Friday, December 31, 2004

2004 draws to a close

Well, I wanted to blab a few facts and figures about the blog, such as this being anglosaxy's 365th day online, links to my most popular postings (which drew the most comments) and my own personal highlights of the year. But to be honest, I'm still in awe of the one word on everyone's lips at the moment - tsunami.

It kind of puts everything in perspective. Those annoying problems that litter our everyday lives just seem so trivial when you hear the stories that some of the survivors have had to go through. Fecking nightmare that you wouldn't wish on anyone.

Obviously one of the reasons why this has hit big is because of the number of tourists involved, and it seems that everyone knows someone who was there/just returned. One of my references in my current job search almost lost her brother and his family, as they were snorkelling in Krabi when the tsunami, I'm heartbroken for all those people in Khao Lak and Ko Lanta, two idyllic areas in Thailand that I was hoping to visit again this year. All those beachside huts and restaurants/bars, smashed to pieces along with their guests/customers...breaks my heart.

Anyway, trying to get on to more cheerful things, 2005 looks like it's going to pretty eventful, at least for me anyway. A lot of things in the pipeline, like moving house, starting the school (I've recently bought a domain)/changing jobs, etc...BUT first things first, a few drops of alcohol tonight to celebrate the New Year and to celebrate Rino and Shlotim's new baby boy! Only a small glass for mrs. anglosaxy, of course - damn, I'll guess I'll have to drink her share...


Saturday, December 25, 2004

Jingle bells

A Merry Xmas to yee all!

Jachnun has been and gone, telephone calls home have been made and beers have been swigged.
Time to meet somebody new, I guess...

Though it might be a while before you or I actually get to meet this person...

Yep, it's time to meet...

Anglosaxy Junior...

I'm off to 'wet the baby's head' and I'll be back in a few days...I'm taking a small break from the blogging and I'll be back to celebrate the New Year.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Xmas is alive and kicking!

Went down to the Central Bus Station last night, felt like being 'hutz la'aretz' (abroad). It's been a long time since I was last there, and boy, did it feel strange. I even used to live across the road from the place (quite literally 20 metres, but you don't want to know about those days...), but today it just seems to be an enclave of Ruskies and Ethiopians, with the odd soldier wandering around. We walked into a couple of shops and the shop assistants spoke Russian with us, their Hebrew wasn't great. Like why would they need to speak Hebrew round this part of town anyway...

The main reason for our visit was to see the Xmas section on the ground floor. Some entrepreneurial types have set up a few stalls and brought Xmas to the Jews (though 'spot the Jew' can easily be played in this neck of the woods) - at a price I might add (nothing's cheap). There are some great little gifts, lots of Xmas trees for sale and tons of ornaments for the tree. I bought myself a nice little Santa hat.

I caught this foreign worker (not sure of his origin, but looks Thai) showing his daughter around the stalls. Must be great for the kids to get some of the Xmas spirit, most of them probably don't have a clue what it's all about, being born and raised here.

This little section surprised me, I've never seen so many artificial trees in my life. Mrs. anglosaxy was quite taken with the white trees but she soon changed her tune when I told her they're only for old grannies with poodles. Next year we are definitely upgrading our tree!

And finally, some Santas and tinsel, what more do you need at Xmas?

Well, I'm starting with the beers, after watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Tomorrow I'll have a quick post for you, which may hold a surprise or two.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Getting ready for Xmas

Tonight the action starts with a quick tour of South Tel Aviv (thanks to the Ruskies and us foreigners there is the odd influence of Xmas here and there, especially around the Central Bus Station) and then a quick beer or 2.

Tomorrow is movie afternoon, kicking off with one of my all time faves, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Then it's a switch over to the Yes Movie Channels, which have a whole series of Xmas movies on. I shall be steadily getting in the mood, helped by the flowing alcohol. Once I've got a taste of the festive spirit, it should be off for some more alcohol at one of the more touristy pubs. Possibly with M and L, we'll see.

Xmas morning it's a quick unwrapping of all the presents (wow, so many...), phone calls home and then time for some traditional Xmas fare, yep, jachnun. After that it could well be a few more beers at some pub or other.

Anyway, thought you might appreciate the cover of the Ferris Bueller DVD I bought in China. Not sure of the connection the cover stars have with the movie, but it sure made me laugh. Ah, so what caught my eye first, you might ask? The picture or the cover title? That would be telling...

Xmas rundown

This little lot has been voted the favourite xmas top 20, with the Pogues rightly in there at No. 1.

My own list? Why not...

1. the Pogues - Fairytale
2. Band Aid - Feed the world
3. Wizzard - I wish it could be Xmas every day
4. Jona Lewie - Stop the cavalry
5. Wham - Last Xmas
6. Slade - Merry Xmas everybody
7. Greg Lake - I believe in Father Xmas
8. the Darkness - Xmas time
9. the Pretenders - 2000 miles
10. John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War is over)

Bubbling under:
Housemartins - Caravan of Love
Blink 182 - I won't be home for Xmas
Mike Oldfield - In dulci jubilo
Stiff Little Fingers - White Xmas

And this explains what happens to all those artists who suddenly decide to go all Xmassy and release a Xmas single...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A stocking filler

The rest of the world gets Santa, Israel gets Tony Blair...

My favourite Jewish girl

She loves doing this more than me. I think.
After I go through the joys of eating matza at Pessach/Passover, stuff my face with donuts at Hanukkah and smother my apples with honey at the onslaught of another Jewish New Year, it's time to get mrs. anglosaxy decorating the mingy little Xmas tree. It hasn't made an outing for at least a couple of years, so that snowy effect you can spot - it's actually dust. Anyway, she did a fine job. I should point out that as mrs. anglosaxy is approximately 23 inches tall, the Xmas tree looks a lot bigger than it really is...

Esteemed ones, that opened parcel is nothing to do with me, honest guv. On me life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Same same

I'd tell you about the phone interview that I had this morning with the job in Shanghai, but you've heard it all before...

I'd tell you about my favourite Jewish girl decorating the anglosaxy Christmas tree, but you'll probably not be that interested...

I'd tell you about life in the corridor and meetings with my boss, but nothing's really changed...

I'd tell you about the annoying phone calls I get from a particular placement agency trying to push me one specific job that I'm not that keen on, but it really ain't that interesting...

So I won't.

Monday, December 20, 2004

This one's a no-goer

How about this for dippy...

I had an interview this morning, the same company that thought I was of feminine persuasion. They had directed me to Kiryat Atidim (a north Tel Aviv hi-tech area). I arrived there in Atidim but couldn't find the building. I called the interviewer. "Oh, yes, I meant Ramat HaHayal..." (which is another hi-tech area, just down the road from Atidim). In disbelief, I listened to the instructions. "OK, so I'll be a few minutes late, I'm sorry, but I would have been early if I'd had the right address...".

Anyway, I get to the right building. I try and find building 'B', but, contrary to her instructions, I needed building 'D'. Never mind. I catch the lift up to the right floor. Of course, the lift doesn't stop at this floor. I get to the top floor, get the correct lift and then get off at the right floor. Of course, no-one answers my knocking at the door/ringing the intercom. Getting ever-so-slightly pissed off, I go back down to the building's reception. "Ah, you should try floor 10, their main reception is on that floor". OK. So I get to the 10th floor. Where the receptionist tells me to go back to the right floor where she'll get someone to open for me. My brain is screaming: "Get the fuck outta here!", but I decide to plug on.

First question the interviewer asks me: "Did you have trouble finding us?"

Well yes, I did in fact, whoever gave me the instructions didn't have a FECKIN' CLUE! Serenity now. Serenity now. Big red 'X', huge, enormous red 'X'...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Thawing out

Bloody cold. No more laughing at glove and scarf bedecked Israelis.
Coldest day of the year (minus 7 at night) and we were up in the Upper Galilee.
Nice log cabin.
Great romantic meal: restaurant to ourselves, Nirvana's 'Unplugged' and a roaring log fire.
Shopping in Karmiel.
Views of a snow-capped Hermon.
Now relaxed. And warm.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Can you please fill in this form...

Another 2 interviews have come and gone today. First one was OK, it was actually the second interview at one of the places I interviewed for on Tuesday. Only trouble is they are not prepared to go even near what I'm making now and also want references from my current boss. This, for me, is out of the question while the issue of pitzuim (compensation) still hangs in the air. And aren't 3 other references enough? You can't proceed with the process without this specific reference? Well, you know what you can do...

The second interview was at one of the BIG boys. Very BIG boys. But still, another form requiring filling out with all the details they already have in my CV - an annoying 15 minute task. The interview was OK, and was followed by a long test, which I think I did OK at...not really for me though, all those geriatric American women (nothing against Americans I might add, just the age group - uh oh, just hand me the spade...) wandering around the place. I need it a bit more friendly, bit more lively...

Tomorrow morning I have a phone interview with Shanghai. Yep, they got in touch again, apparently unaware they sent me a 'rejection' email. I don't want the job now, only if they offer pots of gold, which they won't...but I am very interested in seeing what they have to say for themselves.

Which brings me nicely around to summing up the current status, coz probably some of you are thinking 'eh? thought he was off to China...what's all this interview business in Israel?'. I think China has hit the back burner for now, there are just too many complications that mrs. anglosaxy won't hack. Maybe I'm sacrificing a dream, maybe I was just trying to force a break from Israel...but for now I guess I'm focusing on Israel, something that I really really didn't want a few weeks ago. But, on having seen other places of work, I know that perhaps a change in my work environment might just cut the mustard. I've also still got the English school thing in my head, which I know will work. So, for now, you still have the anglosaxies scuttling around the Holy Land, doing their thing. And tomorrow we'll be doing our thing up North. Back on Monday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Another rock'n'roll Xmas

This could turn into one of those classic British movies, with a Hugh Grant or James Nesbitt thrown in...
Get 4,200 people to dress up as Santa, invite them to a small Welsh town for a charity fun run, let a few sneak off to the pub, watch those few get a little 'merry' and then swap punches, and then throw in the riot police with CS spray and batons drawn...
You couldn't make this stuff up.

