Sunday, 27 July 2008

Don't Worry, We'll Find You A Husband

My grandma is in Israel for the summer. It's great because she bakes tunisian pastries and cakes and makes delicious couscous on shabbat, and incidentally helps me look for a husband...

During her first days in Tel Aviv, she would ask me every single day "so, tell me again, you went to ulpan for 5 months? And in 5 months you didn't find a boyfriend there? How is that possible?" Every single day.

Every time I bump into some male friend, aquaintance, neighbour, or just mention a guy in a story, she asks me "so what about him, why aren't you with him?" If I answer that he's too young, or that he's boring, or that he's not educated, or that I'm just not attracted to him, it's not a good enough reason for her. Then she goes "don't worry, don't worry, we'll find you someone soon", but the thing is, I'M NOT WORRIED! I'm not worried at all, I'm totally ok, and whatever will be will be, but after hearing every day that I should worry, I'm really gonna start worrying soon... Funny how your loving relatives can put negative thoughts into your mind... But now I've learned how to laugh about it... and it is really hilarious, honestly!

French Season

I am reposting last summer's post about ze French in Tel Aviv, just coz it's that time of the year again...

It's official, the French season has started. The French can be seen around the Frishman area... Every August, it's the same story: they come in herds, and invade Tel Aviv hotels, cafes, beaches, falafel stands, and mega-bars... the only language you can hear around here is French. I am actually surprised whenever I hear some hebrew...

You can spot them from 1 km away. I don't really like to be associated with them, just because I like to be different. The other day, the waitress from the beach cafe came to me and asked me, in french, if I wanted to order anything. A little bit offended, I answered in hebrew... and later asked my Israeli friend "Do I look *that* French?" to which she replied: "Honey, you're *screaming* French!" Hmmm... Ok, I didn't realize that. I thought I was one of those original, educated, sensitive, discreet, reserved, polite French, but apparently it doesn't matter. If you're French, you're French. There's nothing you can do about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm really proud to be French! How classy is it to have been born in Paris? I'm so proud to come from the country of croissant and wine, of Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg, of Dior and Chanel, of Emile Zola and Victor Hugo, of romanticism and french kisses, of Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge... The country of good living and good taste. But when you see the typical summer French in Tel Aviv, you tend to forget where they come from.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Never Stop Hoping

Never ever. That's the lesson I've learned today. Just as I was feeling very down, feeling that people were letting me down, feeling talentless, feeling like I was trying and trying and that nothing was ever coming out of it, I discovered several unread messages that were sent to me a while ago and that I never saw, and that really really made my day, and gave me hope. They were emails from people who really enjoyed reading my blog and who just wanted to let me know, and one special email from someone whom I thought would never ever write... Sometimes, just a little sign that someone cares can make you feel better. Thanks guys, you've made my day!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

I Am Israel

Hello everyone. I'm so sorry I haven't written in such a long time, but it's been a long and difficult period of questioning, and decision making.
These are the main thoughts that have been in my mind in the past couple of months.

I came back from London, very inspired, but very confused, as I always do when I go back there. I decided that I shouldn't go back for a while. It would be like opening a wound not yet fully scarred, like seeing an ex you have recently broken up with.

I decided that Israel was The One. After the Yom Hazikaron and Yom Hatzmaut celebrations, I realized that Israel was the only country for which I felt pride and a real sense of belonging, with its history, and with its people. I am a part of Israel. Leaving it would break my heart. It's the first time I do not want to leave a place.

It's easy to think that as an artist, I should go to NY or London to try and "make it", but in Israel, I am a pioneer. This is a 60 year-old country where everything is yet to be done, where everything is possible, and where creative inspiration comes from raw material, and not from an over-saturated art market, constantly comparing myself to thousands of other good artists competing against each other, trying to be cooler and more clever than the next. Here I can believe in myself and in the powerful energy that emanates from this country, I can trust G-d to give me all the inspiration I need to make real work that comes from the heart, rather than make work to please others.

