Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sending the heavies round

I've discovered a novel way of handling customers that don't pay. Admittedly, it's been only the one bad apple up to now, everyone has been very good, some even paying way in advance. But there's always one, eh?

Well, I had a woman who bugged the hell out of me to include her son with a group of his friends. In addition, her daughter needed help. No problem. I squeezed her son in, even giving him a folder of goodies and a <my school name> t-shirt. On his third lesson, I refused to let him in until his mother confirmed that she was going to pay. "Yes, no problem, I'll bring a cheque round later". Riiiigght. Never did see or hear from her again.

Anyway, the nanny told me yesterday that she was this woman's neighbour and, to cut a long story short, was dishing the dirt. When I told her she owed me money she swore revenge. "That's disgusting! I'll make sure they're left with no friends in this neighbourhood!". Who needs the hassle of chasing bad debts when you've got your own Commando Nanny?

This neighbourhood is mine or what.

Snap happy

Got myself one of these last week. Lush. Expect to be bedazzled by a flow of pics. Or maybe not.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Slim shady

In honour of the Chinese New Year...

Can I move yet?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

My loyalty lies with...

Yesterday's European Championship draw for the 2008 finals has finally landed England and Israel in the same group. The day I've been waiting for for many a year has finally come about. I can hear the question already: "Who will you be supporting?". Mmm, take a guess. Though I will probably be standing in the Israeli end of the stadium come kick-off time, and quite possibly not wearing my 'Beckham 4 ever' tattoo...

And who can recall their last meeting? A mighty 0-0 draw in a 1988 friendly, when Bobby Robson was leading the boys and preparing them for World Cup heroics in 1990. As far as I know, this is the first time England and Israel have ever met in competition, so should be interesting. Israel will give England a hard time, though once Rooney starts mouthing his trademark "Fuck Off!"s at those pesky Israeli defenders and/or the referee, it could go either way...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Quids Shekels in - again!

Bleedin' 'eck!
I'm on a roll - checked my lottery numbers this morning and had to double-check with the woman checking my ticket - 786 shekels!
Instant rush or what!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Competition hots up

My little English school seems to have woken up my rivals in smallsville. Just last week, I spotted a full page ad in the local rag by a long-termer who scares me, well, not in the least. Her ad seemed to copy just a teeny bit of the text that I recently used in my flyers but she's an amateur, can't even capitalize her school name ("English academy") and has a crappy logo. I'm just guessing that she spotted my flyer, and decided to pinch some of my ideas but who knows, maybe she's as inspirational a marketeer as myself...hee hee.

Competition is a good thing anyway, right? Raises awareness that English is in demand. Survival of the fittest and all that. At least that's what mrs. anglosaxy reckons, being in a pretty cut-throat business herself (digital printing)...I'm just happy with my referrals and steady flow of newbies, so I must be doing something right...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A new Baywatch babe

This just about passed the censor that is mrs. anglosaxy...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I have to say that some of my young students are some of the cheekiest buggars I've ever met. I'm not sure if it's a general Israeli thing, coz kids are kids all over the world, but they sure run me ragged. I generally like kids and manage to 'click' with most, some might say because of me being a big kid myself...but it's a different ball game when you actually have to get something across to them. I can tell you, after using my stern and commanding voice for 5 or 6 lessons one after the other, my throat feels it on a Sunday evening.

Anyway, I have this delightful little princess who comes with her Mum. This week her Mum asked me if she could look up something on the Internet while her angel was with me. No probs, I replied. After having a delightful lesson where her daughter refused to work with another student and constantly ignored what I said, I found her Mum printing out realms and realms of Internet pages (about 40), in colour. After a 'Pyscho moment' ran briefly through my head, another one lingered longer when she informed that the pages were for her daughter's homework...

What the fuck am I, a public library? I know you're paying good money for your daughter's education but how about asking me first? mrs anglosaxy later told me that she'd told this woman that the printer was broken but she still printed her stuff out anyway...

Sooner I get a teacher to help me out the better, me thinks...and perhaps a cattle prod to steer these fuckers away from my computer...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hardly surprising

As the owner of my own business I feel a certain empathy with other small business owners. What with the tax man and red tape that are horrendously exagerrated in this country, it ain't an easy ride. But, some people make it hard for themselves. Like some cafe/restaurant owners who refuse to let people sit at their near empty premises. Well, 4 months after throwing me out for having the nerve to request just a coffee, they're gone. Empty cafe/restaurant. And I'm sure a pretty empty bank account.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


First it was some Friday afternoon Irish stout, then later that night some samurai whiskey with vanilla vodka shots. Saturday evening saw mrs. anglosaxy whip her cue out and give me a good thrashing, followed by a bit of theatre culture with the legendary Sami Hourri (Hebrew link). Who said kids cramp your style?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Homo Sapiette - January '06

Move over Sandy. The new Milky girl is in town. Sucking her finger rather saucily as she bounces across my television in a skimpy pink baby doll...

