Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday mornings

A new law was passed 3 weeks ago.
The Anglosaxies (all 3 of us) must go to the beach early every Friday morning.
Early as in 6am early.
But you know what?
I think I've seen more of Tel Aviv in the last 3 weeks than I saw in the last year.
A portion of beach.
A slice of Nahalat Binyamin.
A pile of Carmel Market.
Brekkie in the old port.
Brekkie at Yotvata (Christ, never again).
Brekkie in Neve Tzedek.

A slice of Neve Tzedek below.

Spot mrs. anglosaxy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Shit! You're still here?!

Sometimes I can't believe that I've lasted so long in Corridor Land Inc., another couple of months and it'll be 5 years. What??!! 5 feckin' years of my life in this place? Crazy. Just ain't me, all this corporate loyalty...

It doesn't help when one of your former cellmates comes back for a visit. A was in the neighbourhood and decided to pop in to see some of his ex-colleagues. He sat next to me for maybe a couple of years (he was pre-"O") and many was the time we'd chat into the wee hours, when everybody else had gone home...he was shocked to see me still here, but after a quick bear-like hug (a very macho hug, I promise) I reassured him that I was no longer working full-time and was concentrating on the English school...made him happy, but got me thinking...

And ain't it amazing that whenever an ex-cellmate comes in for a visit, they look that "putting on a brave face" bullshit or just genuine joy? Never can tell...

BTW, I've been working my ass off here the last month, what with a new version being released and all the joy that entails. Loads of PDFs, Help files and 10pm finishes. Can't wait for Friday, it'll all be over...and finally I can start concentrating on the school a little more.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Welcome to the Holy Land

The ancestral ones are coming over for a bit of the ol' Jewish New Year next week - they think they're in line for a bit of a shindig with loads of mistletoe and wine and party hats (in a Christmas-stylee) but they will surely be digging my shins when they find themselves sat amongst 50-odd family members, biting their teeth as they struggle to get themselves understood. Should be fun though, honest guv. Their translator, moi, might just be slumped in a chair binging on the imported whiskey, just to verify the quality of course...

Anyway, apart from meeting their grandson for the first time, we'll be doing a bit of this and this, oh yes sirree. As we have a few days to spare, I'm looking to take them out and about.
Anybody got any killer locations (I don't mean Gaza...) that they've taken friends/tourists for daytrips? This isn't their first visit here but they've only really done the regular tourist spots...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

You only want a cup of coffee?

There's a cafe shop cum restaurant just across the road from the Labyrinth's offices. Very snobby and very selective. I wasn't sure how selective until I invited a new student of mine (a very nice geezer, a doctor in fact, and very gay) to sit there while we had a "conversation" lesson. While I waited for him to arrive, the waitress handed me a menu. Thought I'd be honest, so told her that we'd probably only be ordering a coffee or two. She looked at me in horror and then went back inside. One minute later she was back, telling me that unless I ordered a full meal, I couldn't stay. I looked at the waitress, looked around at the 20 empty tables around me, looked at the 5 bored and motionless waiters standing at the bar, and said "Your loss".

Never mind that my student was driving over here especially for the lesson. Never mind that this place is the only place in the 'hood (for now...) where you can sit in relative comfort (Sammy's Shnitzel stand just ain't gonna work...). Never mind that I had to rearrange the lesson for Friday, my holiest of days.

Not sure if I'm impressed at the business plan and the resolve of the management to stick by it no matter what, or amazed at their ability to turn down easy money (admittedly small in amount). Fuck 'em, I won't ever be eating "a full meal" there...

Thursday, September 22, 2005


O surely does have some balloons. Big ones, though some might say of uneven size and shape and definitely smaller than they were yesterday...

But then, it's her birthday (well, it was this week, but her balloons are still big and shiny) and she deserves every single one of them. She's a great girl, our O, one of those people that you hope to stay in contact with forever. And one of those girls who keeps both sides of the anglosaxy household happy. Because, let's face it, how many married women like their husbands going for a beer with another woman? Add to the equation Israeli wives, and you've just halved the number you originally had.

As an example of O's charms, on her birthday she gave each one of our department a special handwritten note, glowing with genuinely good wishes. On her birthday. Just looked at it again this morning and it put a smile on my face.

So, a toast: [ scrapes around in the secret mini-bar for that last vodka miniature ] "To O and her balloons!"

I could give you the exact date of her birthday but then you might be able to track her down and get us both fired. Ha, ha! Private joke that one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Making sure the boy stays red

In a valiant attempt to ensure anglosaxy junior's allegiance to the Franco-Espagne alliance at Arsenal, I've gone and splashed out* on some goodies via the Arsenal site (one hell of a crappy online payment scheme, it almost converted me to a Spurs supporter it was that bad...). There were actually some bargains to be had amid the exorbitantly priced 'official' tops, which, in my opinion, are becoming more and more of a rip off.

