T-shirts I own

February 28, 2007

I am not embarrassed to say I own these two t-shirts, which I purchased in Israel. Of course, you can tell by the wrinkles how often I do (don’t) wear them:


Powerfull Summer (it’s supposed to be powerful)


Intimate Life: x-ray your emotions (no idea what that’s supposed to be)

You down with O.P.P.?

February 28, 2007

The Black Eyed Peas came to Tel Aviv last summer. I think if I had been in the US, I probably wouldn’t have paid money to go to their concert…but it’s different when bands come to Israel. I want to support that and show them that we WANT bands to tour in Israel!

I think the best part of the evening was realizing where I was. There they were on stage, singing familiar songs in my mother-tongue language. I didn’t have to struggle to listen to every single word in hopes of understanding…I was happily oblivious and catching everything. They made a lot of references to old school hip-hop and really good music from the late 80s and early 90s. At one point, Fergie was singing “Sweet Child ‘o Mine” with her own lyrics…at another point, they were throwing in crazy references like “You down with O.P.P.?” and I was going crazy.


I realized I was the only one screaming the actual response instead of just screaming in general. They tried again…

“You down with O.P.P.?”

“YEAH YOU KNOW ME!!” I was so excited that I knew what to yell back! The crowd around me kept looking over at me like I was insane. What is this crazy person screaming to them!?

It went on like this for a few rounds until the band realized that there were maybe 5 of us in the crowd of 10s of thousands…there were a handful of us who knew what was going on. So they stopped and educated the crowd.

“When we say ‘You down with O.P.P.,’ you yell back ‘Yeah you know me!’ Try it with us!”

And so we did. And everyone joined in. How hilarious that I could be in a crowd that huge and only a handful of us knew what was going on!? Do they even know what O.P.P. stands for!?

File Under “Only in Israel”

February 27, 2007

So, I’m walking from my car to a cafe today after work, and I see a haredi man in full garb nonchalantly puke (loudly) in broad daylight on the sidewalk. He then went about his way as if nothing had happened.

I was about to go photograph the puke, but, well, you get the idea.

Anyway, with plenty of bushes and other assorted foliage along the way, I’m not sure why he had to puke *POW* right in the middle of the sidewalk.

Only in Israel…

Ve Gaits da Fashtunkeneh Puncher Makher

February 27, 2007

It’s really funny when English gets thrown into the Hebrew vocabulary. It’s really really ridiculously funny when Yiddish becomes part of the conversational Hebrew Vocabulary.

The word most commonly used for “flat tire” is Puncher (Puncture) –


It would just make too much sense to call a tire shop by the Hebrew term … חנות צמיגים (Khanut Tzmigim). What do you think a tire repair shop should be called in Hebrew … a תיקוני צמיגים (Tikuneh Tzmigim)? Or maybe a half Hebrew/half Yiddish phrase … תיקוני פאנצ’רים (Tikuneh Puncherim)?

I’m not sure what Ben Yehuda was thinking, but in Hebrew they translate the Repair Shop to Yiddish too.

פאנצ’ר מאכר – Puncher Makher

That’s the funniest thing since I searched “De Gantzeh Megilleh” at Google Yiddish.

Grab-bag from Brad

February 27, 2007

Brad writes in with some great insights into life in Israel (thank him by adding him as a friend on Facebook, he needs more Zabajnikim):

-Directly translating from Hebrew to English (or vice versa) often gets Israelis into trouble. For instance, when having a conversation with an Israeli in English, if he or she want to show agreement they might say “me either” instead of “me too”

-The Israeli word for any breakfast cereal is cornflakes

The Israeli word for potato chips is usually doritos

The Israeli word for snacks is munchies (like the stoner condition of being hungry)

-Although Israelis have a word for refrigerator – מקרר (mikarer) – many (especially older Israelis) will say frigedor

-If you order “nachos” in Israel, you will get tortilla chips with salsa…or possibly ketchup…but never with cheese

-Salsa is often called rotev salsa… which means “sauce sauce” in a Hebrew-Spanish combo

-The Israeli term for “last minute” is daka 90, which comes from soccer games being 90 minutes long

-“Bagel” means bagel and “bageleh” means pretzel

    Price check: Cock Mints

    February 26, 2007

    This one comes from Zabajnikit Ariel, who borrowed the toy documented herein from an Israeli kid she tutors.

    Cock Mints aren’t manufactured in Israel but they are available for Israelis to purchase for their kids. And, of course, the kids love it! As you can see, its a novelty toy made to look like a pack of gum. However, when your unsuspecting target takes out the piece of gum, a silly plastic cockroach awaits him or her. What terror!

    Cock mints

    By the time the Cock Mints got to us they lost their plastic cockroach companion…

    Cock mints 2

    The novelty item’s warning notice also happens to be good advice for life in general: “Don’t joke to sickman & cowardiness”

    Cock mints 3

    I have a patent!

    February 26, 2007

    In Israel the word ‘patent’ (פטנט), prounounced ‘puh-tent’ has taken on a special new meaning. Usually it is part of one of these two sentences:

    ‘על תדאג, יש פטנט’ or ‘יש לי פטנט’.

    These mean ‘No worries, there’s a patent’ or ‘I have a patent’!

    Not only is פטנט a word to describe some type of patented technology, but in most cases is used to describe a trick, a specific product, a gimmick, or a special way of doing something. Every Israeli household has a few, every person claims to have or know a few, and basically this whole country runs on an incredible amount of ‘patentim’ (פטנטים). Even Uri Zohar, a famous entertainer, wrote a song called ‘The Patentim Song’ (שיר הפטנטים). It talks about the creative Jewish/Israeli mind.

    A couple of classic patentim:

    The shade creator – Using an unfolded cardboard box, Israelis place this on their dashboard to cover the front windshield and prevent the 40 degree Celsius sun from creating a sauna effect in their car. It especially prevents you from getting 1st degree burns when touching the steering wheel.

    The nafnaf (נפנף) – a specially designed piece of plastic used for flaming the fire on your israeli bbq called a mangal.

    I’m sure you all have a few patentim up your sleeves, so please feel free to share your patentim or patentim you’ve seen in Israel that made you crack up.