Archive for the ‘Life in Israel’ Category

IDF Info

Just a quick post, in a bid to kill time before my service starts (now officially March 14th – more details later), I have been doing some website work here and there.

I met up with a great group of guys who have either finished or are in the middle of their army service. They wanted to make an English resource website for foreigners thinking about joining the IDF, so I made one for them! There are some great resources for anybody looking for information and I highly suggest you check it out: http://www.idfinfo.co.il


Read Full Post »

Ok, so first – I realize I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’ve been you know… busy and stuff. Glad we’re over that. Moving on.

Though I am tempted, for the sake of my mom’s mental health, I won’t include any pictures with this post. A few weeks ago I went home (USA home) for a few weeks, but you don’t care about that. This is a blog about Israel, so my story starts when I got back. After a very enjoyable few weeks abroad, I came back to our apartment. I knew the apartment was a mess, but I was not ready for what happened when I got back. I opened the door, threw down my suitcase, and then – I saw them. Fruit flies. Flying, eating, and generally merry-making, and they were EVERYWHERE.

I was in shock, after only a few weeks of emptiness (Adam didn’t have leave for a while), our apartment had been all but completely taken over by the winged invaders. I collected my thoughts and considered my options. After a short Shawarma break and a contemplative coffee, I knew what I had to do. This was war. War is brutal, and I knew there would be many casualties – I could only hope they would be one sided.

I picked up the fly swatter, hooked in our bug zapper, crouched in position behind the couch, and waited. At just the right moment, I charged – swatting left and right I ran straight to the source of their power – the kitchen. The zapper zapped and the swatter swatted. After many minutes, sweating and defeated, I slumped back down on the couch. I had fought valiantly, but the enemy was still around. My surprise attack had barely made a dent.

This was no child’s war I was fighting. I reminded myself that this was the Middle East and half-measures could never achieve results. The most effective way to combat an invader is to attack their supply lines. It would be difficult, but it was time to clean. NO LONGER would the rotten oranges of Fruit-Fly glory tarnish the once magnificent tiles of our kitchen floor, NO MORE would the left over pasta sauce – taunting the household – stain our kitchen sink, and SO HELP ME GOD I was going to clean out the trash.

After the dramatic decision, in an 80’s style montage set to terrifyingly inspirational music, the cleaning began. (Feel free to play the video as you read to set the mood)

You need to watch this music video regardless of the connection to the blog.

I threw out, I swept, I mopped, I swatted. I rearranged, I cleaned, I folded, and I put away. And all the while, the bug zapper zapped. The cursed flies dropped like… well… like flies, and finally, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. It had been nearly a week since I got back and the cleaning was finally coming to the end. As the last of the fruit flies were removed from the field of the battle, I swore never to let the apartment reach this state again. Oh, and to write a real blog post next week.

Over and Out.

Read Full Post »

In response to Adam’s poem from last week:


Twas the first week of basics – off Adam had flown,

But back in Givatayim, Yon was all alone.

Not a crow nor a cricket nor a creak of a sound

And I wondered to myself ‘when will Adam be around?’


As I sat in my suddenly enormous apartment,

Wondering what Adam would think of his Sergeant,

I noticed two beds, two chairs, and even two pens,

And realized, ‘Shit… I need to find some new friends.’


So then I called Maor, Tal, Ido, and Shai,

And said ‘Ahlan Chevre, would you like to come by?’

They came and we left, off to the city to roam,

After many fun hours, I finally went home.


And sitting in my wondrously enormous apartment,

Wondering what Adam would think of his Sergeant,

I noticed how spacious it now felt in here,

An extra room, extra chairs, and double the beer.


So I said ‘I think I’ll enjoy my new huge apartment,

And wait till Adam comes home, so I can hear ‘bout his Sergeant.’

But first there are taxes and big bills to pay,

Electric, gas, and water… friggin… hooray…


Though it’s quickly getting late in beautiful Tel Aviv,

And it might well be time for me to post this and leave.

So now I exclaim, ‘fore I turn off the lights,

“To Adam a happy basics, and to all a good night.”

Read Full Post »

I would generally be reluctant to talk about my screwing up in two consecutive posts (at least consecutive for what I’ve written) but I’ve decided to share for two reasons.  First, it’s actually not entirely my fault.  Second, Yon promised that I would.

As shown in the second picture of The Legend of Shimon, we received a beautiful three-door closet from my friend, Liat.  Yon and I actually managed to get the closet out of her apartment without destroying anything.  After struggling to take mattresses up to our new apartment, we knew that there was not a shot in hell that this closet was making it upstairs in one piece.

