Tel Aviv, Atarim Square: Experts fear that yesterday’s winter rains have decimated Tel Aviv’s famed dry pee smell, setting back the city’s strategic reserves by up to 6 months.
“We’ve lost everything.” complained the guy at the kiosk in Atarim Square that sells hot dogs. “First it was Corona, and now this. We might not recover before the summer.“
“Months of hard work are gone forever. Lost in just a few hours.” lamented Yoni, a Wolt bicycle delivery guy who had stopped in one of Atarim Square’s passageways “for a break”. Yoni surveyed the newly clean-ish floors and started to cry. “This was all we had.”
News of Tel Aviv’s crisis quickly reached the highest reaches of Government, with President Rivlin urging a unified response to the crisis. “The parties need to come together quickly with a plan. Up to 20% of Israeli men have never peed in Atarim Square.* We are failing as a nation.”
UPDATE: Some good news emerged Friday morning as the NGO “Birthright Israel” promised to have future buses stop at Atarim Square, Allenby Street, and the Central Bus Station. (Editor’s Note: this is in fact NOT the most ridiculous Taglit/MASA idea that we have ever come across.)
Tel Aviv: “What am I doing for Sylvester? Am I supposed to know him? And why are we supposed to be doing stuff for him? I don’t understand!” complained recent American Oleh Alex P. “All my Israeli friends keep asking me what I’m doing for Sylvester…. and I literally don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Alex explained that this past week, all his workmates could talk about was this mysterious guy named Sylvester. “One guy said he’s making a Barbecue for Sylvester. Another guy is hosting a wine & cheese party for him. My supervisor said he’s going to the pub for Sylvester. He invited me to join, but I didn’t know how to answer. I like pubs, but is this Sylvester guy coming with us? Wait, maybe Sylvester knows that other mystery guy Alan?”
As the Daily Freier got up to leave, we suggested that maybe Alex would understand his workmates better if he invited them out to socialize. “Yeah, I already tried that…and it totally didn’t work.” he explained. “I asked the guys if they wanted to do something fun for New Year’s, but they just laughed at me and said to ask them in 9 months.”
Tel Aviv: “It’s a hate crime! Ethnic discrimination! Racism!” cried Mindy R. “These stores and their discriminatory practices that make the food I like more expensive. It’s just because I’m Ashkenazi, isn’t it?“
Mindy, a Passaic native who now lives in Tel Aviv, tearfully described her experiences shopping for food at her local AM:PM supermarket. “These cultural micro-aggressions have got to stop!”
“They’re charging 21 Shekels for a tiny bottle of McCormick’s seasoning, and like 10 Shekels for a kilo of some random yellow spices I’ve never heard of.” Mindy complained. “Their motives are pretty obvious; they think they’re better than me and are trying to force me to be like them…. maybe I don’t want to serve yellow chicken and yellow rice and yellow vegetables for Shabbos like every Israeli I know? That’s why they made the jars of duck sauce so expensive, because they don’t want me to buy them! And yeah, I tried Amazon and Target but they don’t ship here.”
We headed to Mindy’s corner supermarket with her typical shopping list: jarred gefilte fish, duck sauce, and cream of mushroom soup (You know, the essentials!) in order to get the whole story from Rami the manager. “Am I racist against her? No way! That girl is one of my best customers; she easily spends 4000 Shekels every month!”
We asked Mindy why, if she felt uncomfortable at her local grocery store, couldn’t she just go to another store like Osher Ad? “I would need a car to get to a supermarket like that.” she said. “I would totally buy one, but groceries are sooo expensive.”
UPDATE: Stay tuned for tomorrow when this crisis migrates to Facebook and morphs into an angry rant on the popular page “Living Financially Smarter in Israel”!
Jerusalem: “What politically important issue are they protesting? Bibi’s corruption? Unfair draft laws? The lack of Skippy peanut butter these days?” asked Jerusalem resident Tamar R. as she passed a large crowd gathered on Yafo Street this morning. Upon further investigation, the Daily Freier discovered that the mass gathering was in fact a lineup for the Fox Clothing Store, which was restricting admission to only four customers at a time. “Who would wait three hours for sweatshirts?” pondered Tamar… until she saw her neighbor Aviva in line.
