Tel Aviv, The Old North: Oh Hi! Haven’t seen you since the big Purim Party in Kikar HaMedina last Friday! Wasn’t that great? And your costume? All 5 Village People? A-MA-ZING!
And…..Wow….. you’re still in costume it seems. What is it Wednesday now? That makes a week I guess. Which raises a few questions we’ve been pondering.
Do you wear it to bed?
Has anything been through the wash yet?
Just when were you planning on coming back from the Land of Make Believe to life here on Planet Real World?
Because we’ve all started to “Move On”. Even your niece, who had a tantrum and insisted on staying a princess when she went to Gan on Sunday…. she has already calmed down and transitioned back to good old reality.
So now it’s just you. Do you have a TimeTable? Maybe we can do this in steps. Like maybe you can take off the cowboy hat today. And the beads tomorrow. And on Friday you can wear a real shirt. How does that sound?
Of course, it’s Tel Aviv. So you can probably stretch this out to the week before Passover.
Tel Aviv: It’s the question that so many men are asking today: “Is she Shomer Negiya or does she just not want to touch me?” Avi G., an office worker from Givatayim is unwilling to admit that Roni, his new co-worker is simply ‘not into him’. At all. “She must be some sort of religious fanatic who won’t touch men.” lamented Avi. “I mean, why else would she refuse to give me a hug?”
The Daily Freier sat down with Roni at Cafe Aroma for a nice girl chat, and she admitted that although she isn’t actually religious, a bit of Yiddishkeit is actually a good reason to avoid awkward social interactions with creepy male co-workers. “Avi is loud and tells bad jokes and his cologne smells like the inside of Tel Aviv’s central bus station.” she said “He kept inviting me for coffee, but he stopped since I told him that all the coffee shops around here have a bad hecscher. He tries to hug me, so I told him that shomer negiyah is very important to me.” Roni, who now goes by her new Hebrew name “Neshama Emunah Temima“, admits that pretending to be religious has lots of other perks. “I told my boss that I needed the day off for the fast of Asara b’Teves and he agreed…. I don’t think he even knows what the fast of Asara b’Teves is, but you know, it sounds plausible and hey… it’s a day off!”
In addition to the workplace, Roni’s status as a sort-of–baalat teshuva has proven invaluable in other spheres of life as well. “My roommate just got back from India and thinks that she’s a curry expert now… So pretending to keep Kosher is the nicest way to avoid eating her garbage kitchen experiments.” she explained.
Yet this new life did not come easy. “I took the bus to Jerusalem so I could to meet up with my frum American cousin Esty who is spending the year doing Sem. And I just followed her around for the day so I could copy what she wears and a few key phrases. Now I just pepper my conversation with phrases like Shidduchim, Refuah shelaima…. and a bunch of other things she showed me on A Sem Girl Says!”
Epilogue: Roni‘s co-workers have been very supportive of her new religious identity, although Fabricio, a former model and recent Oleh from Spain “with the really cute accent” was disappointed. “She seemed like a fun girl and I wanted to ask her out to the new bracelet bar. But you know…. I think she’s too religious. So instead I went with Maygal the Frecha office temp from Ashdod.“
Tel Aviv, Bograshov: A Tel Aviv woman had her very own “Start-Up Nation” moment today, and the whole city is talking about it. Ukrainian Olah Natasha G. was throwing away old clothes when she accidentally opened one of Tel Aviv’s trendy “pop-up stores”, which are stores that, like, pop up in Tel Aviv from time to time. Natasha explains.
“I used to try to sell my stuff at the thrift store near Sheinkin, but I just got tired of the clerks judging me whenever they looked over my clothes…… So anyway, I was putting a handful of clothes on the bench near my house, and this woman just snatched a sweater out of my hand. I was about to scream at her. And then she handed me 20 Shekels. So it was OK…..Welcome to Tel Aviv.”
But the story gets weirder. Natasha explains what happens next when two women spied some tank tops and leggings in her bag of discarded clothes. “They said that they really liked the pieces but that first they needed to try them on. And then they both just opened the door to my building and walked right into my Vaad Bayit’s apartment to change. They didn’t even knock. I thought he would yell at me. But for some reason he seemed totally OK with it. He even poured himself a drink.”
Finally, 180 Shekels richer, Natasha decided to call it a day and close her shop. “I think I’ll take a walk up to the Old North. The stuff people put on park benches up there are nicer than the clothes I actually own.”
Namal Tel Aviv: Israel’s Olim Community turned out in their finest outfits at Tel Aviv’s upscale Namal Port for the event of the season: a TED Talk by a recent immigrant to Israel entitled “I converted my Foreign License and got a valid Israeli Drivers License”. Jeff Schwartz, an Oleh (Sorta) Hadash mesmerized the crowd with his story of personal courage and determination and the harrowing test of wills he experienced at Holon’s Misrad Rishui (Department of Motor Vehicles).
