*SPOILER ALERT: Everything in this Story is True.
SCENE: A pub somewhere in Central Tel Aviv. The Daily Freier staff are day-drinking.
Yuval Weiss, Editor: I’m bored. Let’s make something up. Fake News. You know what would be a great story? A German dancer moves to Tel Aviv.
Mia Deych: OK, but with his Israeli husband.
Aaron Pomerantz: And he has a dog!
Mark Levy: Her name is Sissi! But she hates most other dogs!
Yekutiel Bornstein: Yeah! But Sissi really has a heart of gold! I mean, she is only angry because of her hard-luck upbringing in an American puppy mill. Also, she used to live in Austria.
Lee Saunders: But she is also legally blind. Like, she once attacked a plastic bag that she mistook for another dog.
Chava Ewa: Maybe her owner thinks that Sissi is actually trapped in the wrong body and is really a chain-smoking, whiskey drinking bar brawler. Oh yeah, and he wants to write a book about it.
Mia: But one day she meets the dog of her dreams in Florentin. His name is Haim. And he lives near Levinsky Street.
Emily Goldstein: Yes! But then her owner goes on Secret Tel Aviv to try to find the missed connection!
Yuval: Guys, let’s be serious. People don’t just log onto Secret Tel Aviv in order to arrange romantic hookups for their pets. Wait…. never mind. I guess they do. So where were we?
Aaron: So in order to make this happen, Sissi’s owner supplies the Daily Freier with Glamour Pics! Like for Tinder. Only for Dogs!
Mark: (Scribbling in a notebook) OMG. Tinder for dogs! That is an Amazing idea for a Start-Up!
(Gets up to leave.) I gotta go Beta-Test this.
Yuval: OK Good. I think we have a story. Let’s get chasers.
By Mia Deych and Emily Goldstein
Last Updated 4/8/2017 at 6:00 PM
Tel Aviv, Sderot Ben Gurion: Citizens of Tel Aviv who decided to saunter on Sderot Ben Gurion on a recent sunny afternoon encountered multiple handmade posters explaining directions to a very specific spot. As for the women of Tel Aviv, the meaning of the poster was quite obvious and their reactions varied from laughing to blushing. But for most Tel Aviv men it still remains a mystery.
The Daily Freier couldn’t miss an opportunity to speak with the city’s baffled male citizens. First, we approached Tal, a married father of two, who was pushing his twins in a stroller. “I’m not sure what this poster means. Is that a new campaign for Waze? They keep coming out with new updates!”
Nadav, who was hauling a few bags of beer from the AM:PM store, stopped and joined our conversation. “I’m not quite sure what it is either but I think it’s…well, you know…emmm…a map of Shuk HaCarmel”. Nadav put his bags on the ground and removed the poster from the street sign in order to add it to his, as he said, “collection of funny stuff”.
Recent Tel Avivi Guy corroborated Nadav’s concerns. “This is so familiar! Yet it’s still a mystery! I know! Let’s post it to Secret Tel Aviv and let the entire city crowdsource the answer!” (SPOILER ALERT: THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED)
As we walked down Ben Gurion, we caught alert local Ronit S. in the act of putting up one of the posters on the corner of Ben Yehuda. “Okay Okay, now you know. I can’t keep the secret any longer. I drew the poster. My ex lives on Ben Gurion and that was my message for him….and also my three previous ex boyfriends.”
By Mia Deych
Last Updated 12/17/2016 at 8:00 PM
Kikar Rabin: Iriyat Tel Aviv has decided to take on the difficult task of turning Israelis into law-abiding citizens. In order to achieve this valiant feat, a team from the Code Enforcement Department had to think outside the box to come up with a creative decision.
Hadas S., team lead on the project, shared her vision with The Daily Freier: “Every single Israeli has some real or imagined relatives in the United States and every single Israeli has thought of moving there at least once in their lifetime. Have you ever seen how tranquil and amenable Israelis are when they wait in a line to apply for American visas? That was the key!” Now, instead of giving tickets and fines, Tel Aviv Municipality will forward the names, addresses, and nicknames of scofflaws to The U.S. State Department, which agreed to place them on a Blacklist for 1 to 10 years depending on their deeds.