“I don’t mind waiting” explained Aviva. “We really built up a great community here in the past few hours. See that cute engaged couple almost at the door? When they started out at the back of the line, they didn’t even know each other!“
When the Daily Freier asked Aviva why she didn’t just shop online, she was confused. “You mean like Amazon?” she inquired. “That’s silly, they don’t sell Fox sweatshirts! Besides, they stopped their free shipping. And isn’t online shopping what I’m doing right now?… I mean, I am standing ON LINE….for Fox.“
As the Daily Freier waited and observed the Fox queue, a contingent of Peace Now activists descended on Yafo street, suspicious that this large gathering of people was trying to establish a new settlement outpost. “It’s not like that.” Tzvi, the Fox lineup leader explained. “But look, if establishing ourselves as am official community can get us some representation in the Knesset, then maybe it’s a good idea. You know, our numbers are growing every day.“
As the Daily Freier got ready to leave, we spotted Svetlana, our old Ulpan teacher standing in line. “Are you here to buy a sweatshirt or maybe some pajamas?” we asked. “I don’t even know, I just jumped in when I saw how long this line was.” Svetlana exclaimed “Look, I know enough from growing up in Russia that if you see a bunch of people standing in line for something, then it must be good! That’s what Communism taught me and it’s true!“
Somewhere over the Arabian Peninsula: Quick, somebody call The Scorpions, because The Winds of Change are here! That’s right, Ivanka’s husband has Peace springing up all in this joint. Our Treaty with the United Arab Emirates holds fast, despite the arrival of Israeli travelers. Serbia and Kosovo want to move their Embassies to Jerusalem. Now Saudi Arabia is starting to show signs of thawing its relationship with Israel by allowing Israeli commercial aircraft to fly over its airspace, vastly shortening trips to the Gulf, India and the Far East!
You’re flying EL AL to Dubai on business, feeling quite emotional about this historic change, and the Flight Attendant (Smadar?) is totally ignoring your request for a Coke. Only now she’s ignoring you over Saudi Airspace! Incredible! Im Tirtzu, right?
So Smadar has finally acknowledged your existence, and she’s reacting to your request for a soft drink as if you asked for a Gold Krugerrand on caviar. Only now she’s doing it over what looks like the lights of Riyadh! We’ve come so far!
Wait, she’s returning with what looks like a soft drink in a plastic cup! OMG! As we fly over a nation that was once our enemy but now is sort of our frenemy! Is that your Coke? Yes it is, and she just slammed it down on your tray table with all the strength of Start-Up Nation! Who would have thought just ten years ago that you could enjoy passive-aggressive EL AL customer service 10,000 meters over the Arabian Desert! Herzl is smiling down upon us!
Wait, so she didn’t provide ice in the drink and you want to get her attention? What are you, nuts? Do you have some sort of death wish?
Jerusalem, Rasko: “After years of complaining about America, my cousins made Aliyah…. both the far-right and the far-left one!” gushed Jerusalem resident Chana N. “It all happened so fast, I didn’t even have time to ask them to bring me a suitcase full of Q-Tips, Montreal Spice, and Ziplocs.They arrived yesterday and immediately started their Aliyah blogs!”
Chana scrolled through her Facebook feed looking for each cousins’ posts. “Every time President Trump did something she didn’t like, my cousin Leora would write ‘That’s it! I can’t stay in America, I’m making Aliyah!‘ ….So far so good, right?”
“But with my other cousin, Miri, it was the exact same thing except it was Obama and Pelosi…. They’ve been saying it for years.”
Of course, when pressed about actually making Aliyah, each cited some vague excuses about ‘Parnasa’ and asked when Target and Amazon were going to start shipping to Israel. But after spending years as “Almost Olim“, America’s current Bi-Partisan Balagan helped make up their minds!
The Daily Freier reached both Leora and Miri on a Zoom call at their Quarantine Hotels. After politely listening to their gripes about the hotel food, we asked each woman why she made Aliyah: was it because of their Zionist ideals, a sense of religious duty, or were they escaping antisemitism? Miri chimed in. “First week of September my cousin in Israel is sending her kids to school and our old school district is closed! I’ll do anything to escape from a year of distance learning… Anything!”
In a show of solidarity and unity, both Leora and Miri vowed to wear their Nefesh B’ Nefesh hats until Moschiach arrives.
Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Center: Many of you know Dizengoff Center as a place with quirky shops, a playground with a slide exiting an elephant’s tuchus (really), and a Kafkaesque design plan. But did you know that Dizengoff Center has a rooftop Urban Eco Farm? Well it does, and it contains really cool things like bamboo, an herbal wall, beehives, and greenhouses! Trouble is, the insects that are supposed to inhabit the ecosystem keep getting hopelessly lost in and around Dizengoff Center. That’s right, the insects in Dizengoff Center are just as confused and disoriented as you are. The Daily Freier stopped by to talk with some of our friends from the Invertebrate Community and offer our support.