You see, back in the Old Days, Israel determined that somewhere on the Nefesh B’ Nefesh flight over here, Olim forgot the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, they needed to take a drivers test administered by bureaucrats who totally did not have a lucrative side deal going with Israeli driving instructors. Anyhoo, thanks to the good people at Keep Olim in Israel, the law changed. And now it’s completely simple to convert your foreign drivers license to an Israeli one. HaHa! Just some “Only in Israel!” humor for you! The whole thing is still a total mess! And we love it! Because once again, this topic has rescued the Daily Freier from Writer’s Block! Here on Planet Israel, there are actually thousands of dedicated public servants in the Motor Vehicle Department. And each of them is very diligently observing to the letter of the law their own personal interpretation and philosophy as to what the rules “really” mean.
Before the speech, the Daily Freier was able to speak with Ada, the Clerk at the Motor Vehicle Department who gave Jeff his license. “We demand that you bring a valid foreign license as well as proof that you have driven for more than 5 years….. So he brought every drivers license he has ever owned from New Mexico, Florida, Oregon, and the American Military. He said he had kept them all “just in case”….. this man was a bizarre weirdo with clear hoarder tendencies….. I really respected that.”
So by actually taking the bus to Holon and hanging out in the Motor Vehicle Department all day and leaving with a license… well Jeff is a bit of a folk hero now. And people want to know his secret to success.
“He’s basically my role model” explained Grant, a South African Oleh as the crowds left tonight’s talk and stepped into the Tel Aviv evening. “I think he should be in some sort of ‘Profiles in Aliyah Courage’ or something.”
“He’s so fearless!” explained an Olah named Melissa to the Daily Freier’s Emily Goldstein. “I really feel like I need to get to know him better.” Melissa confided as she absent-mindedly twirled her hair.
Due to the overwhelming success of his speeches, Jeff has several more TED Talks planned this winter, to include:
1) “I bought fruit in the Shuk without getting screwed on the prices”
2) “I have more than 2 Israeli friends”
3) “HOT cable returned my phone call”
4) “The cab drivers at Savidor Station don’t think I’m a freier”
Tel Aviv, Shuk HaCarmel: So this is a really cool place! That’s why Summer in Tel Aviv is so amazing: pop-up bars! Great music, cheap drinks. And the woman you’re talking to is really cool! Very chill. Seems fun. Good conversation. Asking a lot of questions about you (good sign!). In fact, each time you ask her where she’s from, she changes the subject back to you. Kinda strange, but that’s OK. It’s almost as if she wants to talk about anything EXCEPT where she’s from. What’s up with that?
You: “So where are your from?”
Woman: It’s Northwest of Ramat Gan. You probably never heard of it. So do you like sports?
You: Oh that sounds really interesting! What’s it called?
Woman (Distracted): It’s South of Kfar Saba. Not important. Hey I like your shirt!
You: Wow! My cousin is from Kfar Saba! So what’s it called?
Woman: It’s a few kilometers north of Ben Gurion Airport. (Looking away) Hey, what song are they playing?
You: So what’s the name of your home town?
Woman (Annoyed): It’s Southeast of Herzliya. Hey, do you like hummus?
Tel Aviv, Central Bus Station: So last month the Daily Freier basically just sat in the corner with pen and paper while a couple of women talked. and talked. and talked .…published a story based on the observations of several Tel Aviv women and how their exes compare to the city’s bus lines. And the story received literally hundreds of likes and shares! And as many as four of them were from men! So yeah, there was a bit of a gender imbalance as to who, like, LOVED LOVED LOVED the story…. and who did not. Ladies of Tel Aviv, it appears you had a lot on your mind.
Daily Freier guest writer Mia Deych started off. “Bus 172. He takes you very close to Gordon beach. Like Ben Yehuda close. He stays out late on Fridays, but then he goes to Holon. Yeah, he hangs out in Tel Aviv all the time, but…. he lives in Holon. Still better than Lod or Ashkelon.”
Next was local woman ‘Rose’ . “LMAO! love it! so true! the 189… the hot startup guy that thinks he’s too smart for you. But he’ll reluctantly take you around on his new shiny hoverboard.“
Then there’s the 126. “Never quite sure if he’s right for you. Are your goals aligned? Or will he forget to turn and suddenly you’re stuck on the other side of the Yarkon?”
It was at this point that one local man chimed in on Secret Tel Aviv. “Obviously these girls are dating the wrong guys.“…..Aaaaaand that worked out for him about as well as you think it did.
