Thursday, September 28, 2006

Call me Lord, Land-lord

New tenants moved in to our place in Tel Aviv a couple of weeks ago. The week after that the plumbing went, so we had to fork out some serious dosh to fix it. But as they are paying an exorbitant sum, makes sense to keep them happy. We actually went over to see the place a few days ago, as they'd raved about the paint job they'd done. And they were right, I was almost tempted to serve notice and move straight back in!

But we're going to have to wait a little bit longer before we're actually back in Tel Aviv. Should happen by the end of this year though, because by then we'll have to be out of our place in smallsville. Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Mmm, 92% of Israeli businesses break labor laws? Why am I not laughing?

Guess I balance it out, what with more than 92% of my time spent breaking Corridor Land employment laws...

Are you talkin' to me?

Anglosaxy garden, September '06

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sick as a dog

Bleedin' 'eck.

Yesterday I spent approximately 2 hours out of bed all day. I don't think I've ever felt so shit, really. Not sure it's down to stress, but my workload sure hasn't helped over the last couple of weeks. Guess my body is trying to tell me something, especially after the shit I've been feeding it the last few weeks. I think I might have eaten 5 bananas and a mango over the last few weeks, with maybe the odd tomato and few slices of cucumber. Not really that impressive, eh? My on-the-go diet mainly consists of fairly crappy sandwiches (not the M&S type)...that might have to change...yeh, and I can't beg mrs. anglosaxy for a nice hot dinner, because she's flakers most evenings.

But back in Corridor Land today, infecting the inmates. Mwahaha!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy New Year!


Ah, right, it's time for a Jewish shindig.
I'm actually a bit disappointed this year, only a small gathering of the tribe for tonight's (Friday) big family meal. Last year's 60-odd has been whittled down to about 15. How will I cope?

As for the schools, a few of the kids I teach down south surprised me with a hearty "Happy New Yar!" (yep, "yar"!) at the start of their lesson on Thursday. Very cute.

Now if only junior and the missus could remember what I looked like...

Anyway, a Happy Jewish New Year to you and yours. Bring on the wine!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Left arm. May I introduce you to your right arm?

A few days ago I finally returned my Depeche Mode tickets in order to get the money back. Of course, things are never that straight forward...

"It hurts me to do this, but I'm returning these..." ^Hands over 5 tickets^

"No problem".

"I actually bought a sixth ticket, but I don't have that ticket with me. I did call you a couple of days ago and someone told me all I need is the ticket number to - "

"What?? No!! You have to bring all the tickets in order to get the money back on each one".

"But someone in this office told me that if I don't have the ticket, because it's probably in Thailand on a year's vacation right now, all I need is the ticket number and you'll be able to confirm I paid for it via credit card..."

"Again,..." ^adopts a smarmy bastard smirk^ " need ALL the tickets to get ALL the money back".

"But..." ^anglosaxy adopts a pissed consumer smirk^ "...why would someone tell me that all I need is the ticket number? You're now telling me that I can't get my money back on the sixth ticket?".

"That's right. No ticket, no money".

"I see. So after telling me it was OK, and bringing me all the way into central fucking Tel Aviv, you're now telling me it's not OK?".

"Yes. But there isnt an expiry date for a refund. If the ticket is returned in 2 years time you'll still get your money back, we don't even need you to come in with your credit card, the ticket holder will get the money".

"Well that's fucking good, isn't it. You see, I sent the girl (it's O's ticket) here just before she left the country and she was told that because I paid for it with my credit card, only I can get the money back. That's why I called, to check..."

"I don't know about that..."

^stare of disbelief^
"Oh FUCK OFF! This is a fucking waste of time..."
anglosaxy, shaking and possibly about to lose it, seethes as he signs the credit card confirmation and stomps out of the office.
I might even have grunted something rather nasty at the person I bumped into at the door, but hey, fuck it...

I just love my meetups with Israeli service "technicians".

