Thursday, November 5, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #79 n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.

I wonder
Do Israelis visiting Brooklyn go into shock when they come across a 24 hour pharmacy? How about when there’s a special on Hunts Tomato Sauce and you can buy 20 cans for $4. Do they try packing cans into their luggage?

Multitasking is truly an art form here
In 4 months I’ve grown accustomed to many of the idiosyncrasies that characterize life in the aretz. But then I’ll forget and plan to do my pharmacy shopping at 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I’ll park and start walking up the steps. And then I’ll remember. But I’ll continue up just in case. Just in case Wednesday has magically turned into some sort of “special American hours day” where the pharmacy remains open continuously past 1pm…

Of course there are no special hours and the pharmacy is closed. Not just a segur sign in the window closed. The gate is shut and there’s a huge chained padlock dangling from it. That kind of ha-ha-GOT YOU closed. Probably until 4pm but I don’t even bother checking because the only time for me to do my pharmacy shopping today was at 2pm. I’ll try again tomorrow – after ulpan and before the post office (which closes late tomorrow – I think 1:30).

Recall that sometimes Efrat runs out of things. Items like watermelon, flushable wipes, Philadelphia cream cheese. It’s not that any one store runs out. It’s that the entire town runs out. 3 makolets and a restaurant once ran out of eggs. So I guess it makes sense that when an excess of items comes available, it comes available to all the stores as well.

Bargain redefined
So with 40 minutes to kill and no pharmacy I headed upstairs to the small makolet with a partial grocery list I’d been carrying around just in case.

Something I’ve come to know and accept although I couldn’t begin to explain – Israel produces tomatoes, both fresh and canned, and tomato paste (in little plastic tubs) but no tomato sauce. Nothing even resembling tomato sauce. My Israelification still incomplete, I pay the 9.50 NIS for a 15 ounce can of imported Hunts Tomato Sauce. As I see the sign in the small makolet, I realize that lately every store I go into is running a special – 2 cans for 15 NIS. That’s about $2/can. What a bargain!

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