Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #130 There is no granola in Israel – only Muesli

What exactly is Muesli? It is exactly granola.

American’s who had spent time in Israel but returned to America had urged me to bring things such as pantyhose, deodorant, and aluminum foil with me when we made aliyah. Meanwhile, American’s living in Israel had assured me I could find everything in Israel and that I shouldn’t bother bringing anything. I compromised and brought (massive quantities of) toothpaste, baby cream, and garbage bags.

My supply of Sparkling White, Max Fresh, Advanced Whitening, Mint Stripe, Clean Mint, Cool Mint, Crystal Mint, and Minty Sparkle Colgate ran out. So I went to Supersol Deal and spent 10 shekels for the small tube of Original Colgate. Which is made in Poland.

Then the baby cream finished. I sent Barbara to the makolet to buy more – I’d seen it there myself – Johnson & Johnson’s. Except that some clever Israeli has taken Johnson & Johnson bottles and filled them with perfume-y Israeli baby cream. Actually, they are imported. From Italy. Okay, some clever Italian.

My second mega pack of Glad Garbage Bags which are protecting me and my family from ‘gross garbage’ (yes, it says this on the box) is dwindling and I will be sad to see it finish if only for the fact that in nine months of feeble attempts, I have not yet figured out how to consistently purchase suitable Israeli bags that can protect both me and my family from gross garbage.

Each afternoon while bright sunlight is pouring into my window I instinctively grab the nearest child and check them for lice. The daily lice check takes about 5 minutes per child.
It’s therapeutic. In that since I’ve been checking them myself daily I have stopped dreaming about lice nightly.

British sponsored terror on Zerubavel?
Bob has but one hobby to which he devotes an inordinate amount of time and energy. It’s not procuring deals on string cheese in the shuk and it’s not precision sponga (though one might think so…). It’s the upkeep of his beloved fish pond.

He takes special trips to a fish farm in the hills beyond Bet Shemesh to buy new fish and also to purchase various fish pond apparatus. The fish pond is therapeutic for Bob and I’m sure, if the fish could express themselves, they would have words of abundant gratitude. To Bob who filtered out their murkey water, fixed their broken pump, repaired their water fall and made their life better. Until a precariously perched feline infiltrator knocked a large planter into the pond. Ruining everything.

It is told that the British brought cats into Israel during the time of the British Mandate in order to eradicate a very bad mouse problem. And so Israel was left with a legacy of feline terror. Cats staking out territory in café’s. Fighting to the death in alley ways. Scaring children (and grown-ups) away from dumpsters. Harassing fish. And so the therapeutic repair and upkeep continues.

My kids miss funny things about America
Like carpet. Especially when they misjudge the flight from Asher’s bed to his bean bag chair. Floors can be so unforgiving.

Now I can say, ‘turn right at the first kikar (traffic circle)!’
It’s reported (somewhere) that more people are killed in car accidents in Israel than from all the wars and all the terrorist attacks since the founding of the State. Having had about a bajillion near-misses (all of them people coming thisclose to rear-ending me) and one parking lot ‘kiss’, I’d say it’s possible. And so it seems the highly political “building freeze” does not apply to kikars which have been going up all over the place. We even got one at the top of Zerubavel!

And then there was sand
For about 20 straight hours it was a complete white-out as the wind whipped around desert sand in a full-blown sand storm.

Look what the sand blew in
A variety of bugs have been swarming all over Efrat since Shabbos. My kids and guests ran into the house Saturday morning screaming about tiny black flying bugs that were clinging to white clothing. Today when I returned home there was a new swarm. Butterflies. Everywhere.


  1. explain ..Kikars....you need someone to come soon with a good supply of toothpaste!!!!

  2. kikar translates to 'plaza' but it is a traffic circle.