I do miss London and all its European sophistication has to offer, but I believe that I will never be truly happy there, and never truly free, as I will always be thinking about Israel. I decided to open my eyes, and realize that here, in Israel, I am Real. When I allow myself to dig a little bit deeper, I discover things that I never suspected Israel could offer me. Israel is generous to me, because I am willing to be generous to Israel, generous like I would never be towards any other country. Israel is making me a better person.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Only On El Al: In-flight Entertainment

Only on El Al will you get, every single time, on top of your film and music selection and your peanut and diet coke snack, a shiddukh (for example, a blind date with the son of the friend of the brother of the passenger sitting next to you), plus a shabbat invitation. That same passenger sitting next to you will also take a huge photo album out of her bag and show you photos of her son's wedding, explaining who is who on each photo. You will also be able to listen and enjoy the other passenger on your row singing mizrahi songs at the top of his lungs, headphones on his ears. And as a bonus, on each flight, you will get en entire Haredi minyian, walking back and forth in their tallit in the airplane alleys.

Which airline can beat that in terms of entertainement?

Sunday, 17 February 2008

On Socializing in a Small Country part 2

It just couldn't get any worse: My nasty ex and my ex half-friend half-whatever are gonna get to know each other! Due to unexpected circumstances over which I have absolutely no control, their paths will now cross... Is somebody up there trying to tell me something? The worrying thing is that the former thinks I'm a horrible selfish monster, and although the latter is still my friend, I suspect he might feel a bit resentful towards me. At this point, we can only hope they will hate each other, rather than unite.

When Miranda from Sex and the City left her lovely, perfect boyfriend, who also happened to be her neighbour, to be with Steve, and she couldn't use the elevator anymore to avoid bumping into him, she asked herself "Why do I have to shit where I eat?" It seems that in Israel, shitting where you eat is the only way. Or you would just have to stop doing either.

What would Carla Bruni do?

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Blank Page

I recently did a little clean up in my relationship drawer. No more nasty exes, no more half-friend-half-whatever, and absolutely no target to aim at. No more ambiguities. My love life is a blank page right now. It's kind of a nice feeling, a feeling of "anything could happen now", like waiting for a surprise. A nice clean sheet of white paper waiting to be written on.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

I'm Not an Antisemite But...

I officially got my first antisemitic comments! And not just one! The other day, Benji told me it meant I've finally made it. At first, I was gonna keep them as a souvenir, but I had to delete them because they were just wrong. It's all because of Carla Bruni and how I dared ask if she would be good for the Jews or not. Now, to all my antisemite readers, before you start writing your next lovely comments, you should know that whether x is "good for the Jews" (replace "x" by Carla Bruni, Hilary Clinton, organic vegetables, sex, falafel, etc) is a jewish private joke. If you don't get it, I don't care. If you're gonna take it seriously, I don't care. And if you're gonna debate over it, I don't care either. I don't care about you, I only care about good, sensitive people, with a sense of humour and a BRAIN. Jewish or not.

Those comments are so typical of human stupidity and low-class, basic antisemitism, that they are almost too good to be true. I'm dying to post them to show them off but that would just give them credibility, and attract more unwanted readers coming from antisemitic google searches.

Anyway, gotta get back to my jew agenda now.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008


The other day I had the most depressing thought ever: there are actually many countries in this world that I will probably never see! Depressing, huh? For example, Antarctica. What are the chances that I will ever visit Antarctica? I would love to, though! What about Tajikistan? And the Chinese province of Heilongjiang? Probably never. Vanuatu? Easter Island? Greenland? Doubt it. Nunavut anyone? It is a Canadian province, after all! Nebraska? South Dakota? Don't think so...

So what could I do about this problem? I mean, life is too short! I could either resign myself to never go, or I could concentrate on visiting only this type of unpopular places for the rest of my life. Forget India and Bolivia, forget Prague and Istanbul, forget Thailand and New Zealand, and hello Arkansas, Papua New Guinea, Vladivostok, Kyrgystan, and Svalbard!

Wanna join, anyone?

Monday, 17 December 2007

The Best Way to Learn Hebrew

Get a stubborn, provocative, touchy, too sensitive, irritable, macho Italian boyfriend who doesn't speak any english, and fight with him every day in hebrew. Great improvement will follow. On your hebrew, not on your relationship.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Lost in Translation

My new little italian friend and I only have one language in common, and it's hebrew. It's a challenge, because we get into very deep conversations, and we have to do it in hebrew. It's more of a challenge for me though, because he has been in Israel for 3 years. Sometimes, in the middle of a lively debate, we get stuck on one particular verb, and we pause the conversation and start debating about that hebrew verb, how to say it, or use it in the future tense, etc. Then we realize that we have to get back to the main debate. It's quite funny. It's even funnier when it happens in the middle of a big argument. Because yes, we already argue quite a lot, and still, in the middle of the argument, we stop and start talking about a particular hebrew verb.