Tel Avivian ‘Amanda’ described the #5 Sherut. “It’s the one that is always there, but you never fully appreciate. He’s your back up plan when other options fail, and always seems to be around when you need him. Even on Shabbat. You will never seriously date the 5… but tell him that whoever does ‘is seriously the luckiest girl.’” Ouch.
Some buses are quite the opposite. Natalie clued us in. “The 10 to Jaffa: the one who plays seriously hard to get.“
Some of you have just opted out of all the drama. “That’s why I walk.” noted Elizabeth.
And then we got to the French girls. HaTzarfatiot: ‘Radioo’, ‘Musidora’, ‘Sarah’, ‘Jess’, and ‘Audrey’. shared their ideas with the group. We don’t really understand French, but their comments looked so cool! Like this one!
“Nous on aime juste l’idée que nos ex finissent sous un bus. “
We were just positive that they said something hot and exotic…. Then we translated it:
“We just love the idea that our exes end up under a bus.”
Tel Aviv, Dizengoff: Recently a group of Tel Aviv women made a dramatic discovery: the city’s various bus routes bore far more than a passing resemblance to their experiences with Tel Aviv men…. past, present, and future. Some are fast. Some are slow. Some are reliable. Some will take you places you’ve never been. Some never show up. The Daily Freier stopped in for a nice girl chat and some serious dishing over drinks.
Aurelia started off. “Some buses are amazing but fickle.” she explained. “The Number 13? Promises to take you from Allenby to Tel Aviv University in less than twenty minutes? Yeah, he’s the best…. when he shows up. He’s the hot guy you really like who one day totally up and left for Europe without telling you. But he’s totally passionate and you really did feel a connection. So, yeah. If you catch him while he’s in town he’s totally down for a booty call.”
But not all the buses are that exciting or frustrating. Rachel explained “So then there’s the 25 Route. Reliable. Takes it slow… On time…. Lame. He’s the Beta that you friend-zoned. I mean I guess you could take him home. But he’s boring a-f.”
Of course some buses are reliable AND exciting. Aurelia broke it down for us. “The 289? Adventurous. It goes north AND south. He goes EVERYWHERE. I mean the 289 is just an all around catch… like you’ll probably go traveling together and shit.”
Rachel thought for a moment. “Remember that guy you kinda liked but not liked-liked? He’s the 125. You know, the one you didn’t mean to go so far with, but ended up all the way down…. South.” Rachel quickly clarified her statement. “I meant like Yafo.”
Then there are the…. unorthodox routes. Arielle explained. “The 66? He’s the guy everyone’s been with. Kinda skanky. Lives with his parents in Ramat Gan. Not bad….but not good either. ”
Tel Aviv, Gordon Beach: Ouch that really stings! OMG this really really hurts! Jellyfish I hate you! I really really hate you! But wait, there’s a guy waving at you from the shore and it looks like he wants to help you. Only in Israel!
But you’ve heard about this before. I mean, it sounds familiar. Just happy that he was able to respond so quickly to help you. Like, really really quickly. But what’s with the binoculars around his neck? Almost like he was scanning the beach. And why does he need TWO water bottles? I mean, we all need to stay hydrated. But he seems, like, really really hydrated.
So he’s telling you that he needs to pee on the wound. Right. Now….. But wait. The lifeguard is coming over to you. And this Good Samaritan Dude is not happy about this at all. So the lifeguard just sprayed some vinegar on your arm. Wow that feels really good! But Mister Pee just stormed off in a huff.
Wait. Now he’s scanning the ocean with his binoculars. OMG somebody in the water just screamed that they got stung. And now he’s running into the surf and waving at her.
Wait, they’re playing great music now and he wants to dance! OMG pinch me! Not really a Cher fan, but this song is pretty good! And this guy has some amazing moves. Really feeling the vibe between you two right now. OMG do you think he’s going to try to kiss me on the dance floor? I mean, like, as soon as he finishes dancing by himself in the corner.
OK so he didn’t try anything on the dance floor. But that’s totally cool. Again, it’s nice to be with a guy who takes it slow. Wait, his friends from out-of-town just showed up at the bar. And they are all really cute! And not afraid to take risks with fashion! I mean, I don’t think his Canadian friend Steve is even wearing pants. Also, it seems these guys have been friends for a long time. Because they are acting really…. close. But that’s great. Just feeling really relaxed and safe with these guys.
So now the club’s lights are on and everyone is going home. Wonder when he’s going to pull a move on me. Wait, where is he? And where is his friend Danny? I just saw them, where did they go? Maybe he forgot his hat. OK, I will just wait for him outside.
So it’s been three hours now. What the hell?
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.