Driving in Israel, contd...

It's a war out there on the roads. It's not made any easier when you have lorry drivers like this out and about. 60 previous traffic convictions? WTF? I saw the wreck on the news last night and it wasn't pretty.

Small world

It always amazes me what a small country Israel is. You can always bump into someone who knows someone you know. And often at the worst possible time. Yesterday on my way in to the first interview, there I was entering the car park when a security guard came running up, smiling as he pointed at the company logo on my car: "Ah, [my company's name], my brother works there!". A little alarm bell went off in my head, since this was a discreet, covert operation, but any fears were soon laid to rest when I thought about it some more. Did the guy have my name? Nope. Did he have an inkling that I was there on an interview? Probably not.

Second interview, some hours later. There I was talking about a certain something or other, when I mentioned "a friend", without giving her name. "What's her name?". "L" I replied. "Do you mean L**** ******* ?" "Er, yes" but thinking to myself 'just how the hell do you know her?'...this was like talking about 'John' from London (a certain John Smith) and then being asked if I meant John Smith...

I guess this is why I should make a nice, unhostile break from the corridor of power, because the chances that somebody will know somebody further down the line are reasonably high...though if things get cheeky I know I can always don my cheeky b*stard (CB) superhero cape. Haven't used it for a while, but it might just get an outing soon...all I need to complete the outfit is a CB belt buckle. By the way lads, you should try red tights sometime, very becoming...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

2 down, 2 to go

Successfully got through two interviews today. Both went pretty well, though I was more of a charmer in the second one. I've already got a call back for a second go from the first interview, I'll see what they have to say. I know I flew their test, it was dead easy. The test in the second interview was way too technical, I really didn't have a clue what was written. Good job they left the tests of other people on the same laptop, otherwise I would really have been struggling...

Is it me, or is my intuition hyper sensitive? What I mean is, do you ever meet someone and within a split second know that you won't get on that well with them? Never mind work with them...

Anyway, time for some light relief. This is a digital version of the old Mastermind game you played with color pegs. Nice one.

Monday, December 13, 2004


Lunchtime was spent on the roof of the building today, as the big boss gave his regular holiday run-through on how well the company is doing. The donuts were waiting, as were the latkes, but he didn't care. He went on and on and on. And just when we all thought he'd finished, he managed to find something else to ramble on about. And what a motivational speech; there will be salary raises for some people in the next month or so, but others will not get a raise. OK, I don't really give a shit about any raise, it's way too late for that, but how about being one of the other people who don't get a raise. That must surely feel warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that you're one of the unappreciated ones...

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Busy body

Got loads of stuff to do today, so I'll make it short.
I have 4 interviews lined up this week with various companies. Just love it when they call and say: "Oh, I was expecting to talk to a woman, with the name A____...". My reply:" Big mistake!", while placing a virtual "X" against them in my mind. Don't they read the CV? Or are they simply big fans of the 'Young and the Restless' (you won't believe how many times Israelis have confused my gender because of this soap character!)?

And we are predicting Arsenal's babe-in-arms central midfield to come out on top in today's clash with Chelski. Mark my words. An easy 34-0.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

It's Christmas time...isn't it?

Xmas time in Israel is non-existent, save for the odd pub/hotel catering to a touristy crowd. If I don't make it to England, I usually miss it badly. Aaah, all those Xmas trees, the cold, cold evenings spent fighting your way through the shopping crowds, the same 10 Xmas songs played over and over again on the radio, the Wizard of Oz on the BBC...I know most people in Blighty are sick of all the hype and endless advertising by the time December even starts, but you never realize how much you love something until it's gone. I love Xmas, always have and always will.

I've even managed to brainwash mrs. anglosaxy into loving it (couldn't be down to all those pressies...could it?), and we usually end up celebrating Xmas Day in Tel Aviv, somewhere...I think she has come to understand that it is an important day for me, much like I realize being with her means celebrating Pessach (Passover) and the Jewish New Year (to name just a couple). She even helps with decorating the tree, the good Jewish girl that she is. But then I buy the matza bread for Pessach and hang up the bunting for Israeli Independence Day. As you can tell, a real melting pot of cultures at the anglosaxy castle.

Celebrating Xmas does get harder and harder, especially when you no longer mix in the tourist crowds, or those same tourists you once partied with are now elsewhere or settled down in suburbia. But Xmas is something I will never give up on, wherever I am in the world. That will mean a good few beers, accompanied with a Xmas type movie, and possibly a quick visit to MASH or Molly Blooms. This year's movie is currently being downloaded...and it is: Bad Santa.

This year Xmas falls on Saturday, which might mean a Friday night Xmas Eve session drifting into Xmas Day proper. So, if you spot a lanky guy wearing a Santa hat strutting his stuff in Tel Aviv, just slightly inebriated, come over and give me a kiss/handshake, whichever option suits you best. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, and if that means getting all fired up by Wham's "Last Christmas", it's gotta be done...

I do hereby promise, that if one day I do open my own pub, Xmas will be celebrated in style...mince pies, sausage rolls and even mistletoe. Make your reservations now!

And time for a Xmas joke I think:

It is Christmas Eve and this chap is on a rooftop about to jump off. His wife is leaving him for another man, he has lost his job and he owes thousands of pounds to the bank. Just as he finishes his prayers and closes his eyes, ready to jump,Father Christmas taps him on the shoulder.
"Are you OK?" asks Father Christmas. The man explains why he is so miserable and gets ready to jump."Stop!" shouts Father Christmas. "It's Christmas, I will grant you three wishes to solve your problems on the understanding that you will grant me a small favour in return!"
"Would you?" the man replies. "That would be wonderful!!...Thank you."
Father Christmas promises him that:
1. You shall go home in 1 hour and your wife will be dressed in her sexiest underwear, begging for forgiveness and longing for your return, she will have no recollection of her new boyfriend.
2. You shall go into work tomorrow, sit at your desk and continue withyour work. Your salary will have increased by 50%. Also, nobody will have any recollection of your sacking.
3. You shall go to your bank and you will be ten thousand pounds in credit, you will have no outstanding bills.
"Oh thank you, thank you!" says the man."What is it that I can do for you?"Father Christmas asks the man to drop his pants and bend over. After a quite brutal rogering, which made his eyes water a little, Father Christmas asks the man how old he is. "36" replies the man."Ho, Ho, Ho, You're a bit old to believe in Father Christmas aren't you!?"chuckled the fat gay b*stard in fancy dress...

Friday, December 10, 2004


Last night I drove past the Tel Aviv town hall building, in Ibn Gvirol street, for the first time in ages. This is probably old news, but I was surprised to see its new look. Very funky and definitely an improvement on that old prison block look. It was previously one of the ugliest buildings around, without a doubt. And for those of you who aren't familiar with the building, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated just below that street sign you can see on the right of the picture.

Apparently, this is an art exhibition illustrating Tel Aviv street names. Very nice.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Is that for me?

Wow. I really love Christmas. Especially when the parcels from home start arriving. I just picked up 4 nicely sized packages, while ignoring the jealous stares of other post office shoppers. Never mind that the post-office clerk gave me someone else's parcel and I had to go back half an hour later and swap it for my ever-so-much-better parcel. We'll forgive her, 'tis the season and all that bullshit.
Esteemed ones - all of you, all I can say is look out for the postie, because he's bringing something your way.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Traffic jam observations

After last night's gruelling jam-fest, I thought I'd trade in some of my observations of other drivers as they sit anonymously in their cars...

  • People pick their noses. ALOT. It's quite amazing to see just how far people are willing to insert a digit...
  • Couples either fight or totally ignore each other.
  • You can tell from the car rocking to and fro in front of you just what type of music they're listening to: if it's a gentle r o c k - r o c k it could be anything, but if it's a fast rock-rock-rock, you know it's hip-hop.
  • People sing along to songs on their radio/CD. BADLY.
  • People sometimes look so gormless, it's almost scary.
Next time, I might try some of these.

Cloak and dagger

Moving on from yesterday's corridor meetings, it's all getting very cloak and dagger. Just got a phone call from a company somewhere in Israel, asking me to be very discreet, whatever that means. This is a blogger she's talking to....while the Shanghai job has sent an email, by mistake, which perhaps isn't a great advertisment for a top online security company. The message is posted here, though the names have been changed to protect the innocent:

#start john's_personal_opinion
This is Heuston to planet China...
Mission aborted.
(even if he says yes, the residual risk is too high. Better to focus on finding another Dennis. More the better of him).
#end john's_personal_opinion

WTF is that all about? I guess they pressed 'Reply to all' by mistake, and it kinda blows the Shanghai dream out of the water. I have a feeling they were trying to get me on the cheap anyway, so I don't feel that pissed off...

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Job Update

Well, it was a long meeting with the boss, nearly 2 hours in total...and I think I can safely say I've now seen it all, I can retire a happy man. I played it very classy but it seems no matter what I do, they just won't fire me. My boss's words: "If you think I'm going to fire you, you're mistaken. You're too talented..." Eh? What do I have to do round here? Slash the CEO's tyres?

Seriously, I heard the usual bullshit, which was actually good for the ego, but my plan to boldly quit no matter what was stalled by a friend's comments, never mind what they were. I told the boss that I'm torn between staying and going (believe it or not, I actually used the line: Should I stay or should I go) - I still need to play it innocent here because I know they play hard to get with the compensation. But there's no way it's going to come from them, which tells me they're either playing the compensation card or they really are soft in the 'ead.