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Long and hard

Yesterday was a 6am start thanks to junior, a spot of Corridoring until 2, then a drive down south to teach until 7. At 7 I interviewed a Ruskie for a part-time position, she seems OK, though not mother-tongue - not sure if the parents are going to accept her accent... Then a drive back to smallsville, where I upped the posters on the mall shop window, with the help of the brother-in-law. Finished at 11pm. The shop in the mall now looks (like a) class, I'll post some pics soon.

A long day, but I have to say, I really enjoyed teaching the kids down south. They are mostly of Ruskie origin, but very keen to learn and very cute. Say what you like about the Ruskies, and they generally get a bad deal in this country, they treat education seriously and are generally a pleasure to do business with. Whereas with almost every Israeli parent I have to barter and chase.

Oh, fucking loving James Dean Bradfield's "Still a long way to go". Song of the moment.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm the boss

Yesterday I had a 2 hour meeting in Corridor Land, of which approximately 3 minutes was relevant to me. Never mind, they're paying me for sitting there yawning and going over school schedules in my head, I can live with it. The most interesting part was at the end of the meeting - where we had been discussing my department's 2006 goals and their current status - as the boss decided to claim all the goals we'd discussed for herself and let rip at us all for not initiating any of them. She even mentioned me (I thought I was untouchable...) and my main project, stating that she was upset with me for not negotiating a better deal with the company we are working with. I just bit my lip. Utter management bollox.

I won't mention the project I'm working on, but let's just say she had never even heard of the term which describes my project a year ago. That was my doing, I'm afraid. As for the negotiating, if she'd have asked, I would have jumped at wasting a few shekels, believe me. She was the one who decided the price was too high and kept on at them to lower it.

I would never expect a teacher of mine to negotiate with students/parents, it's just not their domain...why the fuck should it be mine in Corridor Land? I thought a boss was supposed to be a boss and "manage", but maybe I'm wrong...

Monday, September 18, 2006

My daily shit

This little lot is the shit I carry around, every day. Very manly collection of bits and bobs, if you ask me. I'm especially proud of my bag, purchased in China, though must admit it's getting a tad on the small side, what with me becoming a big businessman. Some have called it a bus conductor's bag, others simply a handbag. I just like to think I'm a modern man. As you can see, there's an Underworld CD, a wallet (stuffed with cash that rogue teach didn't get her grubby hands on), some keys, my mobile, some sellotape, a tape measure, a sunglasses case, rechargeables for the camera, and a couple of school flyers. Not quite so obvious are the salary slips (under the phone), my Corridor Land security tag (next to the keys), a letter from the bank (under the sunglasses case), and last, but not least, my Israeli passport (just above the keys) - always handy when you need to do a runner. Also missing is the camera I took the pic with, not always in the bag but I carry around it 50% of the time.

You can all blame shlemazl for this post. Hee hee.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Management Probs, part II

I don't think it's particularly professional to do this in public, but I am completely shocked and a little confused.

Yesterday I tried calling teach a few times and she didn't answer her mobile. So, again, I had to cancel all the afternoon lessons. Fucking embarrassing, and I'm sure I look amateur beyond belief. And I also had a hunch that something bad was going down. So I drove down south to the school. Wasn't sure what I'd find - perhaps an empty table where a new printer should be sitting - but everything seemed OK. Then I looked in the cash box, to which only she and I have the key. Nada. Empty as a Chelski footballer's head. Which was funny, because she'd mentioned putting in a few hundred shekels she'd received earlier in the week. A few choice words were uttered. I did a quick calculation - seems like the sum I owed her almost wrote off the cash box notes. So, I presume she (and her husband) decided that she'd help herself and have nothing more to do with me, as long as her salary was covered. I've also realised that she's stolen at least one student, but the rate she was paying, she's welcome to her. Just the idea that she has obviously nicked one of my students is making my blood boil...

I really don't know what to say. Except that if she had been an Israeli, you could say "Hutzpah!". But this was a fellow Brit, here for only a few months, and despite her owing me nothing, isn't there this unspoken loyalty or "stand by your fellow countryman" in foreign lands? I guess not. Not when there's an Israeli husband involved.