Anyway, Manchester [ spits ], Chelsea [ ekhs (thats a Hebrew 'ekhs') ] and Liverpool [ once upon a long time ago they were 'the enemy', now they're just unbearable ] have been designated "naughty words" in the anglosaxy household and will be punishable by being subjected to this DVD for 5 consecutive showings upon being uttered...

* I won't tell you exactly how much I spent, coz mrs. anglosaxy might be reading this and I, well, fibbed...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's a Must

Now, if you didn't know Hebrew and had never come across Elite products, what would you think the box below contains?

Monday, September 19, 2005

"For security reasons only..."

Oh dear. Big Brother is here big time. Cameras have been installed in the Labyrinth's corridors.

Of course, an email from der management has informed us that these cameras are for the security of the workers only. Security of the workers my ass. Just getting into our offices is a mission, I reckon the only guy who could possibly get onto our floor without a security tag is Spiderman...anybody smart enough to get into the corridor would surely have enough cookies in the jar to get past the cameras...right?

I fail to see what security concerns they might have in the canteen area (perhaps they're worried the knives and forks (plastic, mind) might get the hump, rise up in rebellion and start stabbing one of the programmers?)...or the entrance to the toilets...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Am I still English?

Holy crap. I've just worked it out - in another year I'll have spent more of my life in Israel than in England. Yep, taking into account the first five years of my life, which were spent in the very exotic Hong Kong (mmm, hence my love affair with the Far East?), years 5 to 21 were spent in England, making 16 years in total. After Friday's post, you might have realised that I'm now into my 16th year in the Holy Land. So, this time next year I'll getting stuck into year No. 17. Feckin' hell.

Am I about to cross some imaginary line that says I will no longer be English? Should I hide away the cucumber sandwiches, the cricket bat and ball, the top hat and tails? Should my freshly pressed copy of The Times be ripped to shreds and thrown, spiffingly, on the barbie? Should it fuck! Whatever the British Embassy might say, I'm English and always will be. Okay, I might never have seen Big Brother or heard a Charlotte Church (who?) song, but ain't that a good thing?

God save yer Queenie!

Friday, September 16, 2005


My Israeli adventure is officially 15 years old today. Feckin' hell.

I came here as a lanky, pasty 21 year old, hell bent on enjoying myself for a month or two on a kibbutz and then heading back to England. Little did I know that Tel Aviv would ensnare me, grab me by the short and curlies, shake me like a polaroid, and then gently put me to one side...

So, in honour of this momentous occasion, I've created a list of 10 things that Israel has tried to divide and conquer without success... of course, for an impression of the average Israeli, think the exact opposite of the following:

  • I indicate when I change lanes.
  • I call before visiting a neighbour or friend.
  • I close my mobile before entering the cinema.
  • I let other drivers enter my lane if they indicate.
  • I use 'Excuse me' (in Hebrew) when initially talking to a total stranger (e.g., asking for the time/directions).
  • I call my parents once in a blue moon.
  • I wear t-shirts and shorts when it's a freezing 20C (think: Israeli winter=English summer).
  • I listen before politely offering my opinion.
  • I have never been to a barbeque on a traffic island.
  • I go to a pub to drink beer (not coke, not tea, you bunch o' posers).

And, just as a timely reminder, this is one of the reasons why Tel Aviv grabbed me:

Click me to fully appreciate my lushness!

Tel Aviv, this morning, 6.30am, don't ask...

Been thinking amidst a series of flashbacks, I've got a few stories to tell...for example, the story about my arriving in Israel and within my first hour here I'd already met the girl I was going to spend the next 6+ years with. I might just bore you with a snippet or two in the near future...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Fancy your own tube station?

Who fancies having a tube station named after them? Bit of a fantasy, eh?

Well, enter this link in your browser address bar:

Replace station_name with anything you like, and width_in_pixels with a number (e.g. 300) to size the logo accordingly, and hey presto...

Big nod (not a Hebrew nod, of course...) to london underground.

Homo Sapiette - September '05


Italy's favourite Israeli. The luscious Moran Attias.

After unsuccessfully trying to make it in Israel, Moran headed to Italy where she became a model. True stardom beckoned (in a celeb kind of way) on a national TV show, where she became an exotic version of Carol Vorderman, or Vanna White, if you like...and then made her way back to Israel where she's been hosting her own quiz show up until recently.

To tell you the truth, I never was much a fan of hers, she always seemed overrated to me. And then, one sunny day, I looked in my Inbox and there it was. A clip from Kinky (one of the 20 he sends every day, the spamming little git), of Moran modelling jewellery in various states of undress...Wow. As Sir Kenny once put it, "all in the best possible taste!".