Let's just say that for now I have a free rein at this place, when I find something else I'll be out. I choose the days I work, I determine what is needed etc., etc., my boss really has no idea what is required. Not sure why, but I actually left the meeting feeling so much better about life in general...I am still looking for something, still got loads of ideas running through my mind, and Shanghai needs to get back to me before the weekend, so, what will be will be. At the most, I lose the compensation that is due, it's only money...

And WTF was that traffic jam tonight? Took me over an hour to get home - from South to North Tel Aviv. Those Hanukka doughnuts have got a lot to answer for...

And life is sure getting sweeter as Arsenal demolish Rosenborg...


Today, I think, is D-Day. I have a meeting later with the boss, but you know what, I feel GOOD. I feel like I've made some decisions in the last few hours and whatever happens, I'm healthy, still young (-ish) and married to a bootiful gal. Not sure exactly where the future lies at this moment, but it can only get better.

As Howy Jacobs put it (the cool, punk professor of genetics at Tampere University, Finland): "I didn't want to follow the path of one of those little sea creatures that finds a niche for itself under a rock and then quietly filter feeds for the rests of its existence." (cheers juicy)

Monday, December 06, 2004

Feed the wooorrrlllldddd

Ahhhh, Xmas is coming up fast...I've started to dig out my old Xmas MP3s at work, got a nice little collection from past Xmas's.

I'm listening to that old Band Aid classic 'Do they know its Christmas' (the one that has been disgracefully updated, 20 years on - 20 years - check out that original lineup!). This song always reminds me of a Xmas a few years back when me and my mate Peter decided to go 'celebrate' in Jerusalem. We told our better halves (we each have much better halves these days!) that we were going on a Christian pilgrimage to Bethlehem, little did they know that our pilgrimage stopped at Jerusalem's Underground bar for a night of beer and dancing on tables to Xmas classics...I'll always remember the crowded pub, beers a-jiggling, tables a-rocking, as they belted out 'Do They Know Its Christmas' ...amazing! I'm not sure how we got back to Tel Aviv that same night (or morning!), but I recall it involved a kamikaze taxi driver (those of you who have driven to Jerusalem will know what I mean).

Bad vibes

I promised a smile upon every visit, but, hey, I'm human - and I have softened the blow with a tale of Xmas's past (see above).

Corridor land this morning. Boss is back from her maternity leave. I have very bad vibes here now, hard to walk into a place where you know you suffer. What's making it worse is last Wednesday night's entertaining with G. He told me that he had been looking for a while for a job and had been to a number of interviews already. His words rang familiar: "I can't face getting up in the morning..." and "they treat us like shit...". This guy is Mr. Dependable, Mr. Rock Solid. He started the same week as me and we've been matey ever since, mainly because of the football. He is very professional, one of the top pros at this place. But if he is having serious issues with work, then I know the problem is not just with me...

I have a meeting tomorrow with my boss, I reckon it should be time to jack it in regardless of what else is going on...

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Please, sir, More!

Glorious weekend weather, which has been around now for some days. Not a cloud in the sky, yesterday was spent eating breakfast at the in-laws, then meeting up with two different sets of friends for some beers and food in Ramat Ha'hayall. I have to say, living in Tel Aviv sometimes means friends calling up and saying 'we're in the neighborhood, do you fancy coming for a beer?' (silly question really) - it's not always perfect timing, but yesterday it all clicked very nicely.

First stop was Leo Blooms, where I downed some silky Kilkenny and was inexcusably diverted by Arsenal v Birmingham on the TV screens...then other friends called and we moved on to meet up with them in Avant Garde for some more beer. Then back to our place for some passion fruit/peach sorbet. Eh? Do I know how to spoil my guests or what?

Anyway, the calm before the storm, as my immediate boss returns to work this week after a long maternity leave. We will have a chat in the next day or two, of that I'm sure.

Here's an Israeli joke (this one's translated from Hebrew):
Three Israelis of Moroccan origin get into a car. Which one's driving?
The policeman.

Friday, December 03, 2004

I just wanna cock me leg on that tinselized tree...

It's a dog's life...that bloody anglosaxy geezer has got me decked up in tinsel again...if that Santa bloke even comes near these parts I swear I'll bite his ankles...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Sunning it

Brunch with M at Banana Beach earlier today. Can't beat sitting on the beach, not a cloud in the sky, while munching on some breakfast-type bagels. The sea was looking mighty fine, there were even a couple of swimmers about much to the amazement of M. Tried telling him that today was like a typical summers day in the UK, but he didn't believe me.

Off later for some babysitting. Yep, babysitting. Beats losing to Manure, I guess...

Keeping up the fun quota (my mission for December is to make you smile on every visit you make this month), another Essex girl joke for you:

An Essex girl goes to the council to register for child benefit. "How many children?" asks the council worker. "10" replies the Essex girl "10???" says the council worker. "What are their names?" >"Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne and Wayne." "Doesn't that get confusing?" "Naah..." says the Essex girl "it's great because if they are out playing in the street I just have to shout WAAYNE, YER DINNER'S READY or WAAYNE GO TO BED NOW and they all do it..." "What if you want to speak to one individually?" says the perturbed council worker. "That's easy," says the girl... "I just use their surnames."

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Let the festivities begin!

Posted a big entry earlier but blogger ate it all up and burped right back in my face. So, you'll just have to believe me when I say that the Shanghai job is still on, though they want me there now...

Had to laugh. Crossed the road to my office earlier and spotted a bin lady rummaging through our dumpster. Not going to find too much there lady...

Had to laugh, part II. My company has just sent a global email, informing its workers that its pushing for a listing as one of the Internet's Fast 50 companies...

And as the festive season kicks in, yuletide cheer abounds and ho, ho, ho echoes through shopping malls, I thought I'd try and make this a fun month. Loads of jokes, pics and seasonal fun, intertwined with the usual corridor shenanigans and dreams of Shanghai.

To kick us off: An Essex Girls Joke
Essex Girl enters a sex shop and asks for a vibrator. The man says"Choose from our range on the wall." She says "I'll take the red one."The man replies "That's a fire extinguisher."

Monday, November 29, 2004

Driving in Israel #3,219

You gotta smile...
There I was on the freeway, trying to maneuver myself over to the right to make an exit at La Guardia. Suddenly the car behind me in the right lane sees me indicate and speeds up and closes the gap. We're talking 90km/h here, by the way. OK, me thinks, I'll keep indicating and he's sure to let me in. No feckin' chance. The gap gets smaller. This driver is quite clearly not going to let me in, and in fact is doing his best to piggy-back the lorry in front of him. Meanwhile the exit lane at La Guardia is fast disappearing. With no choice, I slow down to wait for him to pass and mouth a 'Thanks' to the driver, with my thumb raised for a 'right-on' appreciation of his generosity. The driver was wearing a police uniform and smiled at me, bless his heart. Fucker.

No worries

If any of you out there are worried about the Arse, don''ll all come good. Promise. Swear to God. All of those feckers that came to my corner of the corridor this morning and gloated, you should know it's never over till the fat lady sings...the season is young, every team goes through a blip, etc., etc.,. Am I getting worried about inviting G (he was a corridor gloater, and worst of all, he's crazy about Manure, poor lad) round for the match on Wednesday night (Manure v Arsenal, again)? No worries.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Take it easy

Back from my bike ride round the park. Heading for the shower before 4 hours of live football (well, strictly speaking it'll be 3 hours), accompanied by some of Denmark's finest. Mrs. anglosaxy is bringing home the bacon today. If any of you are thinking I'm having an easy life, it's all gonna change real soon. Trust me on that one.

I say old chap!

I say, 'haughty' seems a trifle off the mark, old bean. Stiff upper lip and all that.
I know us Brits like our cucumber sandwiches and cups of tea (I hereby announce that I only drink tea sans milk) but I am firmly of the belief that we once you get past that first conversation or introduction, we are very warm, even cute and cuddly. Oooer, steady on there old chap!

Bleedin 'eck! Now I've had a pint I feel feckin' great! Oi! I'll have you, you feckin' git!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Incredible Incredibles

It's been a bit of a movie fest round these parts lately. This afternoon we finally managed to take mrs. anglosaxy's nephews to see The Incredibles. Apart from the 200 kids snuggled in around us (I take my hat off to all you parents), it was a fine movie, some very cute moments with incredible graphics. The nephews, and I, enjoyed it, mrs. anglosaxy less so (she's more of a drama queen...).

Other films getting a premiere showing (thanks to all those DVDs smuggled through Chinese customs) at the anglosaxy multi-complex include:

Tonight's premiere: Mona Lisa Smile (a mrs. anglosaxy selection I'm afraid...).

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Oh come on...

Gold star for me. This evening I spotted my first Israeli clad in wooly hat AND gloves (it doesn't count if they are wearing just a hat or just the gloves). Temperature at time: approximately 18 degrees (my weather pixie had it at 17 degrees at 10.50pm, so...). Even mrs. anglosaxy had to stifle a smirk. Hardy bastards over here.

Burning ear

Blimey guv, talk about 'bending the ear'...I've just got off the phone after 2 hours talking with Shanghai, I had to prise the phone off me ear. They want to have another phone interview next week sometime but it's looking good...nice package as well, let's just say that I'll be better off in China as a Tech Writer than I would as an English Teacher. And then there are the real stock options and bonuses, not like the imaginary bonuses and stock options that get regularly dangled in front of our eyes in corridor land. For a career move (and a cultural one) this couldn't be better. If they offer, I want. Just got to convince mrs. anglosaxy now...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Can't fault the effort

The owners of a school I'm interested in working for in China are pulling out all the stops. They have sent me a deluge of pictures of the town, of the school, of themselves eating, of the local MacDonalds (deal-clincher, er, maybe not), of guys mopeding down the streets...but the clincher could be this one, apparently my flat is somewhere in the background:

The school isn't in a major city, but is 2 hours bus away from Hong Kong and Macau, which could prove very tempting for long weekends away.