This is all a real shame, because I don't like to play the "big boss". I guess the next teacher is only going to suffer from teach's actions, because I'm going to have to tighten up things...

Time to change the locks.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Management Probs

Am I that much of a fuck?
Come on, be honest.
Because there I was, thinking that you respected and appreciated me.
At least that's what you told me.
I agree, the 2 hour gap between lessons yesterday was too much.
But it was a one-off, that much I promised.
And you happily agreed to come in.
Understanding the situation and wanting to help you told me.
Living 15 minutes away by foot, I really appreciated your effort.
And your proximity.
So why the no-show?
Why let down the students, their parents and me?
Oh, let me check my messages.
Ah, it's your husband.
He doesn't seem happy that you return home...
And then go back to the school 2 hours later.
But why leave the message 30 minutes before lessons start?
And couldn't you call?
Especially after you agreed it was OK.
Why why why should I still stick with you?

I say throw teach out on her ass, what say you?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kofiko City

I've been in this country for some time, as you know, and have come across some kofikos * (for the sake of argument, let's call them "chavs") in my time. Not that I haven't been a bit of a cheeky monkey myself on more than a few occasions! But a couple of nights ago, kofiko city! Me and the missus went out for some ziva (Yemenite morsel, if you've never tried it, do!) and Heineken in Kfar Saba. We found a nice little cafe/restaurant, complete with a quiet comfy sofa corner. Quiet it didn't stay for long, as it soon started overflowing with some pesky teenage feckers. Feckers with the way way way overspiked hair and sleeveless t-shirts, you know the ones...

Anyway, to grab the waitress's attention, who up until that point had been a sweetie, they decided to bang their menus on the table and chant "Miri ya zonna, Miri ya zonna!" (Miri, you whore!), which then became "Miri ya sharmoota, Miri ya sharmoota!". WTF?? At first I found it mildly amusing, but after a few repeats, I just gave them a steely glare, being their mightily superior elder and all. Can't help feeling that I should have said something...In the end, I was just glad to get the fuck out of there, but couldn't help feeling for the waitress. If she'd pulled her Uzi out (she looked army age) and shot them to pieces I would have been delighted to be a witness on her behalf.

Mrs anglosaxy, who had been powdering her nose and missed all the action, didn't believe it when I told her when walking back to the car...but then again, she's living in a time warp where Tzvika Pik was a fresh-faced thirty something and Zehu Zeh ruled prime time TV. And this sort of thing never happens in her rose-tinted Israel...

The yoof of today, eh? Not an ounce of fuckin' respect, the fuckin' feckers.

* In Hebrew, kof = monkey, while kofiko could be best translated as "cheeky monkey" and is actually the name of a famous kids TV character.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Another world ago

5 years on, eh?

I was in England, just a couple of weeks before myself and the missus were due to get married (we had to be there a month in order to register for a right royal knees up wedding). We'd actually had a fight that morning and were each sulking in the corner of my parents' living room. I switched on the TV and the BBC was babbling on about something happening to the Twin Towers...unity on the anglosaxy front was restored within minutes, followed by an absolutely spine-chilling afternoon in front of the TV.

Still gives me goosebumps re-watching the scenes of devastation...

If you don't laugh...

Thought I'd give you a taste of my Sunday morning:

