In addition to the MySpace page, the state of Israel also now has its own blog — the first country-as-a-whole to have one, according to Saranga. The blog is called “isRealli” so as to incorporate the word “real.” It also sports the slightly odd subtitle, “The New Blog of Israel.” (“You can tell that the person who named it thinks they speak English better than they actually do,” one of the young officials in the consulate commented to me.)
I was walking down Shenkin Street tonight and this sign caught my eye. I wasn’t sure if they meant to write it this way – because it’s always really cool to use English in marketing wherever possible – or if maybe they confused “she” and “her.”
While visiting Israel last month I wanted to buy jeans, so I went to check out Castro. Immediately a worker was on top of me, throwing “jeansim” at me and saying, “you need this pair and this pair.” I was like, “lookie here, it’s JEANS and I’m not interested.” That obviously didn’t deter her so she raised my shirt to see my waist and started guessing my size. I told her what it was but she didn’t believe me, so she called over her stupid friend, who told me I’m not the size I said I am. They know. They also thought I’m “yotzet min ha’klal” (out of the ordinary) with the “jeansim” on and how its “sof ha’derech.”
One of the girls called Gad over, who talked to me about how my body is perfect for the jeansim and how he wasn’t going to let me leave without them. Then all three started talking about how I actually do have an ass and I’m not just some random skinny girl. They actually were tapping me on the shoulder going, “yeee you go girl” and then made me try on the other pair and do the whole thing again.
The worker told me that I must buy both pairs and that I shouldn’t worry because she’d split up the payments on different credit cards for me, as if that meant I’d save money. The whole time I was thinking, “What the hell? What do these crazy Israelis do? Does that make it seem like its less money? And why would that make me, a rich American, want to buy the jeansim more?”
After all, it turns out the jeansim were nice and just what I wanted so I bought them… and meanwhile they started pushing “t-shirtim” on me. I basically ran out of there without my shoes on as if I was escaping from a bunch of wild animals with Bamba on their breath.
Oh, and did I mention that the whole time they kept comparing their fat asses to mine and saying that, although they wear the jeansim, they don’t look as good on them as they do on me. It was sort of like a group ass-therapy session for them and all I wanted was some jeansim.
I get the idea of “preferred shopper” card programs at supermarkets. Yes, it’s annoying to fill out the forms, but you can get special deals and generally save money this way. The store benefits by being able to exercise some price discrimination, collect info about you and your shopping habits, and give you good reason to keep coming only to them.
Israel, being the country it is, decides they’ll also charge you for this. Usually some nominal fee that really has no basis in anything. That’s balls. You’re paying so they can track everything you buy and get you to shop there more. Splendid.
Ditto for El Al . Sorry, but I just can’t see what they’re making from the $15 fee it costs to sign up. It’s just annoying really; and for something that essentially should pay for itself in good marketing for the company, how do they justify also charging me for it?
What’s next? I get asked to fill out a survey in the mall and they send me a bill?
Just like we can write many posts about pronunciation mistakes in Israel, we can also do a lot on how Israel translates American movie titles. To get things started, I think its appropriate to discuss the movie Lost in Translation.
Israel isn’t the mother of irony for nothing. They couldn’t even translate this simple movie title to Hebrew. Instead, the name in Hebrew means – literally –Lost in Tokyo. How ironic is it that a movie title about missing translations is missed in translation? That, my friends, is an allegory for all of life in Israel.
One more for fun:
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo is translated as… ready? You’ll never guess! The Gigolo Dies from Laughter. Not kidding!
(thanks to Maya for reminding me of this whole thread)
Last night I was trying to figure out how to operate the heater in my bedroom. It was about 11:00pm and I was too tired to read the Hebrew manual. What I wanted was for the heater to stay on about 20 minutes and then be off for a while – and to cycle like that all night. Instead, I left it on until I could get nice and toasty under the sheets and then turned it off using the remote control.
The remote control – it’s not just a game show on MTV. In my efforts to figure out the heater, I also read the back of the remote control. Here’s exactly what is printed there:
Infrared Remote Controller’s manual
Use two pieces of AAA/1.5V alkaline cells. Don’t case them by improper direction into the box.
Please take out all cells if device don’t be used longtime.
Please replace all cells simultaneously by new ones if necessary.
After replaced, please short the “RESET” button awhile, then you use the device easily.
Scattered around Tel Aviv, you can find yellow boxes filled with these. Slightly reminiscent of Bears it Matters to me, at the top it says
כי לנו אכפת – “Because it matters to us.”
The cheeziness doesn’t stop there.
Next it reads:
רחוב נקי מתחיל איתי – “A clean street starts with me.”
What would you call this brilliant piece of marketing. What else but “Saki Kaki” loosely translating to “baggy of poopy.” I love the graphic of the terrified shoe about to eat a steaming pile of kaki. The name has a great ring to it too … Saki Kaki. It sounds almost like a cocktail you would find at an Israeli/Japanese fusion restaurant … “I’ll take a Saki Kaki for the lady please.”