Meanwhile, in my quest for something juicy, I have a telephone interview tomorrow morning with a software company settled in Shanghai, could be my dream job...but what do they expect to learn over the phone? That I can speak English? That I am extremely competent at my job? I don't want to blow it, but am very unsure of what to expect...and what is the next step? Me popping over to Shanghai for a face-to-face interview?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


OK, so I boobed with mrs. anglosaxy's nephews, the Incredibles only opens in Israel on Thursday. You should have heard their voices on the telephone when we told them the news...mrs. anglosaxy blames me for the cock up, though I did ask for her assistance in tracking down a site where I could check out the times and cinemas...finally, G from work did the business, via the site Mostly in Hebrew, this site ain't that much help unless you know the logic behind the translated Hebrew title of the movie (there ain't no logic). But it's well worth bookmarking for future use.

Nudge nudge, wink wink, I wonder how many sex-starved browsers will come across this blog after searching for 'boob' and 'cock' in the same search query? Boob, boobie, booby, boobies, that should cover it.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Got back from the interview an hour or so ago, went pretty well I think. Even managed to get there early thanks to my worrying about the traffic. I'd forgotten that it's hopeless in the other direction - coming into Tel Aviv. The place was nice, the interviewer was nice and I was exceedingly nice (oooh, I can be a right charmer sometimes). But does it do it for me? Is it going to get me jumping out of bed in a mad rush to get to the office? Will it get my stale, dry Technical Writing juices flowing again? Jury's out at the moment. It might just be too nice...

And why do interviews seem to have become this long drawn out process? I remember it being one big interview (in the hi-tech boom days) where all matters were raised and discussed, including salary, hours, etc. It appears that today's interview was a preliminary viewing just to check that I didn't have 3 eyes, or a hunch popping out of my back. Next stage is to send them some examples, then another interview with a big boss. Then, if all goes well, an interview with the big big boss. By that time, I could be in China...

Talking of niceness, I'm doing my 'nice Uncle' act today, taking mrs. anglosaxy's nephews to see 'the Incredibles' (in Hebrew it has been converted to 'Superhero Family'), which actually looks mighty fine to me (I'll be honest, I wanted to see it badly and invited them as a cover). Only problem, we'll be going to see the Hebrew version so I might miss a word or 3...anyone seen it yet?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Will the last person to leave please turn off the lights!

Blimey, the corridor missed my towering frame for a couple of days and I go miss all the fun. Another 3 people left on Thursday, while one of the long-termers let it be known he is off. The ship is truly sinking, though at least there are a few cakes being eaten to ease the pain. When I finally leave I'll go quietly, with perhaps just a couple of tearful (tears of joy!) beers in the evening with a few department members. No cakes from me mate, no fecking way. Though you know what, I think I'll be so happy to finally be out of here, anything is possible.

In the meantime, I'm having long distance chats with schools in little ol' China, while waiting for my dream table tennis/pool playing job to get back to me...and tomorrow I have an interview for a company in the Sharon area, not too sure what to expect though I feel pretty confident because I have a few alternative solutions lined up. They'll have to be pretty good to convince me that my immediate future lies here...though I think mrs. anglosaxy is secretly hoping that they offer pool playing lunch hours, with flexi hours and a no suit and tie policy, not to mention a gleaming table tennis table...

You might be able to tell that I'm not too optimistic about the upcoming meeting my boss has arranged yet to schedule to discuss my future...

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Open all hours

Wide awake at 2am due to a Friday afternoon kip, something I never usually do...we've just come back from seeing some friends, who are expecting their first kid in about 2 weeks time. The Drambouie helped (that stuff has become a 'must buy' whenever I find myself in the duty free), but seeing the conversion of their house into a nursery and the tiny socks piled up in drawers kinda made me feel a little pressured. We want, and it will happen one day, but seeing close friends living it made it all seem so surreal. I had to get out of their nursery pretty sharpish, especially when the conversation moved to prams and nappies for newborns...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

This is more like it

Back from my ride around the park - I've embarked on a new health drive - I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from a company I'd sent a "CV email" to some 3 weeks ago. Not going to go into too many details, let's just say that I'm VERY interested. Their website states: dress is casual and hours flexible, lunch hours in fierce table tennis and pool tournaments - is that me or what?!

Roonster loses the plot

In contrast to Israel's first ever win over Cyprus (first ever win in Cyprus, more accurately), England, and in particular a certain Wayne Rooney, were pretty hopeless against Spain. By chance I caught some of the first half of Israel's game and, for once, Israel looked like they knew how to play. Later I managed to catch the England game on the TVE channel (always worth checking), but wished I hadn't. Rooney was an idiot, I just hope he learns from this...while England were useless and a bit over the top - and this was supposed to be a friendly. And there is certainly no room in the modern game for the monkey chants from the Spanish supporters, aimed at England's black players. How many brain cells do these idiots not have? As the Daily Telegraph put it: England would have deserved applause around the civilised world if they had picked up the ball and walked off the pitch. One day a team should give it a go.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

China, The Final Part

Wrapping up the China posts, for now, is this collection of kids (spot the quick access nappy). I hope it doesn't look too paedophilic, but as anyone who has traveled there will know, the kids are so cute and photogenic. Some of them were well keen for us to take their pictures, others were painfully shy. What always amazed me was watching their faces after taking a picture and then showing them on the screen.

It's raining, it's pouring...

I don't know about where you are, but here it's totally pissing down. Yeehaa! The winter's here! Now it's spot the Israeli time as they all drag out their thick leather coats and scarves.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Honesty is the best policy...?

Just came back from a meeting with one of the big boys, that he was late for, of course. I put all my cards on the table, told 'em what I think about them and their lack of professionalism (just to make it look like it's coming from them). His face was quite a picture, though I said it all very nicely and diplomatically. Told him that I want A, B and C done or provided, otherwise my professional integrity will suffer and I will have to leave. Also suggested that they be honest with me, like I am with them, and if they don't feel they can match my requests, they should let me go. We have a meeting next week to see if they can come up with the goods. Fat chance. I was impressed with my bullshitting though, at least I know I can still shmooze like a pro...but all this for a few thousand shekels pitzuim, what have I become??!!

Monday, November 15, 2004


This is for those who have a clue about the Israeli employment laws: How can I maximize my chances of getting all the pitzuim this company will owe me (4 years), when (not if) I finally decide to hang up my keyboard? They are notorious for not giving...I don't want to burn any bridges here, and a glowing recommendation would be nice to take with me, but is there a 'by the book' procedure I can follow to ensure a pay-off? My email is over there on the right if anyone is a little shy.

Sit boy, sit!

Just came back from taking young Z out for his evening walkies. I have to say it's getting slightly parky out, I might even have to start wearing socks soon...but where is that winter? It's mid-November and I'm still in me shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops. Damn shame.

Talking of taking dogs for a walk, it always amazes me how some people fail to put their dogs on a lead and then come out with the ol' classic: "He/she's OK, he/she's never touched anyone before" as their bundle of joy jumps on Z, pinning him down in a classic WWF move. Or the guys who take their killer dogs for a walk and then expect me to cross the road or steer clear of them as I pass. You've got the problem dog mate, your problem. I swear my boot, or flip-flop, is going to find itself fleetingly attached to one particular furry arse that is allowed to roam free and bark crazily as it comes loping towards Z.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

China, Part V

A cute, blunt message found in a Chinese toilet.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

It's a lovely game

After watching Arsenal beat Tottenham 5-4 at White Hart Lane, I now know why I'll never cease loving this game...I defy anyone to watch the second half of this game and say that they didn't enjoy it. Some nice goals, some sloppy defending, that's what we like to see. I guess Spurs will be feeling a little unlucky that they managed to score 4 goals against Arsenal and still didn't come away with a point. Tough shit!

Friday, November 12, 2004

China, Part IV

Tales of China continue here...

One of the main targets on the trip to China was to trek the Tiger Leaping Gorge. I'd heard so much about this place prior to flying out that it had become a definite 'must do'. I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive, especially with some of the tales I'd heard, while news of a missing American tourist who'd gone trekking there just a month previously (alone, the idiot) hardly helped. But, it had to be done.

We decided to do the trek over 3 days, with 2 nights spent in local guesthouses. The first step was actually getting there, because the language problem becomes a significant barrier when trying to buy tickets or garner any relevant information. Well, after finally buying tickets, we ended up in a small minibus that took us to the starting point.

After taking note of the large sign at the entrance that heaps all responsibility on the trekker, we started the long trek uphill. It was tough, and this was the easy part! After 2.5 hours we decided to stop for a long lunch at the Naxi Family Guesthouse, which then turned into our first overnight stop. The very cute Show Fein became our source of entertainment, trying to learn some Chinese while she picked up some words in English. I love mixing with the locals, for me it's one of the best parts of any trip. This was perhaps our cheapest night of the whole trip, costing something like 5 shekels per person for a double room, while the beers and food were tasty and very cheap too. After some rough nights so far on the trip, I slept like a baby.

The next morning we were up early and after downing a great egg and vegetable pancake we were off. Now this was the hard part. Holy shit, WHAT A CLIMB! 3 hours of steep, steep terrain, though accompanied by some amazing views. We were soon reaching heights of 2000m plus, while the path was getting a little dodgy in places, with drops straight down to the river below.

