...with the flu...[ cough shhplutter ]
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I could mention all the great things about Israel - the weather, the beaches, the beautiful women, the food - but whatever I'd mention, today's headlines would just undo all my good intentions.
OK, innocent until proven guilty, and the media are crucifying the poor bastard, but, to me, this just sums up Israel and its "establishment" rather nicely. Every week there's politicians involved in corruption scandals, sexual harrassment cases, some more illegal banking deals...while clinging desperately to their seats of power. Why can't the fuckers just hold their hands up and resign with honour? Why does it seem like they always need to be pushed...?
And why do Israeli politicians always seem to be getting involved in sexual harrassment cases? I'm sorry, but this is also very Israeli*...they know they can't have but they still feel like they should touch...Why can't they get themselves a proper decent bit on the side, who'll have their illegimate offspring and then reveal all to the News of the World 10 years down the line? This is the way it works in Blighty and I like it...
Jeezzz, that's enough politics for 2007...more pics coming up!
* During my touristy years, I lost count of the number of tourist girls who told me they'd been harrassed on beaches, touched up in bars etc. I even got into a fight with an Israeli (which turned into a full 20 people riot) who was upset with a girl friend of mine for not inviting him back for some rumpy pumpy, after he'd spent 50 shekels on drinks...
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Right, come on, who decided that those bleedin' zebra crossings have to be right on street corners/junctions? I mean right on the junction. This has been bugging me for years, but this morning I witnessed another near calamity, with cars almost piling into each other as one driver stopped to let a pedestrian cross.
And for fucks sake, roundabouts...wasn't it obvious to those urban planning geniuses that sticking zebra crossings on each junction might just disrupt the traffic flow? Ever tried getting across a roundabout near a school when the kids are on their way to/from school? In Blighty, the flow might just keep flowing, but in this country, forget about it. It doesn't even enter into anyone's head that they shouldn't block the road...and thus render the roundabout, which was surely designed to keep the traffic moving, to be about as flowing as Chelsea's football...
Monday, January 22, 2007
How sweet are last minute victories over Man United? Oooh, very!
How hard is it to control oneself when that last minute goal goes in and you have a sleeping juniorette on your left and a sleeping and sick junior on your right? Oooh, very!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
That bastion of Israeli mentality, the passion not to end up as a "sucker", has been rearing its ugly head lately. Gotta love 'em...
I had one mother who was quite adamant that she would "never pay for anything in advance", she apparently only paid upon being serviced (and boy, did she sound like she needed a good servicing...). As she was a school counsellor and a former English teacher herself, I presumed she had some kind of university education behind her...so I asked her if she had paid for her tuition/books etc before or after receiving her degree...but of course, she wasn't interested. She was right and there was nothing more to say.
I really liked her 2 kids, but can't be bothered to fight people with this sort of attitude. I'm not averse to being paid at the end of the month either, but they were newbies and I just wanted some kind of assurance that she would pay...
Friday, January 19, 2007
What the fuck is wrong with the English teachers in this country?
Just recently, I've been using the word pizza quite a bit, what with a fair few young'uns joining up ("I like pizza", "What's your favourite food?" etc etc). But the kids have been correcting me, saying they've been taught to say PeeZa (as in Pisa, the leaning tower of)...and I've then been correcting them...If this was a one-off I'd just about understand it, but this has happened in both schools, to quite a few students...
And yep, the Hebrew for pizza, is, well, pizza...
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
...in Corridor Land...oh yes...
This week sees the American and European Sales teams invited over to Israel for a super
boring series of lectures, plus dinner and dance ("don't forget to bring your dancing shoes..." - the tag line I created for the party invitations, mwha ha ha!). As long as the alcohol is flowing, who cares that this is the smarmiest bunch of guys I've ever come across, complete with excess gel and jumpers tucked into pleated trousers...
But you know what, all this Corridor Land pain has suddenly seemed worth it. I have a Keren Hishtalmut fund (a "study fund" that employers also contribute to - do they have something similar in Blighty?) that becomes liquid next week, and I've just been told how much is in there...about 4 times more than I expected, so yeehaaa, the drinks are on me!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Looks like I might have found myself a manager type for the school down south. We've almost shaken hands on a deal which keeps both of us happy. And she's going to have to sign a contract, because there's no way I'm falling for more Nasty Teach. So, I'm cautiously optimistic that this will work out in the next couple of days.