More of Moran (a whole lot more) can be seen here.

Yep, we love her here at anglosaxy, a fine addition to our bank of homo sapiettes...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

How am I driving?

Seems to be the latest craze to strike Israel. A sticker on the back of your vehicle asking you "How am I driving? Report to this number: 03-9999999". And, yes, the Labyrinth's esteemed management have decided to put one on each employee's car.

O is already stressed out. After 8 months, her car already bears the marks of a few heavy nights out. The added worry of someone reporting her to the "authorities", whoever they may be, might just turn her postal...

Not sure about this. Isn't this 'snitching to teacher'? We all know the majority of Israelis drive like shite. Is this sticker campaign designed to subconsciously improve their driving (notice I say their...), because to me it seems a little Orwellian. Giving the right to an Israeli driver to snitch on someone else's driving - you're having a laugh. Aren't you...?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Big boy

Is it me, or is the only response to the question emailed to me this morning "How is your big boy?" to fall off my lush new chair, while tears roll down my cheeks as O also collapses into hysterics...small things please small minds, eh? Not that anything about me is small, I hasten to add...

A picture says a thousand words...

Bloody hell. In celebration of our new offices (soon to be known as 'the Labyrinth'), my boss has printed out a calendar for us to hang our heads in shame in our offices. The picture on the calendar, in full A4 glory, is none other than this one (scroll down a bit to see it), minus the doctored bits, of course...

You might just be getting extra dosages of anglosaxy for the next 3 weeks or so. Well, since I'll be in the Labyrinth pretty much full-time, I've got to do something to wile away the hours...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Who's a pretty boy?

Are parrots native to smallsville or did some neighbour's pride and joy just make a run for it? Squawking your ass off at 6am outside my bedroom window ain't going to win you any prizes, my feathery friend...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Seething I

Popped down to the British Embassy this morning, to get anglosaxy junior a British passport sorted out. Despite my best British accent (awfully nice day for cricket, what?), they have decided to check out my status and are unsure whether or not junior can get a passport. What the fuck? Apparently, because I was born in Hong Kong, I have inherited British citizenship from the old man but because junior wasn't born in the UK, I can't pass the citizenship on. Again, what the fuck?

All my family are in the UK and have been for generations (check out my father's white legs, surely the sign of a true Englishman?), I was educated there and consider myself totally English. I reminded the officious official that when I was born in Hong Kong, it was officially part of the British Isles and my father was serving in the British army at the time (of which evidence was provided, cheers ancestral one)...I'm feckin' MAD at this, how the fuck can my son not get a British passport??? Now I have to wait for the Embassy to call me while they check things out...

Perhaps I should become a radical Muslim, they'd probably welcome me with open arms and fly me First Class back to Blighty...

UPDATE: Well the Embassy has just called and it looks like everything is going to work out after all. Now, how do I reassemble a torn to shreds St. George's flag...

Seething II

Also seething at England's loss to Norn Ireland last night. What a bunch of overpaid losers...they've left it down to the cricketers to bring some pride back into English sport. Come on ING-ER-LAND! Whip those Ozzies!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


These new offices for Corridor Land Inc are proving quite tasty. Aside from the decked balcony, which comes complete with sunset views, there are new flat screens, new chairs, new desks, and parquet floors in every office. And the security, feck, I need a security tag just to get into the lift. If I didn't know otherwise, this could almost be a real hi-tech company. Don't know about anyone else here, but I'm still left with a distinct feeling of "same, same but different"...same management, same ideas, same people, just a different setting.

Oh, and a new office means new rules, of course. No standing in corridors, office doors must be closed, lunch breaks must not exceed 45 minutes etc etc. I have an eleven page doc that states all the new rules and procedures, but it's all in Hebrew, so...

Fuck that.

[ opens top secret mini-bar ] O, how many ice cubes in your vodka?

Sunday, September 04, 2005


This is Eilat for me...

Migdal Or beach, Eilat
Drive down towards the border crossing at Taba, stop off at Migdal Or beach, grab your snorkel, jump into the sea, gawp at the fish and coral reefs (OK, not quite as good as Sinai, but still pretty good), have yourself a nice, cold beer as your toes dangle in the Red Sea, and listen to Bob Marley or something else summery and ambient pumping out in the background...

Anglosaxy by the sea

Bless him, anglosaxy junior was an absolute star. Even The Village on a Friday afternoon wasn't too much for him...bit too much for me, mind, what with those acres of 18-20 year old flesh on display (had to jump into the water a couple of times to cool down...) and crappy wedding music disguised as r'n'b disturbing the peace.