As what goes up must come down, we were soon on our way down the other side of the steep climb...though we soon picked up speed as raindrops started falling. We knew that the whole trek would take a turn for the worse if it started to rain, but it just about managed to hold off until the late afternoon, when we skidded and slid down to the next overnight stop, at Tina's Guesthouse.

We met up with an English couple and tales of Arsenal's astonishing form were soon being swapped over a few Chinese beers, though they were Fulham supporters (poor bastards!)...the cold and rain was all around us by now, but the fried rice and Tsingtao beers were doing a fine job in sheltering us from the elements.

The next morning it was still raining, so we had to catch a ride to the ferry station, which would carry us over to the other side of the river. It's just too dodgy to walk when it's raining, and besides the view was non-existent what with all the low clouds. A little anti-climatic, though we had done the hardest part...though once crossing the other side of the river little did we know that we'd be stuck in a landslide for 3 hours and shifting rocks by hand in the torrential rain that followed...

Great trek, highly recommended if you're ever in SW China.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Bless 'er

Last night I had a lesson with my favourite 9 year old (OK, she's my only 9 year old) and was pleasantly surprised to get a little birthday card she'd made, totally in English. What was even more surprising was the little bag she also handed over. I was very touched, the cockles of me heart were roasting hand pulled out the silkiest and slinkiest pair of underwear I've ever seen! Blimey! mrs. anglosaxy reckons she's fallen in love with me, but these were a pair that they wouldn't dare show in a porn movie! Trying to change the focus a little, it was a quick "OK, so do you remember how to spell bread?"...mrs. anglosaxy had a good laugh when I picked her up afterwards and showed her the present! Now she wants a private showing, of course...

Tonight it's more birthday shenanigans, as I'm doing my Jamie Oliver bit and having a few friends round for a barbie. Typically, for the first time in some 6 months it's gone all cloudy and ominous-like...maybe God is a little sore at losing one of his little troopers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Career update

For those of you who give a shit, I thought I'd give you a taste of what I'm going through at the moment. With mrs. anglosaxy's blessing I've been checking out some schools in China, where hopefully I (even we) can go and teach English. If something comes up that really grabs me, then we'll be off. I think. From what I've read, all you need is a pulse and a Western face to get a half-decent job over there, but you have to be careful of the cowboy recruiters...

Like the one who happily responded to my request of an email address of a former teacher ( just so that I could check the school out from a Westerner's viewpoint). The glowing recommendation from the teacher almost had me signing on the dotted line. But the recruiter kind of gave the game away when he let slip that the teacher was in fact his BROTHER! Er, totally unbiased then.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"It's your birthday, it's your birthday"

Today I am officially coming to the end of my 'mid-30s'. It's still not the dreaded 'late-30s', but next year some might choose to lump me in the 'late-30s' group. I will go there kicking and screaming. As the Chinese like to put it, and thank God for their life philosophy, the 30s are your Golden Years. 'Bout time I started having some golden times, me thinks, while I've still got some of them 30s to celebrate...

My birthday wish was for a Chinese - I meant a nice, cute, long haired Chinese girl, but mrs. anglosaxy obviously didn't understand and has reserved a table for 2 at some fancy Chinese restaurant. Ah well.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Progress is sweet

It's always nice when you see one of your students progressing. Mr. 'Put the kids in the shopping queue' has been progressing nicely, especially in his reading. I bought him a Penguin series book (called 'Brown Eyes') and he's roaring through it quite nicely. And this was a guy who couldn't even give me the alphabet just a few months ago. I keep trying to hint that he should take more lessons to improve more quickly, as it's a little frustrating to see him only once a week. Maybe I can convince him to send his kids to the supermarket while he takes another lesson...

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Dead Sea drektrek

Oi me legs, Oi me back...
Let me explain. Yesterday was spent down near the Dead Sea, trekking with S's hubbie and a couple of his friends (no mrs. anglosaxy - she did all her trekking on Friday at the Kfar Saba shopping mall). And this is the last time I go on one of their'd like a list of reasons as to why not? OK...

1. The day started with a 4.30am wakeup call (on a Saturday morning? Blasphemy!).
2. We waited, starting at 5.30am, for an hour for one of the friends to turn up at the designated meeting place.
3. The Southern end of the Dead Sea had been partly washed away (last week I think), so we had to take a different route. This route was blocked for an hour by a lorry that had somehow managed to hermetically seal the road. No going round, no nothing.
4. The guys all knew each other from the army, so there was way too much back-slapping and singing of army songs. Way, way too much.
5. I stubbed my toe on a rock and had to hobble the second part of the trek.
6. Night-time fell upon us pretty quickly, while we were stuck in the middle of a neverending gorge filled with tens of pools. Which had to be swum across. Via star light. With backpacks filled with phones, car radios and other assorted goodies.
7. The night-time part of the trek took a turn for the worse when, thanks to the Israeli instinct for shortcuts, we stumbled into a minefield. Do they teach guys in the army to read maps?
8. To cap it all off, the beers I'd kept in the cooler in the car were, heaven forbid, no longer cold when we arrived at the car (about 10pm).

"Why so negative?" I hear you cry...OK, so there were some positives:
1. My camera. My luverly camera. Thank God I couldn't find the rechargeable batteries in the morning, otherwise right now I'd be holding the camera up and shaking out all the water.
2. My auto-pilot senses are working extremely well, especially when driving up from the Dead Sea at midnight. Christ knows how I made it home...
3. Gorgeous ol' mrs. anglosaxy was waiting for me with a kiss and a hug at 1.30am...bless her cotton socks.

Friday, November 05, 2004

That time again

Votes have been counted (blimey, even the US elections were quicker than the anglosaxy vote count) for the 'where would you most like to live' poll...and the results are:

1. Israel (I'm on my way) 30% - Theodore would have been proud of you all.
2. Israel (here and staying) 17% - Theodore would be feeling pretty smug right now...
3. USA 15% - Not sure what happened here, some kind of malfunction...
4. Somewhere very, very cold 10% - Have a feeling some Tel Avivians voted...

Time for a new poll again kids...this time it's "Since being in Israel, what has changed about you the most?". My vote is top secret as always, though could be something to do with the road rage I regularly experience...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

And how was China?

I got an email from my boss today: 'I haven't asked you about your trip to China. I'm going to the US next week but let's sit and synchronise (what?) when I get back.'
Just a shame he couldn't spell my name right...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I can't find a pulse

Corridor update: The big boss called all the smaller, big bosses into his big office and had a big talk with them. Apparently he's worried about the number of people who are leaving the company. Let me put that another way: he's worried about the droves of workers piling out of the doors. He's so worried, he's decided to put on his caring hat and declared that he intends from now on to "keep his finger on the pulse". Pulse? What pulse?

Ah, stop, stop, you're killing me!

Ever get that moment when you can't stop laughing and the tears are streaming down your cheeks, even at something not really that funny? Well, corridor land just saw a bout of eye-dabbing as myself and O pondered over some API wording issues (zzzz...). She was telling me that she'd heard two kids insulting each other, when the closing shot grabbed her attention: "Go and be the DJ in an ice-cream van!".

Quite creative and all, but that wasn't what had us in stiches. We were already giggly when from beyond the wall (the corridor walls here are very thin, 'walls have ears' has never been more pertinent) came the new guy's response. Now, the new guy is alright, he gets the thumbs up, but he is a little, er, he started rambling on about some similar tale, while me and O were trying not to fall off our chairs, waiting impatiently for the... punchline... that... never... seemed... to... come. As we pretended to respond, the corridor wall seemed to get even thinner as our stifled laughs seemed to be getting louder. I was on my knees, while O's reddened face was starting to worry me! As the new guy paused, obviously for the punchline, there was no turning back, we just let it go. The new guy then also started guffawing as he probably thought we were laughing with him...stop! no more! pleeeease!

Yeh, yeh, I know, probably not that nice to laugh at somebody, but here in corridor land, it's laugh or cry...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Not exactly swinging it for me...

In my current time for new pastures mode, yesterday's Carmel Market bombing hasn't done much to bring me round to thinking that life in Israel is hunky dory. This is a place that I frequently visit and was there on Friday (cheapest place to get a crate of beers, but then you knew that's why I went there...). This is a place that Esteemed Forebear and LC (you'll have to guess what that stands for!) visited when they came over 3 years ago, as do so many tourists (when they actually come). A symbol of Tel Aviv if you like, all action, larger than life characters, a feast of sights, sounds and smells...and, though it was back to normal within hours, it might just never be the same again, at least for me anyway.

China, Part III

Our nights in China usually revolved around finding some kind of bar/restaurant for some much needed alcohol and some fried rice/noodles. In Lijiang, a cute town near the Tibet border, we struck lucky. On most trips I've been, there's always been one night, one night that stands out above all others and will stick in my mind forever. Here in Lijiang we were in for a corker of a night.

On first impressions, I had wanted to get the hell out of Lijiang, especially the very cute Old City, which was chokablok with tourists. We'd arrived there during the National Holiday week, when every spitting Chinaman and his video camera was in town. After spending one night there, we decided to go for some nearby Tiger Leaping (my next China post), before returning.

Hungry one night, and thrusting our way through the crowds, we decided to settle in at the Sakura Pub. A couple of huge beers were soon plonked on the table, while plates of noodles were being devoured. Aaahh, much better! The place was packed, the music was blasting (they even played some Israeli tunes that had M singing along) and people were enjoying themselves. A few tables were playing a strange dice game, which involved 5 dice and lots of shouting and drinking. We sat watching, intrigued, trying to fathom out the rules, but to no avail. The 4 Chinese sitting at the table next to us even tried to show us, but we were totally lost...eventually they showed us a watered down version of the game involving just 2 dice - this we could handle!