6.00: waaaaaggghhhh! bottle for junior, back to bed.
6.15: waaaaaggghhhh! play time with junior as I stagger blindly round the house.
6.30: drop the only key to the back door down the back of the air-con (don't ask), is irretrievable.
8.00: call the nanny, but she can't come in on her day off, bollocks.
8.05: nappy leak means brown smudges all over the floor, bollocks.
9.00: attempt to call bank, password not accepted, bollocks.
9.15: finally get through to bank, am told to change password before they can discuss my details.
9.20: try to change password, junior bawling in ear thwarts first attempt.
9.25: second attempt fails, my ID no. is now refused.
9.30: third attempt makes it to tech support, junior decides to bawl.
9.40: bank calls me, but I can't take the call, junior is testing the ol' eardrums.
9.45: teacher from down south calls, bawling, her nanny has died.*
10.00: start calling students to cancel lessons.
10.30: potential new student calls, junior bawls, I can't even hear her, she promises to call again, she doesn't.
11.00: junior sleeps, but for a measly 30 minutes.
11.35: sleep deprived junior slips and cuts his lip, blood and tears everywhere.
11.45: fruit brunch is thrown all over my leg.
12.00: pissy mother from down south is upset with me for cancelling her cherub's lesson.
12.20: junior has some serious shitting issues today, another nappy gingerly thrown into the garbage.
12.30: can't connect to the internet, looks like my ISP has smelt junior's packages of joy and is out for the count.

The fun continued long into the afternoon, including a packed full of noisy kids class in the smallsville mall. Can't knock the interest though, the kids seem very keen...

Ever had one of those mornings when your head was going to explode? This was the one...

* I'm not sure if I'm being a totally insensitive mo'fucker, but WTF? Her nanny? She's only been in the country a few weeks, how can she be that attached to her nanny? And her kids are 8 years old plus...not quite sure what the hell is wrong here but it ain't good for my business, I'm looking for a reserve teacher as we speak...

Saturday, September 09, 2006


This is what escaping from Corridor Land does to some people...that's O heading for the lilies, somewhere in Thailand...

Shamelessly stolen from O's flicker collection, I hope she won't mind.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Shuffle shuffle

When does a shuffle become a step? Last night Junior did us proud, standing up and making that first shuffle/step all on his tod, me and the missus were both there to witness it. Now if only I could find the dog leash...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Call of the Big City...

The anglosaxy reign in smallsville is coming to an end. We've had enough of closed kaspomats (cashpoints) and the limited dining/drinking options (pizza, pizza, or, er, pizza). And as my business is now standalone in smallsville and no longer based at home, we are no longer tied here. So, a couple of days ago we gave notice to the cheapskate landlord and will be moving out within 4 months. And it looks like Tel Aviv is going to be home once again...aah, I can already smell the Irish bars, sushi, and Giraffe noodles...

A photo tribute to smallsville coming soon...

Oh, and if you want to waste your time like I did yesterday, this game is for you. Bloody great! But if you get past the Bossman let me know how...not that I have any, er, time to waste...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A fresh new look at the season

Oooohh, being cut off from civilization down south, the fact that Arsenal finally got rid of Cashley Cole and Reyes completely passed me by. And with the purchase of the Beast and Gallas, I'm a fairly happy gooner. And I don't care what you say, Arsenal won the transfer deadline day contest, closely followed by West Ham's double Argentine swoop (doesn't this make West Ham Chelski's bitch?). I see good things happening this season...including the demise of Moaninho...

Holiday snaps

chef havin' a fag break, innit the jordanian super flag flying high in aqaba my hotel room view - it's a hard life buster a wee dining area with a view of the red sea the posh hotel lobby 10 seconds after taking this, port security came screeching my way and brutally abused my human rightsanother shot, just before my camera was verbally assaultedself portait, september 2006dinner by candlelighthawaii five 0, the new junior lookweeee, i'm gonna land on yer head!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Good to be back, he lied...

^I feel good, knew that I would...^

Oohh lads and lasses, this time yesterday I was snorkelling in the Red Sea, with a school of rather big fish chasing me and trying to nibble me bits and bobs. And there I was, sat on the beach, thinking, "What the hell! You should be back in Corridor Land, slaving away!"

So here I am...

Great holiday, but what can I say, not the same as pre-junior...things change I guess. And with mrs anglosaxy now 7 months along, I'm sure you can imagine who did most of the chasing after a lively junior. But, between the odd cold beer, I did manage to finish reading The Kite Runner. What a fecking great read! Loved it.

A few pics to come...