It's so challenging to argue in a new language. The words that come out of your mouth have to reflect your thoughts, and sometimes you don't have enough vocabulary to express subtleties, and also, the person who listens (or actually doesn't quite listen!!!) has to understand what you wanna say. So when you do that in a language that is a new for both parties, it seems that an argument that could only take 5 minutes actually takes hours, because of the language limitations.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Tzipi Livni Ha Ha Ha!

On my way home this evening, I saw a Russian guy walking down the street, speaking to himself in russian, and who kept on repeating "Tzipi Livni, Tzipi Livni... Ha ha ha ha! Tzipi Livni, ha ha ha!"... Don't know what he was thinking, but I guess he found her hilarious.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Only on El Al - Checking Out at Check-in

Here we go again. I arrived in Tel Aviv this morning at 5am. Time has gone by so fast that it seems like I never left Tel Aviv in the first place and never went to London or Paris. As usual, I travelled with El Al, and as expected, I was in the middle of what could be a very good episode of some kind of Israeli airport sitcom.

Funny things always happen when flying El Al. Why? Because it's a Jewish airline. You know, as in Jewish mothers, or Jewish jokes, but this time, it's an airline.

London Heathrow airport, 7.30pm, high security El Al check-in area. No passengers queuing yet because it's too early. Just a religious family and me. The security staff was in a very jolly mood, which was a nice change from last time. I got asked the usual questions, but it was much more fun than usual.

Security Guy: "What is the purpose of your trip?"
Me: "To find a husband, hehehe"
SG: "Oh you want to find a husband! Maybe we can find you someone here"
Me: "He has to keep shabbat though, because I'm going to start doing that soon"
SG: "Why would you wanna do that? I don't keep shabbat"
Me: "Oh well, it will never work out between us then"
SG: "hmmm... wait, Shahar keeps shabbat"
Me: "Who's Shahar?"

Meanwhile, a security lady comes over to ask me about a piece of my luggage which hadn't been with me the whole time and which could be a threat. (It wasn't in the end)

SG (to Security Lady): "She's looking for a husband who keeps shabbat"
Security Lady: "Oh, what about Shahar?"
Me: "But who's Shahar?"
SL: " You see the security guy over there, with the white shirt? That's him. He keeps shabbat"
Me: "Oh but he lives in London, I'm thinking of staying in Israel"
SL: "No, it's ok, he's going back to live in Israel soon!"

Then, SG and SL started calling Shahar, who was all the way on the other side of the check-in area: "Shahar! Shahar!"
Me, very embarrassed: "No no, don't!!!"
Them: "Shahaaaaar!"
SL: "I'm going to talk to him"
Me: " No, don't please!"
And there she goes.
Me (to SG): "You know, I'm gonna have to write about this on my blog!"

I went to check-in and started joking around with the (very cute) guy at the check-in desk. Then, I left, saying bye to my little shiddukh friends. I tried to check out that Shahar guy, but he was busy with some passengers, so in the end I didn't get to see what he looked like from close.

Three hours later, after a good dinner, and some duty free browsing in the perfume section, smiling to myself the whole time because of the security people, it was time to board the plane. It was late and the airport was almost empty. The only people left were mostly Chinese or Jewish: the last two flights were going to Hong Kong and Tel Aviv.

I'm sitting in my seat, seatbelt fastened, waiting for take-off. The Chief flight attendant, or whatever you call him, comes up to me and goes: "Miss Worldwide?", "Yes, it's me". He gives me a little folded piece of paper. "It's from security". I open the paper. On the paper: Shahar's phone number and email address! I've never laughed so loud on a plane before.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Worldwide Sunday

Today was a typical worldwide sunday: had coffee and croissants with my Italian-Israeli friend Valentina, went to the French consulate to vote for my next president, had some authentic Japanese sushi in the park while studying my Hebrew vocabulary, then bumped into my Lebanese-Dutch friend at the organic shop, all that in London.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Shabbat-o-rama: Wing

This is the discovery of the year. Wing, a Chinese singer who emigrated to New Zealand, will perform at your bar mitzva, wedding, or retirement home, and will sing all your favorite hits, from ABBA to AC/DC. She had her own episode of South Park and reached international fame... Shabbat shalom!