Shopping Time

My job is part-time. Well, it’s supposed to be part-time although it’s been a real effort to limit my hours. This week, I made a special effort to either go into the office late or leave early. So what is one supposed to do with all this free time? He can start by going to Dizengoff Center for some good shopping. Not “hey, I’m bored, I think I’ll pop into Old Navy and buy three ringer T’s!” shopping…more like “if I don’t buy a few things for the apartment, my aggressive roommate is going to kill me in my sleep” shopping. A few days earlier, there was a little episode because she thought I hadn’t contributed anything to the apartment nor had I bought any of the three things she wanted me to buy…despite her not telling me any of the three things she wanted me to buy. It was what I like to call, “a mis-com-mun-i-ca-tion”. We seem to have worked it out, but if I stop responding to emails, please contact the police.

I like shopping for things I don’t know how to say in Hebrew because it allows me to showcase my unrivaled skills in charades and Taboo with the customer service people. When painting my room, I used the handle/long stick-thing which attaches to my roommate’s magav/squeegie and got it covered in paint. In order to avoid waking up to a horse’s head, I decided to buy her a new one.

So how would you say that in Hebrew? “Two words…three syllables…sounds like…” Through a combination of broken Hebrew and sublime acting (no previous training), I was able to elicit the answer on only the second guess (first, she thought I meant “shoe rack”.) Less than 10 shekels, not bad. (By the way, I discovered a new game this past week. It’s replaced the “let’s divide everything by 4.5 to figure out how much I’m paying for this in dollars”. It’s the much more relevant and useful game “let’s divide this by my monthly salary to see how broke I’m going to be in a few weeks.” I think I figured out that if I buy 10 ice coffees a month, it’s roughly 7% of my salary….I don’t even know what to say first about that. How about “IT’S TIME TO STOP DRINKING ICE COFFEE”? Quick, someone distract me, I don’t even want to know what percent of my income is going towards falafel. Can you imagine seeing a pie chart like this? 45% rent, 10% utilities/phone/internet, 20% groceries/entertainment, 25% falafel. “I guess I’d better find a cheaper apartment…”)

Ok, I just realized a way to replace the energy jolt from coffee: go shopping for toiletries in Israel. I had to re-calibrate my mental calculator in Super-Pharm when shopping for contact lens solution. Fifty-five shekels!? That’s really expensive. So much for a balanced pie chart. At least they include a contact lens case (as if that suddenly makes it a steal.) I already have a lens case; that’s why I’m among the people who buy solution. I certainly don’t need a new one every two months. Ok, Mom and Dad, I know what I want for Hannukah. (Not a lens case.)

I have got to start carrying my camera everywhere. I saw a great t-shirt in English which I’ll have to write about later. Israelis and their English t-shirts. That’s definitely its own entry. Lots more to write about…stay tuned.

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