Israel Stories

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Smoking Man

If you want experience Israeli society to the maximum, Petach Tikva is the place to be. The first of Israel’s modern cities, Petach Tikva has representatives from all sectors of Israeli society. Every nationality, every level of religious observance and every type of Israeli characteristic parade the streets in one small city. This is middle Israel.

The smoker, an old bearded man, lit another cigarette, his ninth in as many minutes, not that I was counting, but I had nothing better to do. Curiously he never finished a cigarette. He got half way through and then smoked another. Luckily the person he was with asked the questions that I really wanted to ask, why don’t you finish your cigarettes? His reply was pure Israeli logic. He had read a report that said that a good way to try and give up smoking was to wean your self off the nicotine by cutting down slowly, so instead of smoking a full cigarette he smoked them in halves. Luckily I only laughed inwardly but the incredulous look his friends face said it all.

Israeli logic is basically a deadly mixture of the following; Talmudic logic, 6,700,000 Israelis who all think they’re right all their mothers who would disagree and pointless jobs-worths who work in pointless government offices doing pointless jobs like stamping pointless forms for pointless reasons and I still don’t get my post delivered to my house – sorry about the rant but I have to get it off my chest.

Classic Israeli logic dictates that if something does not sell well in the supermarket, put the price up. And while we are in the supermarket, the more customers there are the fewer checkouts seem to be open. I asked a worker in the supermarket where to find the peanut butter, he told me if I came here more often I would know, and then walked off.

Israeli logic dictates that if you don’t know we aren’t going to tell you. So you could return to that same pointless government office a hundred times and waste the pointless jobs-worth’s precious time because he wont tell you what the right thing to do is, until you find out you’re actually in the wrong building talking to the wrong person about the wrong matter – its been a long day.

There is a road the round behind Ramat Bet Shemesh which was used for a few years until somebody decided that the road had never received permission from the police to be opened (something like that anyway). The road was closed to all traffic until somebody pointed out that this road is the only rout to a quarry, so the road reopened just for quarry vehicles. Then somebody pointed out that there is a Kibbutz which relies on this road to reach the outside world. So that section of the road is now open. In fact only about 1 kilometers of the road is actually closed, but we have to make a ten minute diversion because of it.

Anyway, the smoking man was now on cigarette number twelve. The incredulous look on his friends face had stuck and they had begun arguing about the logical thought process that was so obviously fraught with many obstacles in the smoking mans head.

A coffee arrived for smoking man. Why have you only ordered half a cup, his friend asked. Smoking man looked up opened his mouth to answer, but then the second half cup arrived and well, you can figure out the rest.


  • Hey, you have a great blog here! A lot of interesting stuff. I've already bookmarked your site.

    I have a prayer of Jabez site/blog. It pretty much covers prayer of Jabez related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    God bless!

    By Blogger Daniel/Rose, At 6:49 PM  

  • "..6,700,000 Israelis who all think they’re right..."

    Actually it is almost 7 million all in all, 5.6m of those think they are always right and the other 1.4m think that these 5.6m are right bastards.

    But I like your plce VM and shall blogroll you in a jiffy. Come to visit . Cheers.

    By Blogger SnoopyTheGoon, At 1:58 PM  

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