Friday, August 29, 2008

Those @$%&# Israelis

Many immigrants to Israel have said or thought the very same thing. The culture shock.

We were invited to a party Thursday evening by a old school chum of mine. The party was called for 8:00 pm, but we wanted to get there when everything was already in full swing.

I went shopping when I got home from work. The groceries were delivered to me at 8:00, and the delivery guy looked at me sadly.

"We left your refrigerated stuff by mistake; we'll come back in 1/2 hour to bring it to you."

I thought how nice of them to let me know instead of me discovering this myself, after they've already gone. I had bought quite a lot of meat and dairy.

Well, according to simple math, 1/2 hour after 8:00 = 8:30 pm. Am I correct? I gave them "Israeli time" leeway, which is another 1/2 hour. If an Israeli tell you 5 minutes, they mean 10 minutes; if they tell you a job will take 3 weeks to complete, know that it'll be 6 weeks; if they say they'll delivery that fridge to you in 10 days, think 20.

But I'm not happy when people go over their Israeli time limit. So by 9:15 I was antsy. I call up the store.

"Where is my food that YOU left in the store?"

Store manager - "The driver is on his way to you."

"Right, I know that, but when?"

"As soon as possible."

Fine. I hung up. Hubby was getting highly agitated. It is now 9:25 pm.
We were supposed to be at the party an hour late, not 2 hours late. He calls the store:

"Where's our fucking food?"

Manager hangs up on him.

I call back. "Look, if the guy can't come in 5 minutes, we have to leave. Why don't you take it back, and put it back in the fridge and bring it to us in the morning."

"OK, I'll call the driver."

In the elevator, my very frustrated Hubby is swearing left, right and center about "those fucking Israelis," as a woman from the 4th floor gets onto the elevator just as he's saying "fucking Israelis." He smiles at her, and I turn my face to the back of the elevator, highly embarrassed. Wonder what she thinks of him.

9:50 pm the driver calls me.

"We just came to your house. No one is in."

Obviously the manager didn't call the driver.

"Duh! You guys were supposed to take it back and deliver it tomorrow morning."

"We're very sorry, but we're already out of the building. We've left it in front of your door."

"The food will go bad," I tell him. He apologizes.

We are in the middle of a terrible heatwave. I'm furious.

Thankfully, the party was a respite from all the chaos; the hostess had a music party, 3 musicians were playing Beatles tunes and the entire Rubber Soul album front to back - while me, the hostess and another guest sang until it hurt. We three all have tickets to see Sir Paul McCartney the end of the month.

Hostess tells me, "We gotta do this again in September, before the concert. We have to 'practice!'"

"what practice? We need to save our voices for the concert because we'll be singing our lungs out."

The party was still going on at midnight, and I called my daughter, whose car we borrowed to tell her I'd like to stay at the party longer, and could I return the car to her early in the morning. Talk about role reversal.

So my fucking Israeli daughter growls into the telephone...."You get that fucking car to me in 1/2 hour. We're waiting up for you."

Next morning I hear same daughter swearing about these other "fucking Israelis." Seems she is paying $10 a month for something that was advertised on her Visa bill that promises a free gift every month- just pay for delivery and it's yours! What a deal, right? But during the past two months she got a delivery of an Mp3 gift without the Mp3 in the box, and the vegetable cutter was missing several parts. She continues to swear and tells me "I'm starting to sound like dad, aren't I?"

The grocery store accepted our returned refrigerated foodstuffs graciously, I filled up my cart with whatever I returned, while the manager had me bypass the cashier and trusted that I took exactly what I had bought the night before. He even threw in a free newspaper and a package of chocolates. And with that gift of chocolate, he redeemed himself completely.

1 comment:

lars shalom said...

how does it compare to New York??