Hila Nachshon. OK, so she's another blond married to a footballer, an Israeli footballer at that (Assi Dom), but she's starting to get noticed, at least in my household. Just down my street there are 2 advertising billboards, one with her advertising Milky, the other of her advertising some clothing line I can't remember the name of. She's almost a star, even in smallsville.

OK, so she's a wannabee celebrity, possibly a bit on the teasey side, but she's got star quality. Not quite sure why, but she is sexy. Let's face it, all us guys need is a woman sucking her finger suggestively and we're smitten.

She's been doing a lot of TV work recently, what with co-hosting the Israeli equivalent to "Come Dancing" and co-hosting an entertainment show on Yes, Israel's satellite TV network. Now it looks like she's becoming big-time with her new entertainment show, co-hosted with the rather bitchy Aviad Kissus (he of 102FM). They're attempting to give long-standing Guy Penis (yes, pun intended and yes, that is his name) on the other TV network a run for his money. Anyway, I give their partnership 6 months. Mark my words. I can already hear the claws being sharpened...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

High performance

For fucks sake.

My review turned into a performance review and not a salary review. The salary review is scheduled for the near future, while they decide how many O% raises they are going to distribute this year. Want to know my grade out of 5? A very respectable 3.5, which, as someone pointed out to me, is pretty good for someone who doesn't give a fuck.

I surprise myself with some of the lines I come out with sometimes, all in the name of a few shekels. Crackers like this:

"Let's not kid each other, I know I'm a 3..." when my boss pulled out a 4 page analysis of my performance...
"It may look like I don't really want to be here sometimes, but I really love the work and the technology"
"I'm not here just because of the salary, I like it here and I like my team..."

OK, me and O are the only ones left to sign their contract amendments. My accountant has told me that it's just about legal, though very ungentlemanly (his words). He also said that they can't make me sign...which has got me thinking...Italian strike anyone?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Corridor update

Waiting for my salary review tomorrow before deciding what move to make. If the review is as juicy as last year's 0% rise then a "kosher" exit plan must be made in order to ensure the severance pay comes my way. Fuck it, we're talking around 60, 000 sheks...

Hey DJ

Trouble with sharing a room with someone at work is that it's often hard to settle on the music you want to hear. They want this and you want a bit of that. O is a bit of a hippy at heart. That means she has some boring old tunes blasting out at times, including some very tedious jazz. OK, there is the Mode that we both love and some Bob Marley when we're feeling very chilled and "free love", but she'll often lambast my collection of Brit guitar bands, while I threaten to jam a banana into her CD slot when she starts glancing at her jazz CD collection.

So we called a truce and decided to create our own collection of shit hot tunes. This is our current playlist, not too shabby at all. I'll be honest, I made the CD, so the anglosaxy influence is kinda stronger than the vodka-toting ruskie's...

1. Mattafix - Big City Life (for some strange reason, we both bloody lurve this song)
2. The Bravery - Honest Mistake
3. Nirvana - Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam
4. Razorlight - Hey Ya (Live)
5. Depeche Mode - Precious
6. Interpol - Evil
7. The Killers - Somebody Told Me
8. Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
9. Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
10. Bloc Party - Banquet
11. Oasis - The Importance Of Being Idle
12. Depeche Mode - In Your Room (Portishead remix)
13. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
14. Starsailor - Four To The Floor
15. Leftfield - Melt
16. Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams
17. Morrissey - America Is Not The World
18. Baz Luhrman - Wear sunscreen
19. Police - Roxanne
20. Bob Marley - Redemption Song

Monday, January 16, 2006

A right clock up

So, in an effort to cover their overtime asses, Corridor Land has decided to put in a time clock. Yep, we're being handed snazzy little punch cards to punch in with every morning.

Of course, the logic behind this is to make sure that everyone does their hours. But, any extra hours you do will count for nada...it's expected, of course, that you'll have a surplus at the end of each month. An uncompensated, yet documented surplus. And what happens if you're an hour or two under? Yep, you guessed it, you're docked holiday pay. Even if you don't take a lunchbreak, you get docked half an hour. Apart from pissing me off, because I sometimes miss out on a lunch break so I can leave a bit earlier, I'm damned sure this is illegal.

