Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #149 – water for nestea and another of bob’s theories

The Mai Eden guys showed up today. They were excited to see me and I couldn’t figure out why but then I remembered how Bob serves them Nestea (but never water).
Atem rotzim mashu lishtot? Oolaye mayim? Oolaye Nestea? (would you like something to drink? Maybe water? Maybe Nestea?)
Nestea, ken! (Yes, Nestea!)
They took the Nestea to go after bringing in all my bakbukim and setting them up perfectly in my kitchen. Baruch Hashem!

Today as I crumpled up my receipt from the makolet and put it in my purse so I could use it to discard my chewing gum later it occurred to me that for close to a year I have relied blindly on store clerks to give me fair and accurate prices, to not ring me up twice, and to take off for sale items. Like the 4 bottles of Nestea I always add to my order because they are on sale for 20 shekel. Even if I have to load them into the baby carriage. With the baby. Today I almost paid full price (not that I'd ever have known) but the clerk caught her mistake and made the proper adjustment. I figure the law of averages evens out any uncaught mistakes over the course of a year. And considering what that Nestea gets me, I'd say it's worth full price once in a while.

We’re all mishpacha (family)
When we flew to Israel 2 ½ years ago and my Rosie (then almost 2) cried for ten straight hours, I had Israeli’s of all shapes and sizes coming to my aid. Men telling me to hold her on her stomach. Old women offering to rock her. Others telling me to splash water on her face. Still others grabbing her out of my arms and splashing water on her face for me.

The crying never stopped but neither did the advice and the ‘help’ as I paced the aisles of the plane hour after hour. Whether I wanted it or not. Bob chalked it up to his theory of ‘we’re all one big family’. This is how he explains the way Israeli’s can fight and then hug. How a clerk in a government office will yell at you but if you start crying they will put their arm around you and do everything they can to help you. Absolutely everything. How a bank teller will want to know why you wish to change so many dollars to shekels. How a store clerk will want, more than anything, for you to get a club membership so you can enjoy savings.

And it explains just about every other in-your-face, in-your-business, in-your-space encounter you can have in this country. It’s a great way to feel good when your instinct might otherwise be to feel mad, sad, offended, or invaded.

(Repeat as necessary to calm nerves: We're all mishpacha! We're all mishpacha! We're all mishpacha!)

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