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Showing posts from 2020

Watermelon - an Israeli summer love affair

It is not an exaggeration to say that Israelis are hot-tempered and love to argue. It is sort of a national sport here.

It is actually surprising that in such a small country, so many people find so much to argue about. Apart from the usual suspects such as politics, religion and parking spots, the people of Israel can argue about trivialities such as the shaded places at the beach, talking on the phone in the quiet train carriage and standing in a supermarket queue.

There is however one thing in Israel that EVERY single person agrees about.

Their love of eating cool watermelon in the hot Israeli summers.

It doesn't matter if it is an Arab, Jew or Christian. Religious child or secular great-grandfather. Everyone passionately loves eating watermelon here in Israel.

Most of us eat watermelons at home but it is also a firm favorite at picnics, parties and even restaurants. Be aware though that watermelon in a restaurant can be really expensive.

The ultimate, most favourite place to …

The quiet summer

Summers in Israel always used to be special for me.

The entire country feels as though it has entered vacation mode even though most of us are still working. This is the time when new ice cream flavours are announced - you can never eat enough ice cream to cool off properly in our summer heat! 

I am always amused at how fond Israelis are of watermelon flavoured ice cream because Israelis eat real watermelon nearly as much as they drink water in the summer.

Israelis who wear flip-flops year round invest in a new summer pair and the rest of us join this extreme casual look. Daily more and more people abandon their sport shoes and proper sandals and flip-flop everywhere. 

We sign up at the local swimming pool for the summer and count the days until the @$%÷/ jellyfish leave our beaches. Israel is a small and skinny country and the coast is not that far away for most of us. 

The Israelis might not swim as much as South Africans (I was surprised that school children here are not taught to swim …

The Blood of the Maccabees flower

That is correct, we have a small wildflower here in Israel called the Blood of the Maccabees. I agree that this is quite a macabre name for such a cute little flower. However there is a long history behind this local wildflower and its unusual name.

Remembering the Holocaust during a pandemic

Every year in Israel, exactly one week before we celebrate Independence Day, we remember all the people who have died in the Holocaust.

From sunset the previous day until the first three stars show up in the sky the next day, the entire country is in mourning. Restaurants, theatres and coffee shops are closed. Most of the television channels are paused while the others play Holocaust documentaries or movies such as Schindler's List.

Ten things that I hate about life in Israel

If you have read any of my blog posts, you must have realized that this South African has learned to love the land of Israel and all the crazy Israelis inside it.
It took awhile, probably because it took me so long to learn Hebrew, but it has become a place I call home. A tourist may think that the locals are kinda rude, I think that they just have a tendency to speak their minds 😁.

Special things Israelis say in specific situations

What happens in your country when a waiter drops a tray in a packed restaurant and everything on the tray shatters to pieces?

Is there an awkward silence? Does everyone avert their eyes from the embarrassed waiter as he quickly sweeps up all the broken pieces? Maybe there are a few softly muttered curses from him or the floor manager..?

The tumuli field of Ramat haNadiv

Ramat haNadiv is a small nature reserve nestling close to my town, Zichron Yaakov, in the northern-ish part of Israel.

The reserve was established in 1965, and is actually a burial place for the Baron Edmund Rothschild and his wife Ada. The baron supported the early settlers in the area with money and advice from the leading scientists of the day. 

That is also why the park is called Ramat haNadiv, it means more or less 'Benefactor Heights'. The tomb, that you can visit during the weekdays, is surrounded by a beautiful garden.