Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #118 – things we buy for each other and our kids

I asked Bob to buy me the Windex that’s not called Windex when he went to the makolet – the blue stuff, I tell him. Whatever it’s called. He knows what I mean. Sometimes it’s called Ajax. Sometimes it’s called Sano. It’s all Windex to me. This day he brought me home refills of the blue stuff in plastic re-sealable bags.

Becky has a Purim grab bag event on Friday. Each kid must bring in snacks to exchange. To guarantee equal representation from the four essential snack groups, each kid must bring:
a lollipop
a salty snack
a chocolate
a coated wafer
Which reminds me…
What do the coated wafer, Milky (snack size chocolate pudding with cream on top) and Arctimel (drinkable yogurt) have in common?
Each one is part of the lunch but can also be part of the dessert. It can be snack and also breakfast. In desperate circumstances, it can even pass for dinner.

It should be telling that you can buy these items in jumbo packs – I buy wafers by the 24 pack. Milky’s by the 12. Arctimel comes in something like a 20 pack. It’s unwieldy Aside from these dietary essentials, almost NOTHING in Israel comes in a jumbo pack. There aren’t party bags of chips, nothing resembling a five-pound bag of flour or sugar. A comedian once joked that the only thing big in an Israeli house (which is typically small and the bathroom even smaller) is the jumbo pack of toilet paper – the only household item available in bulk (and only available in bulk – if you are in the market for a single roll, you are out of luck).

In any case, it should also be telling that I have every one of the listed snack items already in my house.

Bob used to ask me to buy him cans of Coke. I never did see them in the makolet but I would always look. And then one day I spotted a case of Coke cans while checking out. I told the girl at the register I’d take the case of Coke. She looked at me in a way that made me repeat myself in Hebrew.
Ani rotzah hakol (all of it).
Beseder (okay).
She proceeded to take down the case of Coke and open it up.
Ani rotzah hakol, I repeated.
She nodded and showed me how she needed to scan one can of the Coke so she could determine the price of the case.
Cama zeh – rak echad? (how much is it for just one?)
Hamesh (five shekels)
Beshviel hakol? (for the whole thing?)
She looked at the register while I did the math in my head and we answered simultaneously – she in Hebrew, me in English.
120 shekel!
It suddenly became very clear to me the case of Coke was to refill the drink fridge at the entrance of the store (which is why it was the only case of Coke in the store and why each can was priced at 5 shekel). I quickly changed my position on the purchase.
Ani LO rotzah hakol.
I brought Bob one souvenir five shekel can and told him the story.
Bob stopped asking me to buy him cans of Coke.

1 comment:

  1. up to date on all 118 swirling thoughts posts. they are sooooo good! i still look forward to each new one! miss you lots. can't wait to see the Purim pictures and blog post on it!