“I’ve really just given up hope.” sighed a cricket named Dudu. “I moved here last month from Holon because the rent was cheap and the view was amazing. But I’ve been wandering the parking garage for five days and I have no idea where I am.” Dudu turned around, trying to find a familiar landmark. ” I just feel like I’ve made a huge mistake.“
“This doesn’t even make any sense.” complained a honeybee named Devorah somewhere near the food court. “I was supposed to meet a girlfriend for coffee so I left the hive early just in case…. I’ve passed that weird tattoo shop four times in the last hour.“
Finally, the Daily Freier met up with a speckled moth named Uri near the movie theater. “I left the greenhouse four hours ago to get a smoothie and now I can’t find my way home. I read the Daily Freier and thought that Olim only get lost here because they’re idiots.” Uri stared silently into the distance. “But it’s real… it’s real.”
Dubai: Years of hard work by diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the United States are up in smoke today after the UAE abruptly withdrew from its Peace Deal with Israel. What caused this change? The BDS Movement? No. An angry phone call from Abu Mazen? Nope. The whiny complaints of Ben Rhodes or Peter Beinart? No, but they were hilarious. No, No, No. In the end, the deal was destroyed by the arrival of a unique threat. That’s right, Israeli tourists showed up. The Daily Freier was able to get the facts just before Dubai permanently banned Israelis again forever.
“It seemed like a good idea.” explained a Tourism Ministry employee named Ahmed. “The young Israelis said they wanted to have a ‘Nature Party’ on the sand dunes. Who doesn’t love nature?” Ahmed took a long sip from his coffee and stared out the window into the distance. “Your young people really like trance music and Ecstasy.“
“We had a problem on a flight last night.” sighed Ibrahim, a Customs Officer at Dubai International Airport. “We don’t even know how the Israelis got on the airplane during Corona, but they did.” Ibrahim nervously fidgeted with his cigarette and continued. “May I ask you a question? What does ‘Ani rotzah shokolad‘ mean?“
Finally, the Daily Freier stopped by the Dubai Hilton to try to figure out what went wrong. “I am sorry, but I do not have time to speak with you.” explained the manager. “The bathrobes and hair dryers are currently missing from all of our rooms.“
When asked about the abrupt diplomatic loss, Prime Minister Netanyahu was surprisingly relaxed. “The irony is that the Emiratis did not even get a chance to meet our National Dream Team of Tourist All-Stars.“
Tel Aviv: So we got good news and bad news. First, the good news. We met a recent arrival to Israel who is enthusiastic, refuses to quit, and determined to make it work here. The bad news is it’s the Corona Virus. The virus, who immigrated to Israel in late February and is named Rachel or Sarah, was kind enough to sit down with the Daily Freier at that cute cafe near Ben Yehuda that’s really popular with Olim.
“OMG I love it here!” enthused the virus. The Daily Freier asked the virus about her story. “So, like my family was originally from China, but then I just started traveling! It was so exciting! Europe! North America! It felt like I was on Gap Year!“
The Daily Freier asked the virus if it had any long-term goals in Israel. “I’m going to start my own NGO!” she replied. “It’s going to be like Taglit, except it will bring young infectious viruses to Israel! Isn’t this exciting?!! Imagine…. a virus riding a camel! Taking shots of Tubi! It just made out with the cute soldier from the bus! It’s got mud all over its body at the Dead Sea! ” (Later, we reluctantly had to admit that this idea wasn’t the dumbest piece of Israel Advocacy that we had ever heard of.)
Then the virus started to “spill tea” on life in Israel. “I hooked up with a Golani last week! We met at the beach!” Then the virus turned introspective. “But why isn’t he calling me? I mean, I got his text that he’s sick with a high fever. But is that just some kind of commitment issues bullshit? They say he’s in an isolation ward on his base, but I think he’s just ghosting me.“
As we got up to leave, the virus had one more question. “So when do I get my 750 Shekels from the Government for Covid Relief?“
UPDATE: There appears to be an End Date to the Corona Epidemic. After the Holidays, she’s going to get married and move to Ra’anana and then nobody will ever hear from her again.
Over the past year, the Daily Freier has grown very attached to our favorite Tel Aviv cult community organization. We even teased them a little in an article! So it was a bit of a shock when we got the news that Kerem House had moved a few blocks away. Anyhoo, we cyber-stalked various Kerem House Committee Members and asked them the reason why they decided to move. So Behold, here is our Research!
1) We received a message from HaShem.
2) The Police started to ask questions about our Crypto Currency.
3) We needed to break up with our vegetable guy at the Shuk.
4) Wanted to be closer to Bograshov when the French arrive in August.
5) It was a chance to score another free Mezuzah from Chabad on the Coast.
6) The guys from MidBurn built a tipi on our roof and refused to leave.
7) We explained this in our Newsletter. Wait, you don’t subscribe to our Newsletter? Here, give me your phone. OK, you’re signed up now.
8) The mold in our bathroom wanted to live closer to the beach.
9) We applied for a Nefesh B’Nefesh “Go North” grant.
10) You’re gonna have to attend our next weird-ass TED Talk to find out.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.