Tag: Only in Israel

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on Amazon!” Free Shipping to Israel cancelled

By Chava Ewa

Last Updated 9/14/2018 at 1:00 PM

Ramat Beit Shemesh: Israelis are performing their annual ritual of forgiving those who have transgressed against them. Yet there are some things they just can’t forgive. Roger Waters? Sheikh Nasrallah? That Idiot from Code Pink? No, No, No. We’re talking something much more serious: the Customer Service Behemoth known as Amazon, which gave Israelis free shipping for a few days and then took it away from them.  The Daily Freier spoke to one of Amazon’s victims to hear her story of betrayal and loss.

It’s been a difficult year.” explained Rivky G, an immigrant from New Jersey. “I’ve had PTSD (Post-Target Stress Disorder), you know, from Target’s Chillul HaShem last year.” Rivky, like so many of her Ramat Beit Shemesh neighbors, had her Target orders cancelled a year ago. “It wasn’t just that I didn’t get my Pumpkin Spice k-cups, it’s the principle of the matter! They make promises and then the deal just disappears! Who do they think they are? Golan Telecom?

I could never forgive them.” Rivky complained. “It was Erev Yom Kippur and I had forgiven my crooked landlord, my roommate who chipped my iPad screen and even that rotten boyfriend who cheated on me with some frecha from work. But this was too much! And seriously, they should have begged for mechila properly.” Rivky was crestfallen and resolved never to trust anyone ever again.

The Daily Freier then reached out to Rivky’s native Israeli coworker Anat for further perspective on this ongoing tragedy. “It was cool to see her all cynical and jaded.” she chuckled. “All of a sudden, Rivky began to suspect that everyone was out to cheat her and lie to her. She would yell at everyone…. ‘I think you’re lying! I’m not a freier!’…. she said it so convincingly, you know, like a real Israeli. I was so proud of her.” It seemed that, sof sof, Rivky had learned the secret to being Israeli.

But then it happened… Amazon. “I heard about this free shipping promotion and I couldn’t risk missing out, so I made an order… just one.” Rivky said. “OK, maybe more than one, but not like a lot of orders which would cripple the Israeli postal system or anything.” And then the inevitable happened. Amazon, like Target, had miscalculated Israelis’ appetite for American products and stopped its shipping promotion. “I can’t believe I fell for it.” Rivky cried. “Now I need my parents to visit me so they can bring everything I ordered online for Chanukah…. Oh and also Ziplocs. Next time I hear of another American company offering free shipping, I won’t trust them… never ever!… not a chance!… ummm… I mean, unless it’s like something really good?”

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World Ends after Tel Aviv bar asks Native English Speaker to proofread their menu

(Photo Credit: We forgot, but her dog has his own Insta account)

By Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 9/1/2018 at 10:45 PM

Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Street: Some say the world would end in fire, some say in ice, but when it finally happened, the world ended because a Tel Aviv bar owner asked a Native English Speaker to proofread a menu from his establishment. Pub owner Motti S. (well, he’s one of the 12 co-owners actually) asked his friend Jeff, a not-so-recent immigrant from the United States, to help perfect the English on his bar’s menu. The Daily Freier was able to Skype with Motti as we hurdled through time and space. (this happens to us more than you would think, so we were pretty relaxed about the whole thing.)

I guess I just wanted a professional looking product.” explained Motti. “And as I asked him to review the menu, the earth began to crack open and swallow up cars and benches and things. Then it started to rain a lot. And thunder and lightning. Then I think I heard the voice of HaShem saying that it’s all over. And then we had chasers.

Needless to say, the reaction to Motti’s stunt from the Tel Aviv pub community was less than positive. “I don’t understand why he did this.” wondered Danny, a bartender at that place on Dizengoff with the long tables, tall stools, and disinterested waitstaff (No not THAT one. The other one.) “Tourists come here all the day long to sit on beer and I never need a translator…..Hey, would you like a plate of laziness?” The Daily Freier didn’t know what a plate of laziness is, but looked at the menu and we think he meant to write lasagna.

As the Universe continued to implode on itself, somebody went on Secret Tel Aviv to ask if this would affect the bus schedules, “I mean, is this going to be like a Chag, or what?