The rules: basically, a glass is placed in the middle of the table and filled with beer. Each person takes it in turn to roll the 2 dice (or shake in a glass). If your dice turn up 9 you have to drink the whole glass, if you get 8 you drink half, if 7, then you fill up the glass and roll again...and so on.

It wasn't long before we were shouting "Diou, diou, diou! (9, 9, 9!)" as each person shook their glass...and our game soon attracted a couple of English guys we'd met earlier that day, while others looked on at the rowdy foreigners taking over the the game wore on, we got louder and louder and a couple of the Chinese were certainly the worse for wear, though one of them was outdrinking us all! The pile of empty bottles was very impressive, some 20-25 stacked up around the table. Unfortunately the night had to end around 2 as we had a bus at 7 in the morning to catch, so we eventually staggered out, amid hugs and picture-taking with the Chinese...we went up the old, cobbled streets back to our guesthouse while singing and slurring our heads off, bloody foreigners!

Monday, November 01, 2004

"She's gonna blow, captain!"

Aye, it could be the time to do a big'n'juicy, I just cannae take it nae more...


Bloomin' 'eck, November already? This year has flown...
Actually I love November because as 50c put it [dons baseball cap, folds arms over chest] "it's my birthday, it's my birthday" (very soon) and also because the long, hard Israeli winter starts kicking in, but, [looks outside, squints in dazzling sunlight] I guess not today.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Media review

Movie: Just finished watching Fahrenheit 9/11. OK, it was a WMV version of the movie and I watched it on my computer, but I think the message was clear, especially in the first half hour or so. I don't think I'd be voting for George W...

Music: Last week I randomly selected the Pretenders 'The Singles'. What a cracking disk! It's been on the 'turntable' ever since. Even got mrs. anglosaxy humming away.

Book: 'Want to play' by PJ Tracy. Not bad for a thriller, will keep you interested, especially when on long overnight train rides through the wilds of China. I was very annoyed when landing at Hong Kong because they lost my bag for a few hours. One of the thoughts running through my head while I sat bagless on the bus to Kowloon was that this book was in the bag and I hadn't completed the last chapter!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Halav tziporim

Today was largely spent in the company of mrs. anglosaxy's tribe in a trip up north. They hired a coach and a driver and headed for Zichron Yaacov. They've done a few of these trips before, but I'd always managed to wangle my way out...this time I'd already promised a few days ago while under the influence of a few beers, so I thought I'd better go. As you probably know by now, my in-laws are usually great, it's just when they get the whole tribe together it gets a bit daunting...

Wasn't so bad, but that might be down to the free-flowing ouzo and beer; poppa anglosaxy sure knows how to host a coach trip. I managed to get a seat at the back of the bus with the rest of the 'bad boys', and what with my family connections, was soon being plied with 'halav tziporim' (birds milk, or in other words, ouzo). Despite the number of shots I downed, I refute any claim that I might have accidentally tapped my fingers to an Eyal Golan song. The weather was great all day, despite the reported threats of torrential downpours and we managed to see quite a few different sites, in and around Zichron (which I'm sure is a much nicer place to visit midweek, rather than on a Saturday).

Not too sure I'll be running to put my name down for the next bus trip, but at least I know what to expect...

Friday, October 29, 2004

Winter's here?

Looks like it's official, the rains are coming...

Wrong circles

Maybe I move in the wrong circles (OK, there's no maybe about it), but in my world, my circle of friends/family/corridor colleagues, there's been no mention of the events of this week in this neck of the woods (votes to get out of Gaza, the 9th anniversary of Rabin's death and Noddy's flight to Paris). These events are big, but I wonder how much they really hit the average person on the street.

Just last night I was eating sushi in Kai, my favourite sushi place, with another 7 friends. Not once did anybody raise the subject, or get anywhere near it. I did three full days in the corridor this week. Not a word. And does mrs. anglosaxy ever bend my ear? No chance. I don't think it's down to me that these subjects aren't raised, because I like to think I'm well up on current affairs and world issues (in particular, Arsenal's world domination), but does the average person (I'm excluding Gaza settlers here, awfully sorry) really talk about these events? Do they huddle over beers/coffee and discuss the pros and cons of Noddy's impending departure? I don't think so...

All this reinforces my opinion that this blog will just keep on about life and stuff in Israel, no politics for you lot...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

What the hell are those drops of water?

WTF...can't be...I think it rained this afternoon, I've got a load of muddy raindrops (rain? I think the last time it rained here was something like April) all over the car. That's it then, time to bring out me parka and scarf. Well, if I was totally Israeli, I'd already be decked in my finest, thickest leather coat...

Off for some sushi.

To love - a definition of sorts

While Shai does a great job of showing the more political ads that catch our eyes on the way to work, I prefer to show the more mundane, or rather, the more annoying (the ones you'll never see on a British street).

The ad below is plastered everywhere these days, and it annoys the hell out of me. What does it say? "TO LOVE is to call him to check if he slept well." Are you kidding me?? The two people in the ad are quite obviously meant to be mother and son. Now, the Jewish mother is quite a legendary character, and believe me, I've come across one or two characters in my time, but if my mother called me to check if I'd slept well, I think I'd go ex-directory (you know what I mean mum, I'm way too manly and mature for you to be calling me up to check if I slept well)...

Does this namby pamby nonsense actually sell any telephones? Or make every Jewish mum pick up the phone and call her son? Mmmm...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

John Peel, RIP

The legendary DJ John Peel, the guy who introduced me to a whole new world of music...RIP. One of those DJs that you felt was in the room with you, late on a cold, wet night, showing off his new collection of unknown bands. You had no street cred if you hadn't done a 'Peel Session'.

Joyful working environment

OK, so how long have I been back from China? How many days have I been stuck in the corridor? And how many times has my boss seen me, but not even said 'hello', let alone 'how was the trip?'. Not that I expected a red carpet or anything, but one word of acknowledgement would be nice...I totally give up [sigh].

As another example (I won't launch a tirade on how this company's work practices suck), we have two Indians over here at the moment, helping out the software guys. These 2 guys have been here a month already and not one person has attempted to show them Tel Aviv. So, me and O are taking them out tomorrow for some beer and pool. Not that I feel I should bother, but you gotta feel for these guys...

Methinks: time for a serious change.

In future weeks? - "Please open your books at page 23. Today's lesson: the First Conditional. Lucy Liu (fantasising about some of my potential Asian students), please see me after class, I have something to show you..."

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hole in my head

Continuing in my out to disgust mode, you might want to look away if you're averse to looking at teeth that have been detached from their natural abode...but at least the black hole proves my pain wasn't imaginary.

On doctor's orders, I'm now holding an ice-cold beer next to my mouth. Only problem is that it's not attached to my lips, but rather to my prevent the way, it was a wisdom tooth, I am officially dumber than I was this morning...

China, Part II

Well, after reminding myself of the sub-standard toilets here in corridor land in the previous post, I had a flashback to China and 'the squatter'...

In China, Western sit-down toilets, with a seat and flushable, are generally found only in hotels and a few restaurants (sometimes including American fast food places like McDonalds and KFC). Elsewhere, what you’ll find is a short ceramic trough embedded in the floor, usually stinking to high heaven. If you're in any doubt as to the whereabouts of the nearest squatter, just follow your nose.

Coming across one for the first time, especially when you are desperately tightening your buttock muscles, is a little shocking. With little time left, you have to carefully balance yourself over the hole while lowering your clothing. Be careful not to lower too much, otherwise your clothing will soak up some of the nameless liquid pooled on the floor (might be a good idea NEVER to go out in China wearing overalls or a leotard). And balance is crucial because most of the squatters seem to be very slippery; not advisable to squat after downing a few beers.

Aim and shoot. But most importantly, bring your own toilet paper. It will NOT be provided. DON’T put the tissue in the toilet. In most Chinese toilets you’ll find a little trash can, usually overflowing and usually adding to the aroma.

Most squatters also have a 'meet and greet' option. Most do not have a door or stall to separate users - Christ knows how they do it, but I saw two guys together, squatting away while having a chat about something or other.

The worst squatter? That must belong to the long distance trains. There seems to be a competition amongst passengers to see who can leave the most disgusting scene for the next user...

One question that springs to mind: How the hell does someone with a broken leg use the squatter?

Below is a shot of a squatter complex in the Tiger Leaping Gorge, SW China. The doors are left open invitingly...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Wanderers reunited

O returned to the corridor of power this morning, though no sari in tow. Apparently she'd popped in on Thursday dressed up authentic Indian style, complete with red dot on the forehead. Nutter...

We swapped a couple of tales, some of which are way too risque for your delicate ears (cheating married executives, snakes and Indians dropping their trousers and openly shitting along the highway, all in the same tale), while she has whet my appetite with various job offers in Bangkok and Singapore, promising to smuggle me over as her own private Technical Writer. Just show me the money, throw in a few English students and I'm all yours dahling...

Hard to believe, or maybe not, but the Indians she worked with have a much nicer working environment than our little corridor. They get to play table tennis whenever they need a break, have a dining room open 24 hours, etc. When they came over to visit us a few months back I'm sure they were surprised to find that the great "Western" power that is Israel is actually not quite what it makes itself out to be. And then they saw our toilets, especially the one on the second floor, and realised they had Israel beat...

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Duty free toothache

All those chocolates bought in the duty free have been making their impact on my teeth this last couple of days. Today the pain has peaked at a new level, a level that even cotton wool balls soaked in arak can't kill. Shit! Another visit to the dentist? Twice in the same year?