One of the first “victims” of the new law, Shlomi from Lod, who nearly hit two pedestrians as they crossed the street next to Habima Theatre, because “nobody stops at the zebra crossing there”, parked his car in the bike lane on Sheinkin Street, because “everybody parks there”, and met his cousin’s brother-in-law’s friend to discuss “some business”, won’t be able to apply for a U.S. visa within next two years. The Daily Freier was on the scene to hear Shlomi’s lament: “This is illegal! My aunt’s neighbours’ family live in Florida and my sister-in-law’s son lives in New York. Also, I have “some business” there”.
Shlomi is not the only indignant Israeli devastated by the new law. Doron, owner of a chain of laundromats, found out about it from the morning newspaper. “What do they expect from us? Watch for speed limits? Don’t litter? Or… pay taxes to Bituach Leumi?! I mean this is Israel, not America or something…” Doron silently reflected for a few seconds, turned the music up louder, and returned to reading his newspaper.
By Mia Deych and Mark Levy
Last Updated 11/30/2016 at 8:00 PM
Herzliya: Start-up Nation is burning up the news feed again, and this is why: A new app that helps you to understand the reason(s) why at any given time an Israeli is honking at you.
If getting honked at baffles and puzzles you, the new app will finally give you a comprehensive answer. A Herzliya-based start-up developed unique sound sensors that not only analyze…..just kidding. They actually just stole the algorithms from the Shazam app and rewrote them to analyze car horns instead of songs. But they did make it possible to link to your Facebook or Snapchat to meet new friends or find a one-night shidduch.
Reasons why Israelis honk include but are not limited to:
· They hate you
· They like you
· They’re hitting on you
· They are going to hit your car
· They are being mischievous
· They are being meticulous
· They’re sorry
One of the first Beta-Test users, South African Olah Jessy shared her insights: “This app has turned my driving experience upside down! I used to think it was all ceaseless road rage or blunt rudeness, but now I make new friends every time I hit the road. Driving to work and back has become so much fun!”
Taxi driver Yossi said that this app is even more useful than GetTaxi. “Each time I see an old friend or a pretty girl, I want to talk to them, but it’s hard to get through the Balagan of all the honking. The app helps me to…” Yossi got distracted and started honking at our friend Jessy as she was parking her car on the sidewalk. His honk could’ve been interpreted as “You’re not allowed to park here”, but based on Yossi’s previous history, the app automatically deduced that he was inviting her for a hookup and/or Shabbat dinner with his extended family.
By Mia Deych
Last Updated 11/25/2016 at 4:30 PM
Tel Aviv, Azrieli: “I wanna show the nation my appreciation”: these inspiring words from the famous song by Shaggy will become the slogan of a new community, uniting and bonding grateful clients of Cellcom and Pelephone for slowly turning them into tough Sabras through contracts that are slightly harder to understand than the Gamara, but slightly easier to escape than a Turkish prison.
American Oleh Josh explained to The Daily Freier the unique mandate behind this initiative. “When you come to Israel, young and naive, one of the first errands you have to do is to buy a SIM Card”. Josh took a second to scroll through multiple notifications from WhatsApp and Tinder on his screen. “And then along came our… I would say sages……Israeli mobile operators. I mean the old-school ones – Cellcom and Pelephone”.
Josh showed us his first contract with Cellcom. “I didn’t even know where my name was, so I just signed it. After a month, it turned out that I had to pay 40 shekels more for direct transactions from my bank account and not my credit card (like, what?) and extra money for the SIM-card and stuff. I was livid. I thought they were scamming me for money! But now I understand that all those ostensibly fraudulent schemes are designed to mentor and guide us in the Land of our Forefathers. I really appreciate all the fights at their office that have made me a real (tough!) Israeli”.
