Saturday, February 18, 2006

Things I took for granted in the States

-Laundry dryers: at least if it didn't finish drying, I could pop another quarter into the machine. Now I don't have one and have to rely on Mr. Sun, which brings me to:
-Glass windows: Greenhouse effect doesn't work too well through plasticized windows, causing my wet socks to smell after a couple of days of "drying in the sun". I am trying a new method of two-at-a-time on my radiator. This should take a week.
-Insulation: Even if it is 50*F outside, it's colder inside. How is this possible? (see previous)
-Ovens: big one. All I have is a microwave oven that doesn't stop when it's supposed to and I get a healthy dose of radiation when I pull my food out and a stovetop that requires me to turn on the gas in the apartment and lighting the pilot before being able do do anything. I need to be able to bake or I'm nothing for Shabbat meals.
-Elevators: nothing like dragging your heavy luggage up 4 flights of stairs. I miss the laziness
-Quesadillas: I know this is kind of small, but I miss American food, such as low-carb tortillas, cheddar cheese, and salsa.
-honest cabdrivers: at least you could see the meter in NYC. Even the cabdrivers try to haggle. 5 shekels a bag is ridiculous
-Instant Hot Water: This is the only country in the world that thinks solar power is a good idea. If there's no sun, however, Matt doesn't get a warm shower. Still, Dude Shemesh is a fun thing to say.
-Pedestrian Sidewalks: see a number of my previous entries for the reason
-Color: Jerusalem stone everywhere makes Jerusalem a very beige holy city
-Clean Air: Smoking indoors? C'mon! I miss the Bloomberg-cleanliness of Manhattan's air
-Shabbat Mincha: For some reason these times never get announced at Saturday Morning services. I don't think this service exists.
-Carlebach "Romemu": Everyone in America was considered a virtuoso if they could pull off the high-notes at the end of "Moshe V'Aharon" at Kabbalat Shabbat. Here there is a tutti lowered version done exclusively here. I still say the high notes out of protest.
-Laxer Kashrut Laws: at least if I accidentially broke kashrut in the US I would be able to repent for it for the one time I had milk two hours after meat in College (which I immediately spit out). Here, if I eat food that Trumah was not given, I'm liable for the death penalty?! Thank God Israel is not a Capital state.
-Ringtones: Israel is such a technologically rich country, particularly notable in it's cellular technology inventions. But where's my "Pulp Fiction" polyphonic ringtone? Also, my Pelephone rate absolutely sucks.
-East: Let's see, I'm on Rivka and Derech Hebron... which direction do I have to face now? The Jerusalem Compass is completely useless in Jerusalem. I want to buy one but I wouldn't be surprised if the dial rapidly went in circles like a novelty wristwatch. Speaking of my watch, the compass I placed on it last summer is useless if I don't even know which direction I'm supposed to be looking for.
-Television: I don't have one. I want one. I can't download simpsons episodes. My life sucks. Oh look, a Spanish Telenovela that has Russian subtitles! That's useful!
-Sunday: Not a weekend. WTF?
-three-hour Time-zone differences: Try to get into contact with people who have a time difference of between seven to ten hours from your own. "Well, If I wake up at 6 AM, I'll be able to wish my brother a happy birthday at 8 PM his time" was an actual thought that ended up becoming reality.
-and last but not least: You! Contact me. Make no mistake, I do love Jerusalem, but I miss you all. If you're coming to Israel, let me know beforehand.

Shavuah Tov,

ADDENDUM (2/21):
-patience: Israelis don't understand the concept of lines, or, if they do, they choose to rudely ignore it
-handrails: look, I know you want to preserve the beauty of an untouched nature, but when I'm scaling steep narrow mountain paths, I don't want to become a part of the permenant exhibition. Further, the highways also need guardrails. If you're riding on a bus piloted by an Israeli driver, you're going to want one too.
-pennies: oh wait, I don't miss those. In fact, you will never get 1 agora in change, sometimes not even the 5 agorot piece. I think these go to taxes. I like never having anything under a ten cent piece.

-bus maps: In New York, they are not so needed, the 86 goes across 86th street, some buses would go better with letters or directions (ie: 104 should be called The Broadway Bus), but at least there is some semblance of sense. With the Israeli bus system, you have 18s and 18As and no printed bus maps that go around this tiny round city.

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