The pain will be relieved (or magically transferred to my pocket, as I have to fork out for Pay For View...), when, of course, Arsenal demolish Manure in tomorrow's game of the season. 2-1 to the gooners (OK, so not such a demolition).

Friday, October 22, 2004

It's the thought that counts

Mrs. anglosaxy came up with a corking idea this morning: a DIY coffee session on the beach. So she made a flask of coffee, Turkey's finest, and then dragged me screaming and kicking out of bed. I slipped on my flip flops and off we went.

The sun was crisp, the heat not too overbearing (it was 9am) and the music fairly decent as we headed for our usual spot along Tel Aviv's strip of freebie beaches. That was until we hit the junction at Jabotinsky/HaYarkon. Shit! Look at that traffic jam. A bomb alert? A nasty accident? Quick, switch channels...Shit! The Love Parade! The whole strip of beach road was closed!

[rage] My frustration at the ineptitude of the traffic police kicked in, especially as I had an hour to kill while waiting to get to the next exit. Wouldn't it have been fairly easy to put a big sign at the earlier exits, so that some people might have avoided this section altogether? Once you went past Arlozorov, that was it matey, no turning back...[/rage]

Well, the coffee was great, though supping it under Kikar Atarim wasn't quite the start to the day we'd envisaged...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Size does matter

These piddly little 500ml bottles of beer, I feel so girlie holding one in my hand...I'm already missing those giant TsingTao beers!

China, Part I

I'm going to tell a few tales about my time in China, this is Part I. I'll try and add a few pics here and there.

Arriving in Hong Kong is always a great start to any holiday, at least it is for me...I love the place, especially areas like Kowloon with its barrage of neon lights, night markets and good little places to eat. And as for the gorgeous Chinese women strutting around town...

So there we were, me and M, stranded in Hong Kong for the night as we had just missed a flight to the mainland and would have to wait for the next flight in the morning. As you probably know, Hong Kong is very expensive, so we decided to save some money and ended up staying in the rather pitiful Chungking Mansions building in Nathan Road, in a place called, rather botanically, the New Garden Guest House, high up on the 12th floor. Our room was a rather rank double room, about the size of a tuna tin. There were no windows; the only access to natural light was a 1cm gap in the wall above the ill-fitted air conditioner.

That meant a night on the town, starting with a little shopping expedition down Nathan Road. As hunger kicked in, we were soon tipped off about a local restaurant that is the place to be, so off we went. The place was huge, hidden away on the second floor of a fairly anonymous building, the kind of place you'd never find as a tourist...and we were, of course, the only Westerners there, amid some 100 diners. Politely turning down the offer to eat the metre long fish displayed in the giant fish tanks, we went safe and had sweet and sour pork. Accompanied by giant bottles of beer - 650ml - we were soon enjoying the experience, while trying to fathom out just what the tables alongside us were eating...

As the beers flowed, we decided to finish the night off in style at the Peninsula Hotel, one of HK's finest, for a wee cup of coffee. They have a very splendid bar on the top floor, very splendid prices too...but the view over HK harbour is pretty spectacular. However, the icing on the cake was the WC. You feel like you're peeing on the city as you look out across the lights and buildings via a very large window...worth checking out just for the hell of it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Feeling it

This jetlag malarky aint much fun...I'm feeling a bit more lively this morning, but yesterday evening I really struggled through the English lessons. A fair bit of yawning was going on, stifled as much as possible of course, but it wasn't helped by my student who was quite literally yawning his ass off (he'd had a long day and arrived late for the lesson, so I'm fairly content to believe that the lesson wasn't that boring).

And as for the return to reality, whoever said you need a holiday after returning from a holiday was right on target...I'm trying to get my head round a number of ideas and finding it hard going. And as per every return to Israel, I'm questioning my desire to be here. Being of goyish persuasion (non-Jew) and permanently itchy feet, I sometimes ask myself just what the heck I am doing here...this feeling usually wears off after a few days, but even this time mrs. anglosaxy is ready to uproot herself and plant herself in a new location. Those English teaching jobs in Shanghai/Beijing currently flooding my inbox suddenly look very appealing. I just told a corridor inmate about my being born and bred in Hong Kong and she finally understood my love for the Far East. It's hard to explain and put in words, but the last two times I've landed in Hong Kong it's felt like "coming home"...Esteemed forebear, I blame the Chinese nanny! All those sweet nothings she used to whisper in my thought she was telling me what a gorgeous, cuddly little buggar I was, well, it was all part of a master plan to brainwash another laowai.

Talking of corridor inmates, the sari-bedecked O returns to Israel today, looking forward to swapping tales over a beer...

Well, what can I say, watch this space...

Monday, October 18, 2004

Back in town

Got back this morning after a juicy 12 hour flight. Feeling a bit knackered all day but managed to squeeze in one of the 20-odd DVDs that I bought in China, all of which are perfectly legit [ahem...] and come with perfect Chinglish.

China was great, though much more of a challenge than other countries in the Far East, such as Thailand. The lack of English is quite amazing; a typical example is arriving at the 'Tourist Information Service' (marked in English) at any airport/bus station and discovering that none of the clerks manning the desk can speak a word of English and all the pamphlets they have available are only in Chinese. Once China understands the concept of tourism it could become the place to visit...

Back to work tomorrow, though really feel like jacking it in right now...I've got a couple of irons in the fire, gently stoking up some heat at the moment, and which could mean my temporary withdrawal from the Holy Land, I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, October 09, 2004


China and the Internet. Incompatible. Slow is the word.
Blog. Inaccessible (can post but can't actually see the blog or its comments).
Hong Kong. Kunming. Dali. Lijiang. Tiger Leaping Gorge. Chengdu. All great. Just don't ever catch a bus from Lijiang to Jijiang - 9 hours of puking, spitting Chinese. Hell on wheels.
Next stop - Shanghai.
See you in another 10 days or so - I'm sick of trying to access blogger so I'll wait till I get back.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


I guess this is it from me for the next three weeks or so. I've got a few more hours to kill, including a bike ride on the Ayalon freeway, just for the hell of it...after that it's the big after-fasty meal and then off to the airport. I'm not sure I'll have the time or energy to invest in blogging, though I might leave the occasional update in the comments to this if you've really not got anything better to do, pop back now and again. Yalla, bye!

Yom Kippur:

Friday, September 24, 2004

All quiet round this neck of the woods...

Tonight Yom Kippur has kicked in, the Jewish 'Day of Atonement'. 25 hours of fasting (mrs. anglosaxy is fasting on behalf of the anglosaxy castle), cycling, and er, well, not much more. The roads are empty of vehicles, but full of packs of kids on bikes heading in all directions. I've just come from momma anglosaxy's place, after piling in a last meal before the fast officially began. This was followed by endless rounds of Rummikub, a game which mrs. anglosaxy excels at...after failing miserably to beat her at even one game, I threw in the towel and headed home on the bike, Z running alongside me. I've got a load of stuff to do before tomorrow's flight...
And no, I'm not fasting. Did try it once and got to 17 hours. In the meantime, and this is between you and me, the toaster oven is heating up a couple of slices of yesterday's pizza...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Appreciated but...

Ever received a gift that failed to press your buttons? A gift that didn't really suit your needs? A gift that was the cheaper, lower quality version of the item you were about to buy for yourself anyway? And how do you respond upon receiving such a gift when a horde of beady eyes are waiting for your reaction as you open your 'surprise' present?

Well, I fucked up last night. After finishing teaching in Rosh Ha'ayin, I met up with mrs. anglosaxy at her brother's place. I was soon presented with a small box in thanks for helping his kids out with their English. Unwrapping the box, I was delighted to see an MP3 player - but my joy was stifled when I saw it was of the Flash Disk variety. This thing can hold about 50 songs - after the first long train/bus ride in China I'm sure I'm going to be bored with the collection of songs I can store on it - and how do I choose 50 of my favourite songs anyway? As a lover of music, trying to explain to someone that doesn't 'get it' that 50 songs really isn't enough is an impossible task. So, mrs. anglosaxy was very pissed at me, for not faking enough unbridled joy...I had actually told her that I was going to buy an MP3 player as a hint NOT to buy me one as a surprise present (birthday coming up...) - I've seen the mothballs in her wallet and knew the MP3 player I might end up with...

Not sure whether to gracefully hand it back and say 'thanks, but no thanks...' or stick it out and make the most of it. Maybe I'm just an ungrateful git after all...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Irish eyes are smiling

Interesting article about the recent explosion of Irish-themed pubs in Israel. Personally, I'm not that impressed with the majority of them, as most seem to put on some U2 or Van Morrison (if you're lucky), put some green paint on the walls and boast that they have draught Guiness in order to sell themselves as an 'Irish pub'. Always reminds me of the craze a few years ago, when these frozen yoghurt shops started sprouting up everywhere...and disappeared within a few short months. Molly Bloom's in Tel Aviv is the granddaddy of Irish pubs and remains the one to beat...

I've been brushing up on my Chinese in preparation for Saturday's flight (which looks like it will be changed thanks to the general strike launched today): dim sum, chow mein, wok, wonton soup, sweet and sour, fortune cookie, and so on...

STRIKE UPDATE: 14:57 - 4 El Al planes circling in Israeli airspace seeking permission from Histadrut (the leading trade union over here) to land at striking Ben-Gurion Airport.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Off we jolly well go

Finally picked up my ticket to China this afternoon. And got the OK from my boss, so its all systems go, Saturday night...