Recent British Olah Sarah joined our conversation. “So true! I speak Hebrew, my dad’s Israeli; yet it took me almost a month to cancel my second Pelephone SIM-card for my iPad. Each time I called them, they tried to convince me to ponder my decision and promptly hung up on me, until I finally managed to overcome my Britishness and shout at them. Such a wonderful relief! I still have to pay 300 shekels for the SIM-card, but what an experience that was. Like the time I found out that Hebrew vowels were totally made up just to screw with Olim.”
Cellcom and Pelephone spokespersons have not given their official comments, but in a private conversation, Shlomi from the Cellcom kiosk in Azrieli Center agreed. “Finally our efforts in helping Olim are appreciated. Some Israeli banks are trying to do this job, but they are not as dedicated and consistent as we are. But, gotta say, Kol Kvod for all of Hot Cable’s efforts.”
By Mia Deych
Last Updated 9/25/2016 at 2:20 PM
Ramat Gan: Israeli interpretations of traditional Western dress codes can … umm… surprise uninformed business partners or wedding guests. Fashion experts at Ramat Gan’s Shenkar College have decided to solve this problem and provide visitors with detailed explanations of how one should dress for any given occasion in Israel.
The Daily Freier met up for a late breakfast with Moran H. from the Faculty of Fashion and Design, in order to get the “word on the Derech” on this important topic for society. Moran explained some of the local nuances. “So, let’s start with smart casual: business usually black shoes, white shirts, blazers for men and knee-length skirts or dresses, blouses and closed-toe shoes for women – these are the absolute fanciest outfits most Israelis will ever ever place in their wardrobe….Especially men.” Moran rolled her eyes while mixing sucrazit into her soymilk hafuch. “You can wear those for business meetings if you want to look swanky. But smart casual in Israel includes but is not limited to tank tops, shorts, rompers and of course flip-flops!” As Moran spoke, The Daily Freier uncomfortably tried to hide our 40-shekel flip-flops that we got from the Shuk.
“Informal or business attire is rare in Israel. I guess you could wear a suit and tie to a wedding, but don’t make a fool of yourself wearing a bow-tie or Oxford shoes.” chuckled Moran as she cut into her gluten-free vegan pancakes. “For women there are much more options from your strapless summer dress with floral prints to a beaded evening gown from Allenby Street or whatever you wear to Clara on Thursday nights. And don’t forget to put a pair of flip-flops in your bag if you are going to be wearing high-heels.”
“How about Black Tie, formal wear?” queried the Daily Freier. “Do you mean tuxedos or ball dresses? Leave them for Purim!” Moran waved away dismissively.
Welcome to Israel.
By Mia Deych, Mark Levy, and Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 9/10/2016 at 2:20 PM
Tel Aviv, HaMelech George: With the continued success of Tel Aviv’s new Discount Pharmacy “Good Pharm“, experts are shaking their heads at a shocking phenomena: that a city and country with lots and lots of Jews in it would be attracted by the opportunity to pay lower prices for goods and services.
“I didn’t see this coming. Not in a million years.” explained Hebrew University Economics Professor Yair G. “I just kind of thought that the Israeli public would be a bit more hesitant to go to a store just because the exact same items cost less there.”
Gila C., from Israel’s Ministry of Finance, was equally dumbfounded. “The actions of the public, they just don’t make sense. According to our charts, the public would want to spend a bit of extra money supporting Superpharm’s business model of charging higher prices for common household items.” Gila took a long sip from her coffee and stared out of her office window into the distance. “I know this sounds crazy, but it’s almost as if opening up the economy to competition actually lowers prices and benefits the public.”
Tel Aviv residents could not hide their excitement about the new store. The Daily Freier spoke with Alert Local Ronit S. as she exited the store with several bags of items. “This place is amazing! I live in the Old North, so it isn’t always convenient to shop here. But when I read about it on Secret Tel Aviv, I had to check it out. Anyway, I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month, and it’s not really going anywhere. But he lives just one block over from Good Pharm, so I just don’t want to end things until I figure stuff out. Or until, you know, Good Pharm opens something up near the Namal.”
Superpharm, for its part, is not taking the new competition lying down. Starting next week, it will launch a new campaign to lure back customers by raising prices on select items.