 

They’re renovating our Tel Aviv building just as soon as we get the 10 Jews who live here to agree on everything!

(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Mark Levy

Last Updated 7/18/2018 at 1:50 PM

Tel Aviv: OMG this Tama-38 thing is incredible! So this is how it works: A contractor moves all the people in your building into a different apartment for a year or two, knocks down the building, and rebuilds it! You come home to a modern apartment! The contractor builds two additional floors and gets to sell 4 flats. You get an apartment with parking, less mold, and a real kitchen! The city increases the supply of available housing. Everyone’s a winner! Only in Israel!

I mean, it’s really Too easy! We just have to get the 12 Jews who own the apartments here to agree on a multi-year complex financial agreement! What could go wrong? I mean we just have to get together the guy on the first floor who feeds the cats along with the family on the third floor who hates that he feeds cats. And the guy who does his daily motorcycle maintenance in front of your building. Also the family with the mysterious Sephardic cooking smells. And the crazy lady from the ground floor who left her gas on all weekend once.

Let’s not be pessimistic. We’re Jewish, we can do this! It’s just like in synagogue when we agreed to change the time of morning Minyan to…. wait a second, actually we got in a huge fight and half the guys aren’t speaking to the other half anymore…. OK OK…. we’re a miracle in the Desert! We can make this work just like they do in the Knesset! But we are definitely going to get this done. Maybe just to speed things up we could bring in Efficiency Experts from the Misrad HaPnim!

So when is it going to happen? Oh I don’t know, what’s the weather like in Gehinnom this week? Cold? Ha Ha! Just a joke! Actually, you can expect an invite to our renovated flat’s housewarming just in time for the Hanin Zoabi/Matisyahu reggae duet!

But definitely before Moschiach!

Elderly Israeli who always cuts you in line is excited for new law that lets him cut you in line

Israel Tel Aviv Daily FreierBy Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 5/6/2018 at 10:00 PM

Tel Aviv, Kikar Milano: A recent Law mandating that elderly Israelis can cut to the front of lines in pharmacies, banks, post offices, and other public services has many Israelis very excited, including the older gentleman in your neighborhood who has been cutting you in line at the supermarket, bank, and post office for the last four years anyway. The Daily Freier caught up with Yekutiel S. for his views on the new law.

This is amazing news, it shows that we’re really one big family. You know, Am Yisrael Chai.” Yekutiel explained, as he created his very own new line for the cheese counter at the Supersel on Ibn Gavriol Boulevard. “But honestly, I’ve been doing fine. To tell you the truth, I haven’t actually waited on line since 1972.”

The Daily Freier then asked Yekutiel how exactly he has been able to manage not waiting on lines without the benefit of legal protection. “So if I’m at the Post Office, I’ll ask if my friend Hanan is working.  If he’s working, great, he comes up from the back room, I hand him my package to mail, we talk for a while, and then I leave.  If Hanan’s not working, then I ask the clerk when he will be back, we talk for a while, and then I tell the clerk that I just have a package to send and I hand it to them and thank them before they have time to object. It’s really that easy.”

But what about the Banks?” inquired the Daily Freier. “Recently, Bank HaPoalim has actually attempted to actually force customers wait their turn!”

“Oh that’s too easy.” replied Yekutiel. “Just walk right up and ‘Rak Shealot’. But last week for the first time that didn’t work, so I told the lady how I once worked in a bank. And I talked to her for 10 minutes about what it was like to work in a bank before computers. Punchcards. Stuff like that. I could tell she was busy, so after a while I told her that I just needed to move some money to my checking account and then I would be on my way…..Also, once in a while I just pretend to be French.

The Daily Freier then followed Yekutiel as he walked to the Post Office to pay his water bill. As we entered the building and he prepared to do the trick where he stands next to the guy in front of you and pretends to know him then slowly sidles between the two of you, he spied the automatic kiosk that dispenses numbers for the queue. Yekutiel stared at the machine in awe.

“What IS this thing anyway?”

UPDATE: Once he figured out how the Postal Kiosk “numbers” system worked, he began methodically collecting every number “For Later” and he held out a plastic bag full of kiosk receipts representing every number between 1 and 999.

 

 

 

Today your Waze navigation advice is from Nefesh B’Nefesh!