Off to more heavenly pastures is Brian Clough, one of English football's larger than life characters. He was probably the best manager NOT to manage the national side, probably due to some of his abrasive comments. Some of his finest:

  • On Eric Cantona's infamous kung fu kick at a fan: 'I'd have cut his balls off.'
  • On how he rated himself: 'I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.'
  • On dealing with Roy Keane: 'I only ever hit Roy the once. He got up so I couldn't have hit him very hard.'
  • On dealing with a player who disagrees: 'We talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right.'
  • Referring to Sir Alex Ferguson's failure to win two successive European Cups (which he won in 1979 and 1980): 'For all his horses, knighthoods and championships, he hasn't got two of what I've got. And I don't mean balls!'

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Waiting for an OK

I'm still waiting for an OK from the boss. I didn't catch him today and had to settle for sending an on my knees type email. Can't fail to work, I did a spot of brown-nosing and also reminded him that they owe me some 30 days holiday.

Meanwhile, the trip to China is picking up steam as well as extra passengers. It was originally meant to be a men only trip with myself and M, but it appears to have taken on a couple of stragglers, one of whom is a female, uh-oh...I'm going to have to put my foot down otherwise this is going to end up as a group trip.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Holiday season

Tomorrow I'm going to have to tell my boss that I want 3 weeks off, as anglosaxy becomes anglosine (I'm off to China next Sunday, without mrs. anglosaxy - shock, horror, gasp!). I'm not quite sure how I'm going to put it as it's kinda short notice...but hey, I have some 30 days holiday due and I've finished my tasks. Why didn't I tell them sooner? It's a long story, but I have some airline connections and they promised to help me out with a cheap ticket. That help didn't materialise until last week...
Mmm, how do I put it?
Hi boss, just thought I'd let you know that I'm off for 3 weeks next week. Take it easy and I'll send a postcard.
Hi boss, is it OK if I do a bunk for 3 weeks. I have been working my arse off the last few weeks and I think it's the least you can do to give me the OK.
Hi boss, how are you this fine morning? Can I get you a cup of coffee, tea? Perhaps a newspaper? I like your shoes, very smart, suits a fine executive type like yourself. By the way, did I tell you that I've been called over to China for a Technical Writing seminar? What, you didn't get my email? Shoot, I've already given them the OK and bought the tickets out of my hard-earned, if depreciating, salary...

Child-free zone

Well, they've gone. Mrs. anglosaxy's nephews slept over at our place last night, so it was a good excuse to get out the PlayStation again. It was surprisingly easy work, they're good kids. We promised them they could sleep in our tent in the garden, but they crashed out early so we stuck 'em on the floor in our room.

They came over last night after we'd finished at the in-laws in Rananna. Wow, great food, very exotic with a series of ever more promising courses. Looks like mrs. anglosaxy's brother has fallen on his feet...

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Food glorious food

The New Year was met with lots and lots of food at last night's family shindig. Lots of good, traditional Jewish cooking like gefilte fish (not that keen on it myself), and other more exotic concoctions, such as spicy pumpkin. All washed down with copious amounts of beer and wine. For dessert, it was the Maccabi Tel Aviv against Bayern Munich ("Nazis" as so succinctly put by mrs. anglosaxy's 9 year old cousin) game, which was a little bit disappointing because they had a chance or two to get something from the game. Unfortunately, it was a 1-0 loss, and that meant a few grumpy faces...

Today was an easy day, just a cycle round the park for me and M coming over for a beer. Mrs. anglosaxy has spent the majority of the day at her parent's place - poor kid, she hadn't seen them for at least 8 hours...Tomorrow it's another big family meal, this time in Rananna with the new in-laws. The girl that married mrs. anglosaxy's brother is a diamond, while her mother is a legendary cook, I'm salivating already as to what we can expect tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Happy New Year!

Tonight the Jewish New Year (Rosh Ha'shana) kicks in. That means the whole tribe pay a visit to momma anglosaxy's place. Plenty of good food, plenty of alcohol, and tonight, thank God, plenty of football. Thank you God, thank you! I wasn't sure how I was going to wangle an early exit, but momma anglosaxy told me this morning that she's going to bring the TV out to the patio for 'the guys'. I guess there'll be some interested males in the Maccabi Tel Aviv game, especially one who is the uncle of a famous footballer in Israel, but we don't like to brag...then again I could drop a hint or two and tell you that this 'aviron' could definitely do with improving his English, perhaps at Berlitz? (that's a damn fine clue)...

Anyway, there should be around 40-50 guests tonight, should be really fun (er...). Can anybody beat that? I'm going to need photographic evidence...

Happy New Year!

Please call me

The holiday season over here means that the anglosaxy castle gets to purchase a new toy. This year we've gone for a cordless phone, our very first. Oh the joy of walking around without having to worry about the phone cord stretching beyond the point where it becomes a lethal weapon. Z no longer dives under the table whenever the phone rings...

Monday, September 13, 2004

Hi-tech recovery indeed...

The corridor is abuzz with excited bee workers, who have just been to see the Queen bee to pick up their holiday bonus. The long white envelope is, however, not quite fat enough, proving that the alleged hi-tech recovery is still to hit these parts and that this company is hi-tech in name only...150 shekels (around 18 quid). Even mrs. anglosaxy, who I swear has strong Scottish roots, declared this as 'Farsh' (worthless). Should I be thankful for every shekel? Yes, I know I should, but come on, I used to get healthier holiday bonuses working as a tourist 10 years ago...

Me? Getting old?

Last night went shopping with mrs. anglosaxy down Shenkin Street, Tel Aviv's hippest and most happening road. I have to say that I haven't been down there for at least a year, but even in that year or so, things seem to have moved onwards and upwards. I like to think of myself as being 'in touch' with the yoof of today, but there are so many pierced navels and eyebrows, wide expanses of skin covered in animal/Celtic tatoos - the cute little roses/cherries/Little Princes typically located on the right shoulder are no longer enough - and dreadlocks, that it really doesn't resemble the Shenkin that I knew and worked in a few years ago. The lunatics appear to have taken over the asylum. And hey, shop assistant, you continue with your winning bitchy personality, that really is the way to ensure I'll be back...

[heavy Yorkshire accent] Eee up lad, I remember when you could get change from a ten shekel note (not the coin)...[/heavy Yorkshire accent]

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Speedy Gas-salez

Bloody Hell! How about this for service...

We ran out of gas on Friday night (in Israel, gas usually comes bottled), just as I was in the middle of one of my Naked Chef impressions. I wasn't starkers but I was in fine form, rustling up some pasta with tuna and cherry tomatoes. Anyway, this morning mrs. anglosaxy ordered a replacement. We paid the extra 20 shekels to ensure that it arrived within a guaranteed 48 hours. Otherwise, what with the Jewish New Year coming up, we might have had to wait until next week.

Five minutes later, I KID YOU NOT, there was a knock at the door. It was the delivery guy with a gas bottle perched on his shoulder. After picking myself up off the floor, I asked him how the hell did he get here so quick. He told me that he was in the neighbourhood and the office had caught him in time on his walkie-talkie. I've a good mind to call Rafi Ginat and his consumer affairs program 'Kolbotek' - this kind of service just isn't on. This is Israel for chrissake!

Hot momma and poppa anglosaxy tip for anyone running out of gas and needing just enough to fry an egg; boil a kettle of water and then pour the water over the gas canister. Hey presto, another 2-3 minutes gas...

Saturday, September 11, 2004

From 11 to 12

I've just seen some of the shots of the memorial ceremonies for 9/11, and it still numbs me when I actually stop and think about what happened. I was in England at the time, preparing for my wedding to the future mrs. anglosaxy, and I remember we had a big fight that same lunchtime, about what I really don't remember. What I do remember is how that fight paled into insignificance as we watched live pictures on the BBC (quite why the TV was on at this time - let's face it, what is there to watch on the BBC in the middle of the day? - also pales into nothingness). Our shock and horror brought us back into line as we sat perched on my parents' sofa, watching in terror as the events unfolded before us...

OK, that's enough of might be pleased to know that mrs. anglosaxy is safely tucked up in bed after downing 3 ouzos, a 'Campari Mix' and a small vodka and coke. I blame her father, terrible influence. Why she has to insist on doing her version of Madonna's 'Like a Prayer' whenever she's had a couple, I'll never know. Small mercies, I guess - if it had been that poppy Romanian tune all over the radio recently, I would have been reaching for the ouzo bottle myself...

Friday, September 10, 2004

Sip, talk, sip, talk, wipe mouth with sleeve

I'm getting to enjoy my English lessons with M, a very talented Russian immigrant who has just got an amazing scholarship offer from a university in Holland, and therefore wants to improve her spoken English. She's painfully self-conscious when speaking English, but actually not bad once she starts sipping the ol' Tuborg. We just talk and talk and I throw in a few tips about letter writing, or new vocabulary etc. A nice way to spend an hour, and I get cash and free beer...hang on, there's a dream business opportunity in there somewhere...

Out of interest, in the good ol' US of A do they ever sign off formal letters with 'Yours sincerely' or 'Yours faithfully'? I'm presuming this is funky British English at its quirky best...

World Cup glory

Forgot to mention yesterday's World Cup matches, which, you might be surprised to hear, resulted in Israel and England wins. Yep, both winning on the same night, that must be a first. I actually caught most of the Israeli game (another first) sat at a birthday party, all us lads tucking into freshly singed kebabs and humus while shouting obscenities at various Israeli players. I didn't have a clue who half the players were, but when in Rome...

Next week the Champions League kicks off, again with Israeli involvement with Maccabi Tel Aviv. I hate Israeli club football but as their home games will be played in the National Stadium, which is just across the road from me, I hope to catch at least one of their games (they have a corker of a group, in Bayern Munich, Juventus and Ajax). Next week's game is a no chancer because it falls on the evening of the Jewish New Year, when everybody and his dog will be seated at the traditional slap-up dinner amongst fellow tribe members. Oh well, only Bayern Munich. Tel Aviv will stuff 'em! Right.