“No problem,” Shimon said.  “I’ll take the closet apart down here while you two continue to take everything up.”  Though we were skeptical, this was coming from a man who had defied the Laws of Physics only an hour before.  If he managed to get to Givatayim without destroying our stuff (not to mention not killing us), I’m sure he was capable of taking apart a closet.  So we gave Shimon the go-ahead as we continued moving everything into the apartment.

Later that night, Yon and I embarked upon the task of reassembly.  This seemingly simple undertaking turned out to be a real pain in the ass.  Our first technique was the standing assembly.  Unfortunately, gravity got in the way and we had to start over.  We then figured we’d build the closet on the floor then simply lift.  Easy enough.  We finally had the entire closet constructed and proudly elevated the closet, as though we’d achieved something great. And then this happened:

That was strike one.

Fortunately for me, my parents were in Israel this past week and ready to help me get settled in. That meant I had help putting together my new closet while Yon was away.  The building process went very smoothly (or so we thought). The structure was together and we only needed to add doors and shelves.  It was at this point that we realized we built half of the closet backwards.  Several seconds later, we discovered that you can’t take the closet apart (which I tried to do) without breaking parts of it (which I did).  That was strike two.

Long story short, we had to add another 750 Shekel to the Cost of Stupidity, but I finally have a functional closet.

Read Full Post »


More to come later…

Read Full Post »

The Legend of Shimon

So for the past few weeks, we have been busily looking for an apartment. With Adam’s enlistment coming up fast, we had been working hard on getting a contract signed and, about week ago, finally did.

On the way back from the meeting with our landlord, it dawned on us that we were missing a few items for the apartment like chairs, tables, beds, a refrigerator, a washing machine and well… really anything and everything one could possibly need in an apartment. We got back to the old apartment and set about finding these items.

As we made the list of things for the new apartment, we thought about not waiting until the last minute to get everything we needed. Unfortunately, these thoughts never turned into anything more.  We spent the entire day and night before we moved trying to get things together.  The day’s dialogue followed the pattern of: “This guy has a fridge for 350!” and “Sweet! I found a washing machine for 400.”  As 4PM rolled around, we realized we had no way of picking up the bed, TV, fridge or washing machine.  We wandered the streets of Tel Aviv, searching for the only means of transportation that we could think of.

Around 7PM, we found a handcart and made our way to acquire the goods.  First on the list was the washing machine.  Since this woman was leaving Israel, she simply emptied the contents of her apartment onto our cart.  What we didn’t think through is that we then had to take everything back to Adam’s old apartment, a mile and a half each way.  Without getting much more into the details, we spent the night making several trips to collect chairs, a bed, a washing machine, a desk, a table, a drying rack, cutlery, plates, bowls, pots, pans and more, for which we paid only 400 Shekel.

Now that we had everything together, the next step was somehow getting it to our new apartment. After much research and making a lot of calls, we found a man who offered to come with his moving truck and drive us wherever we needed. The only caveat: he wouldn’t do any of the moving, we had to do it all ourselves. As is quickly becoming a recurring theme in this blog, we signed up, like a couple of dopes.

The next morning at the crack of dawn, with all of our belongings at the bottom of the stairs, we met our truck-bearing friend, the one and only Shimon (pronounced sheep without the ‘p’ plus ‘moan’). We got our first surprise of the day when we saw the ‘truck’ he brought with him was this:

No, that is not the back of an otherwise long and spacious moving truck with the words “WE WILL MOVE EVERYTHING” painted on the back. Rather, it is the side of the wagon-on-wheels that our trustworthy guide tied to the back of his car, bearing the reassuring logo “little moves for a little price.” Not understanding how we would fit even one of the items into it, we naturally became a little worried. What we would soon find, though, is that through a novel mix of breaking the laws of physics, rules of the road, and general safety practices, Shimon could do it all. In addition to what we had at the apartment, we went on to pick up a full refrigerator, closet, giant TV, and a couch.

The final product of our labor:

1.) Yon
2.) Adam
3.) All of our bags
4.) Couch
5.) Washing Machine
6.) Desk
7.) Six Chairs
8.) Fully Constructed Bed Frame
9.) Two Double Mattresses
10.) Two Large Boxes
11.) Table
12.) Refrigerator
13.) Three-door Closet
14.) Television

With all of this attached, especially the TV in the back, we hoped Shimon would drive slow and steady, showing some care for literally everything that we owned. Instead, in classic Israeli style, he flew through traffic, giving the same importance to lanes as Germans give to borders.

We miraculously arrived in Givatayim without incident and spent the next several hours schlepping everything up several flights of stairs and through narrow hallways, the highlight of which was Yon and Shimon simply strapping themselves to a full-sized refrigerator.  With the furniture strewn all over the apartment, minus a few mishaps (post to come), we were happy to finally settle in.  One celebratory shot of whiskey later, we were both ready for the first night in our new home.

לחיים | L’Chaim
Yon and Adam

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: