You Have GOT to Be Kidding…

Two days after move-in and a long road lies ahead. Dirty floors, not much furniture, and no time to address either. Work is way too busy (a topic I won’t address here), and I was exhausted and in a rotten mood when I got home. All the more reason to start cleaning and get this process of settling in rolling already.

NOW…those of you living in the Western Hemisphere may be familiar with something I like to call a mop. While the internet, the Big Mac, and “Mmm…Bop!” have made it here over the years, somehow this futuristic cleaning device made a left turn around Cyprus and lost its way. To compensate for this horrible loss, Israelis have developed their own system of cleaning floors. I call this process “complete insanity”. Let me walk you through it. Take my hand and let’s explore it together!

1) First, you must clear your bedroom of any objects which might possibly touch the floor. Beds, dressers, 800 pound gorillas…it don’t matter! GET IT OUT! A fun alternative is to just leave your stuff there, allowing the possibility that it might get drenched later.
2) Next, you fill a bucket with soap and water. We’re on a roll.
3) Third, you locate the drain in the apartment which you’ll eventually push the dirty water into. Notice I didn’t say “mop”. That would be far too easy. The drain should be extremely inaccessible, preferably located in the corner of another room, under the kitchen table. When pushing the water from one room to another, make sure that you have no choice but to maneuver it around corners, defying at least 2 of Newton’s laws of physics.
4) Sweep the floor. With a broom. Like in America.
5) Like a burst from a cannon, launch the bucket of water indiscriminately in any direction. If you can hit a couch, an electronic device, or a baby, no worries! After all, YIYEH B’SEDER! This is what we Israelis do.
6) Take the magav, or squeegie on a stick (seen below), and push the water towards the drain.

An unknown Israeli having his way with the magav.

7) Take your smartut (cloth/towel/rag?) and wrap it around the bottom of your magav in order to dry/scrub the floor. They might have just been messing with me here.
8) Repeat this process weekly.

Ok, this is where I draw the line! Doing this every week?!?! What are Israelis doing to their floors that they require this kind of maintenance? I’m not saying I’m the cleanest guy in the world (nor are any of my former roommates) but I guess my dust tolerance is a little bit higher. My new roommate Hila and her friend decided to help me with this process and got a good laugh out of it. Me handling the squeegie probably looked to them much like the dorky kid in gym class trying to swing the baseball bat and missing by 30 feet (if they knew what a baseball bat was). And of course we each played our role well: me, as the nervous American Jew: “Be careful with the water! My laptop’s over there!”, and them as, well, Israelis: “No prohb-lehm! Dohn’t woh-ry!”

In the end, I can sleep knowing my floor is a little bit cleaner, a good thing considering I’m sleeping on it until I get a bed (I have a mattress, Mom and Dad). Anyway, I have to go-it’s taken me about an hour to write this. I think it’s time to clean the floor again.

  • Liora
    Posted at 07:02h, 17 December Reply

    What about floor/ceiling leaks into the downstairs neighbor’s apartment? Are the buildings structured to prevent that? I so need to clean the floors of my new Israeli home, and keep it from being too much of chore. It sounds easy enough, though.

    • Benji
      Posted at 20:45h, 17 December Reply

      Wow, don’t know what to tell you. : ) Should be fine but depends on how old your building is I guess

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