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30 clues that show you are an Israeli

How long does it take for a new immigrant to become a bona fide Israeli? See if you have mastered any of these activities of the list. I personally cannot crack sunflowers like a pro..yet.

1. You do not allow anybody to wriggle in front of you in a queue.

We take our garlic VERY seriously in Israel!

2. You use a LOT of garlic in your food.

3. You say 'yalla' instead of goodbye.

4. You switch so automatically between Hebrew and English that you sometimes have to stop for a second to think "Wait, in what language am I talking again?"

5. You love going to the vegetable markets to get inspired by the produce and fill up your shopping basket with fresh seasonal vegetables.

6. Your heart skips a beat when a car backfires or you hear a sound that reminds you of the missile warning sirens.

7. You get up early on a Friday morning to buy challah bread for Shabbat.

8. You not only wipe your hummus expertly with a broken off piece of pita, you also know all the best hummusiot in the neighbourhood.

9. You get used to having Fridays off and working on Sundays (this takes a VERY long time for a lot of people to get used to!).

10. You ran after a bus that just pulled away from from a bus stop and got the bus driver to stop for you.

11. You are often asked for directions because you do not have that "I am just as lost as you" look anymore.

12. You actually understand the bullshit speeches of politicians and other dignitaries and are playing games on your cellphone instead of trying to look as if you understand them.

13. You have a peculiar way that you like your affug (latte) to be served. I like mine extra-hot with as little foam as possible...:).

14. You either wear a lot of black clothes or are dressed extremely casual in a T-shirt, flip-flops and a pair of shorts.
15. You have developed a taste for Israeli beer.

16. You impatiently wave the barbecue coals with a piece of carton instead instead of just waiting for them to get ready by themselves.

17. You put tehina on everything.

18. You think eating watermelon on the beach is one of the most amazing things that one can do in life.

19. You give unsolicited advice to other people.

20. You are not worried when your children misbehave because everybody else's children are acting ten times worse.

21. You spend your Friday afternoons reading the weekend papers and enjoying the encroaching peace of Shabbat.

22. You allow yourself to be a little be late for meetings and appointments because you know that you will still arrive before everybody else.

23. You just accept that your borekas are going to crumble all over your front and just enjoy the crumble-ness of it. One can always just brush it away (or at least try..:)).

24. You have learned to always have a bottle of water with you.

25. At green traffic lights you keep an eye open for cars coming from the other side because some people think that a orange light changing to red means that you can still cross.

26. You have learned to crack sunflower seeds better than a parrot.

27. You know the lyrics to many Hebrew songs and often sing along with the radio.

28. You cannot talk if you do not use your hands.

29. You know that if you want to be taken seriously you have to either talk louder or longer than everybody else or pound on a table.

30. You get teary-eyed when you hear the Hatika (the Israeli anthem whose name means 'The Hope').

Anything else that I should add to the list?

Marina Shemesh,
Zichron Yaakov, 7 April 2016

Sign up for emails from "A letter from Israel" at the top-right corner. I promise I will never send spam. MS


  1. Totally true !

    Shabbat Shalom,

  2. You said it, Marina! Lovely photo of the garlic, BTW.

    1. Thanks Anne! I took the garlic photo a few years ago and thought it was time to dust it off again :)

  3. I love 22; it took me decades.


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