The socialist revolutionary in me is seething (picket lines and shouts of "What do we want?" and "When do we want it?" spring to mind...). Basically, it looks like they no longer trust all their workers, and are enforcing a new policy because middle management fucked up and couldn't check up on its own workers. As for my Corridor brethren, they're falling by the wayside in their stand against management. It's now down to me, O and a couple of others who are refusing to sign. I hope my days are numbered.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Growing on me...

There I was fixing myself some avocado with a liberal squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt, ready to be smothered over a whole wheat cracker, when it dawned on me...since coming to Israel many moons ago, I've learnt to love a lot of food and drink that I previously hated or had no idea existed, but which are in abundance over here.

Some of the stuff I love today that you'll find in the average Israeli's larder (larder, eh?) but probably won't find in me Ma's...

  • Avocado
  • Tea (without milk of course, never used to touch the stuff prior to Israel)
  • Watermelon
  • Mango
  • Strawberries (hated 'em in Blighty)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Sweetcorn
  • Peanut flavoured Wotsits (Bamba)
  • Turkish coffee
  • Pita bread
  • Humus
  • Pickled cucumbers
And which of these items can't you get back in Blighty, in a regular supermarket? I'm thinking it's only the Bamba.

So, my previously limited culinary tastes (limited to my mum's cooking and a few Pot Noodles) have been expanded within a few years to encompass all kinds of goodies. It's got me thinking - if I had never left, would I still be noshing on Pot Noodles, fish and chips, Weetabix...? Would I have had the chance to experience Turkish coffee on a cold, hungover morning, or mango on a hot, summer day? I'm guessing that not and that's kinda sad, even though British supermarkets are stocking ever more exotic stuff and people are a lot more adventurous these days...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quids Shekels in

I'm bleedin' rich!
Just won 200 smackeroonees on the ol' lottery.
Just a shame it's shekels and not pounds...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Is that a cucumber in your pocket?

I just scoffed a banana and had a flashback. Back to Blighty I flew, in the wink of an eye...

I was sweet 16. Looking for some extra readies. On my summer hols. Found an ad in the local paper. Looked promising. Shop assistant required. To sell fruit and veg. I needed some readies. I've mentioned that already. Went for an interview. Spoke my poshest English. They laughed. Told me to lose the accent. The job was mine. I put on me Cockney best. Worked like a charm. Soon knew me plums from me pears. And how to bag a pound of apples. "A pand of golden delish please love". It's all in the wrists. Breaking boxes out back. That's a skill. Push down flaps, fold, pile. Strange boss. Married but liked his teenage male workers. You know what I mean. Hand on knee. Not appreciated. Learnt to steer clear. His sister. Mmm. Strange old hag. Also fond of the teenage male workers. First this one. Then that one. Pregnant one minute. Abortion the next. Ugly, too. Managed to nab one in the end. Married with a nipper in the wink of an eye...

...and sssshhhlack I was back in the Promised Land.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What is England to you?

Was watching Sky News yesterday and saw they had a piece on what makes England, well, England. Some typically obvious icons were there, such as a cup of tea and the ol' red Routemaster. So, a few minutes later I put it to mrs. anglosaxy - what is England to her?

Her answer kinda knocks the nail on the head.


Exit the building, switch off

Ever had a job where you exited the building and then totally switched off until the next time you stepped through the main door? Well, I have one of those. Never even reenters my head until I search for my security tag to operate the lift up to Corridor Land's floor. Quite amazing.

The trouble is, of course, they make a feckin' good attempt at making our lives while we are in the office as comfortably painful as possible. Today's latest: a new contract is being drawn up to ensure that we cannot claim for extra hours in the future. Apparently, a local hi-tech company has been successfully sued for extra hours, despite the worker's contract stating that his wage was "global" and included extra hours. Of course, some hi-tech companies take the piss, ahem, no names needed, so some, ahem, Corridor Land, are desperately scrambling around trying to make sure they don't remain open to potential lawsuits. Me, I have this feeling that workers rights are being well and truly sent up the khazi with this one...how did they put it in this morning's meeting: "Someone working 100% doesn't meet our expectations. We expect 120%". I'm sorry, but what the fuck is that?

O is screwed. She regularly works until 10-11 at night and is often forced to come in on Fridays...she's recently been talking about asking for overtime for these hours, but that now looks doomed.

So, do we sign the new contracts...?