So in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday, President Rivlin lent his voice to the navigation App Waze! But guess what? He wasn’t their first choice! Waze tested several other Israeli public figures and Organizations, yet for various reasons, they just didn’t work out. But the Daily Freier is providing YOU our loyal readers with the transcripts of the rejected applicants. Yesterday we published author/journalist Sarah Tuttle-Singer’s Waze narration. And today we provide you the Waze instructions provided by your Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Counselor. Her name is BatSheva. Or Elisheva. Or Just Sheva. We kinda forgot. Anyhoo, strap in! It’s going to be a Wild Ride!


OMG Hi! Wait, you just did a Semester at Hebrew University??? Wow, that sounds A-MA-ZING! Isn’t Israeli Higher Education Incredible? You know, if you were a citizen, it would be MUCH cheaper! Hint, Hint! …… Ha Ha! Just Kidding! Not Really!

OK, So where are we going today? The Airport? You’re flying to London for an Internship? Ummm, yeah….. Not really feeling that, you know? I mean, No beaches in London, LOL! So yeah, what time is your flight? 3 hours? OK, Fine. What’s that? You think we’re going the wrong way to the airport? Oh no, this is a shortcut. Only Olim know it!

OK, back to your plans. Because to tell you the truth, I really think you should make Aliyah. And Israel is so Diverse! I mean, it’s not just Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Haifa is Amazing. And there’s the Galilee! Can I interest you in our “Go North” program?

What’s that? You think you’re going to miss your flight to London because it’s been 45 minutes and we still haven’t gotten on the Highway?? Maybe that’s a sign from HaShem! Because to be honest, I think you’re making a Huge Mistake. At the very least you should do a MASA program until you come to your senses and give up this silly idea of living in Chul.

Wait a minute, it looks like we somehow ended up at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Jerusalem office. And we’re just in time for this week’s Aliyah fair! It’s a one-stop shop for you to get all of your paperwork in order. If everything goes right, we can submit your Aliyah application tomorrow morning! Isn’t this incredible? What are the Odds? I mean, Only in Israel, right?

Oleh who actually converted his foreign Drivers License gives TED Talk

Daily Freier TED Talk*Based on a true story!

By Emily Goldstein and Mark Levy

Last Updated 11/21/2017 at 2:20 PM

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”

Dystopian Novel depicts a nightmare future Israel run by Anglo Olim

Dystopia Anglo OlimBy Mark Levy

Last Updated 11/12/2017 at 6:20 PM

Ra’anananadingdong: Israelis were frightened to their very core this week with the release of a chilling dystopian novel depicting life in a future Israel that is run by Anglo Olim. The novel, entitled “Lo Hevanti” (second choice: “Avshar Mayim?“), tells the story of an Israel in the year 2021 that is completely run by recent immigrants from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. The story takes place two years after all the other Israelis got so tired of listening to Anglos tell them how much better we would run things if we were in charge…..that they all just threw up their hands and told us to have at it. And the whole balagan turns into “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. Except with better lunch options. Anyhoo, the Daily Freier sat in on a Literary Salon in Neve Tzedek as they reviewed “Lo Hevanti” and discussed how scared they were after reading it.

The Salon’s hostess started off the conversation. “So the Anglos rule that any argument on Secret Tel Aviv that lasts longer than 10 threads must then go to the Knesset for resolution…… and then the Knesset passes a law outlawing anyone from buying or selling dogs…..it just seemed so….so…. real.  Also, when they got Nefesh B’ Nefesh to amend the Basic Law so it now said that ‘Everything must be convenient.’….I couldn’t sleep that night.”

Local artist Tzvi then interjected with his scariest moment in the book. “When the entire economy breaks down after Lone Soldiers start going door to door asking for free shit to furnish their apartments….. I actually stopped answering my door for 3 days.

“I really liked ‘Dudi’, the Sabra hero of the book.” explained Ido. “Like when he hacks into “Keep Olim in Israel”…… in order to try to keep Olim from staying in Israel.

Finally, Florentin poet Meirav spoke up. “Hey! No spoilers! I’ve only read up to the point where the Prime Minister orders MK Tuttle-Singer to stop blogging while a motion is up for debate on the Knesset Floor.”