a very urban/suburban one (DC). Where I grew up strangers would stop to help you change a flat. People at the store would smile and say hello. If someone drove down my road and didn’t wave, I could be fairly sure they were from out of town, not being rude (though there is one in every crowd). Now that I moved here, the same kind of rudeness and selfishness described in your post prevails in northern Virginia. In fact I would go so far as to say it is not necessarily more common here as I just notice it more because there are so many more people and hence more interactions. People suck everywhere I go. Can I go get my P229 and start blasting? Well sure I could but I don’t. Instead I smile and wave at all the fucktards, secure in my knowledge that they will always be bitter, spiteful, ignorant little people.

    You sound like a nice person, but nice people get abused and taken advantage of on a regular basis. I never had that problem, I’m a cynical bastard like Mufti. ;_)

    I’ll leave you with some faux latin:
    Illegitimus non carborundum est.

  • I completely sympathize Alli! I grew up in the midwestern US and tend to expect people to be friendly and to exhibit good customer service skills. Maybe I’m not such a good candidate for making aliyah…
    Oh, true story, once I was at an open air market in Montreal buying some tomatoes and melons. I chose specific tomatoes and checked the melons for ripeness, and the stallholder came over and asked (in a friendly way) “Jewish girl?”

  • nice. no wonder Israelis make fun of Americans. well, that, and the fact that few things in life are funnier than Hebrew with an American accent.

  • I feel for you girl, I was living there w/ the same schizophrenia.

    It could be that you are more suited to a rural area as was mentioned. this could be true in any country. But in the cases that occured, most of them are due to language issues. Israelis routinely return after some years abroad and are very happy w/ their decision.

    Shuk HaCarmel is my fav. also, over Machne Yehuda.

    I was there not long ago myself. You should count your blessings that you saw the light at your tender age and made your move. G-d Bless.

  • Oy. I hope you feel better. Could it be your mezuzah? Maybe it would be good to have it checked, or simply buy a new klaf?

    Are you going to get married on the beach?

  • Uh oh.

    Time to come home Alli! Leave Israel to the savages. America forgives all her children… re-discover your country!

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