Monday, January 09, 2006


Taoism: shit happens
Buddhism: if shit happens, it isn't really shit
Islam: if shit happens, it is the will of Allah
Catholicism: if shit happens, you deserve it
Judaism: why does this shit always happen to us?
Atheism: I don't believe this shit


Here's your chance to adopt an artist, before she strikes it big. One of our friends, and yes, she's even been been 'faced' on this blog, has given me access to some of her online stuff - I love this kind of stuff!

She does some cute little animations as well, check this out.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A nation sits by its televisions...

The bulldozer is still hanging on in there...

The feeling around the country reminds me of the first Gulf war, when televisions and radios were constantly tuned in to the news, often quietly in the background. Just yesterday I was at the doctors (anglosaxy junior had his 6 monthly checkup) and the TV was on in the corner. Every so often somebody would walk by, stop for a minute and then mutter "Tt, Tt" softly enough for all to hear. Things are still carrying on as normal (I was at a big wedding last night and it was a happy one, especially after downing a few Teachers) but there's sadness in the air and a feeling that things are just about to change when it looked like things were pretty stable...

Personally I never really felt that much for the man but lately was beginning to warm to him, especially his "grandfatherly" smile. A big, tough old geezer, who always came across as somebody who knew what he was doing, and therefore demanded respect, whatever your politics.

I hope he makes it, but not at the expense of his mind and body. From personal experience, seeing a strong, charismatic person confined to a wheelchair unable to speak and with the capabilities of a six-month old is way beyond sad, it's heartbreaking.

Respect, Arik, respect.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A time for firsts, part II

Six months on...

The first tooth peeking through.
The first sit.
The first tickle.
The first laugh.
The first tears.
The first solids (a squashed squash).
The first gibberish.
The first two-handed grip.
The first time I pick someone else's bogey.
The first "hysterical mother" incident.
The first sip of beer (something German, unfortunately).
The first bedtime story.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy? Hilarious!

Corridor Land has a Happy Hour. A time for joy, for swapping tales, eating cake and generally relaxing, you would think. Maybe it's just me, but happy equals, well, happy. Not so round this way. Originally, the Happy Hour was scheduled for every week, then when they realised that people actually experienced an emotion known as "happy" in the Happy Hour they reduced it to once a month. And to half an hour.

The big boss obviously now feels it's his duty to regale us with sales figures and important negotiations at such a happy occassion. But couldn't he do it a little more entertainingly? With just a little enthusiasm? You can almost feel the happiness drain out of the room once he kicks off...

Me? Well, the dog ate my homework and I ended up coming in just after Happy Hour had finished. The dog always seems to go nuts the night before a Happy Hour...

High life

Downtown Tel Aviv from 49 floors up.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A new year, a new me

Right, this was actually started yesterday...it's my list of New Year resolutions, most of which I'm deadly serious about. Or not.

Me, myself and I
1. Lose some kilos (cut out the junk and English chocs).
2. Plenty more exercise (rejoin the gym? or just stomping round smallsville, flyers in hand?).
3. Buy a new camera, a fancy shmancy one.
4. Take a scuba diving course.
5. Revisit the Far East (already planning...).
6. Take anglosaxy junior to see his real homeland, take your pick which one...
7. Enjoy life. It's short.
8. Further education?
9. Shave more.
10. Gotta stop farting so much.
11. Give a little back to the community.
12. Drink less beer.
13. Drink more whiskey.
14. See Arsenal play at their new stadium.

Nice little earner
1. More intensive work on the school.
2. Quit Corridor Land (depends a bit on the school and other things).
3. Con Corridor Land into giving me a pay rise before I quit.
4. Check out options abroad (destinations as yet unnamed).
5. Save more of my teaching cash.

1. Redesign anglosaxy.
2. Keep anglosaxy going, whatever path I take this year.
3. More decent writing, more serious pieces (some of you already know where to look for this).
4. Post more interesting pics (using my new camera, see above).
5. Online photo portfolio (photoblog?).


Sorry for the stench but the water's been turned off at my place since Saturday morning. So no showers, no shaving, no washing up. The water heater exploded, and my bastard landlord has yet to fix it. Or return my calls. Thinking of sending over a few stinky nappies...

Blighty, part ii

Some local footie pics, taken on Boxing Day. Nothing like a game of English footie to quash any culture shock...especially when accompanied by a steaming cup of coffee and a Kit Kat. Me boys won 2-1 in a local derby that was actually a great game, considering they're amateur only.

...no footballs...?
nothing like a bit of goalmouth argy bargy
one nil, one nil, one niiiiil!
is that a UFO?
Santa clappy

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

He, he! I'll have another one of those please barman...