Natbag and Other Goodies

Odds and ends from the office….

  • I estimate that I’ve been to the airport at least six times in the last few weeks to welcome and send off tour groups from the States. Anyone know the abbreviation for Ben-Gurion Airport? נתב”ג (nahtbahg), or Namal Teufa Ben-Gurion. This of course means that should we ever open an airport for George Bush, we’ll call it נתג’ ”ב. That’s right. Nutjob. I don’t care what your politics are, that’s funny.
    “In five minutes, we’ll be arriving at the Nutjob.”
    (Can anyone think of who “nutcase” would be for?)
  • Reading a bio the other day, I came across the word “posthumous.” I must be turning Israeli because I read it as “post-chumus.” Or maybe I was just hungry.

    For those of you new to the Middle East, let me explain: if Heath Ledger wins an Oscar after his death for his performance in the upcoming Batman movie, it will be posthumous. When they bring you the little shot of Turkish coffee after you stuff yourself, that’s postchumus. And if the taxi driver starts driving without turning on the meter after you get into the car….well, he’s trying to screw you.

  • When planning these trips, I usually end up sending them to eat lunch in a restaurant or two (most meals are in hotels or on their own). One of the old standbys is a place in Jaffa called Dr. Shakshuka which is famous for their…any guesses? That’s right-Hamburger Helper. (Just making sure you’re paying attention. Seriously though, what in G-d’s name was Hamburger Helper? Remember the commercials when we were kids? From Wikipedia:

    Hamburger Helper is a brand of boxed meal product produced by General Mills and sold under its Betty Crocker brand. It consists of a starch (most often pasta, but also rice or potatoes) and specially measured dried sauce packets separated in a single box. The remaining ingredients must be provided by the consumer.

    BOXED MEAL PRODUCT??? Jesus, Americans, what are you EATING??? If the “consumer” has already reached a point in desperation where he is resorting to Hamburger Helper, I’m guessing he ain’t taking the time to provide any remaining ingredients.

    There is as well an “instant” version of Hamburger Helper which contains dehydrated meat, noodles and seasonings in a small pouch.


When a four-fingered hand starts talking to me,
methinks it’s time to find something else to eat.

ANYWAY….G-d, have I lost all my readers by now? I like sending my groups to Dr. Shakshuka, whose name just happens to amuse me. Does this person even exist? I totally plan to call up my kupat cholim (HMO) and demand an appointment with Dr. Shakshuka. If it leads to a best-selling Israeli Jerky Boys type album, even better.

Me: “What do you mean, there’s no one by that name?! I demand an appointment!!!”
Customer Service Rep: “Ehhhhhhhhhhh….I ehm sohry, there is no one by det name!”

Don’t steal my idea, people. I don’t ask much.

For the newer readers…

Here’s some good Israeli airport adventures.
Other weird eating habits of Americans…

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