However...and wasn't it obvious that there is a "however"...the previous owner of the school (who now lives in the UK) decided to send me an angry email a couple of days ago. Maybe I should explain...
I bought the school for peanuts back in the summer. Because of the low price, we agreed (in writing) that I would give her 50% of any profits made until the end of 2006. She's apparently upset that I haven't responded to her "numerous emails" (complete bollox, she hasn't even written one email to me since I last contacted her in October) to discuss our final payment and to officially "handover" the school. It's not like she hasn't got my mobile number, or the address of the school, if she was that keen she could have got hold of me - according to her, I'm actually now running the school "illegally". Which I find kinda incredible because I'm not trying to get out of paying her what's due...
This all stinks to me. Seems like she's decided to remember who I am and that there is a possibility of some cash when she needs it...when I needed her promised assistance, she never even responded. Now she's making me out to be the bad guy and I find that very shitty. I sent her a polite but peeved email back, letting her know that thanks to her lack of assistance and thanks to her recommending Nasty Teach, she shouldn't be anticipating a winter holiday in the Caribbean...
I have a question though: if a "ballpark" figure (for example purposes only, 10,000) is mentioned in purchasing, but the contract only states my initial payment (for example purposes only, 1,000) and the splitting of profits 50-50, does she have any legal rights to demand the difference between the sum mentioned and the total sum (deposit plus profit split)accrued up to 31.12.06 (for example purposes only, 5,000)?
I never expected this to be a picnic, but the attitude I've encountered in the Israeli business world, and in particular, from fellow anglos, has left me a little disappointed. But you know what, it's also left me a little tougher...fuck 'em all.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
So, probably the greatest "name" in football today, Becks, has decided to go Yankee. Let's face it, he wasn't ever going to make it back into the England team, and with his time up at Real he was hardly going to sign for Bolton or Portsmouth, was he? Seems like the right career move.
But half a mill a week? Even the capitalist pig in me thinks that this is a little on the obscene side...but it all goes to show the direction of the game these days, Brand Beckham is simply too valuable to ditch, just yet...and I have a feeling that Becks is going to be BIG over there and might just spherically enlighten those Yanks (and get them to trade in that bloody oval ball)...
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Ooooh, you gotta love The Beast! This is what makes football such a great game, especially when your team is on the right end of a 6-3 thrashing, and you have a player nicknamed The Beast who hits 4...
Rafael Benitez (Liverpool manager): 'We'll try to forget this match as soon as possible.'
Monday, January 08, 2007
Welcome back to the jolly world of the Tel Aviv real estate market.
We are now officially on the "sent the contract" list, which means we are now one of 3 up for this small, but sexy apartment in one of North Tel Aviv's neighbourhoods. Apparently, we are also the "nicest", whatever that means. I have a feeling it's something to do with the landlord fancying my missus, but if it works, it works.
So, we are waiting for the landlord to decide which way he'll go, with references to "professional single woman not having even seen the apartment, but she wants to offer me more than anyone else..." littered throughout telephone conversations with him. Oh yeh? So go blow yourself, you greedy bastard.
But Tel Aviv is fecking crazy, no doubt about it. There are just no decent flats available, and when one pops up, it's snapped up within hours, if not minutes. And landlords are also upping their rents when they see the response to their ad, which I actually have no problem with, because, after all, the capitalist pig in me realises that supply has got to meet demand. But do me a favour, some of the places we've seen...some of these landlords are 'avin' a laugh...even a pig (capitalist or otherwise) would struggle in some of them...
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The Nanny be no more.
She'd stick with us til the end, she swore.
But the smell of money stinks,
And she played us the ol' hi-jinks.
Played us good and proper.
But if she's got a new job, what can I do, stop her?
All those heart-to-hearts and patter,
Made us feel like, to her, we really matter.
She fretted and worried about our move to the city,
And made us feel all guilty and shitty.
So we told her about all our plans,
Just to reassure her and keep down her glands.
Straight as could be, that's what we were.
But that did nae matter, not to her.
Two more months, that's all we asked for.
The finger, that's what she gave us, the whore.
Aye, that means junior has now started kindergarden, and bless his little football socks, has been a real gever gever so far. But those Hebrew nursery rhymes are tearing my heart apart and pushing me towards England...
Thursday, January 04, 2007
The last of my Blighty shots.
Ahhh, England, the land of kings...what can I say, I miss her, I miss my family, junior is missed by all (or probably not after the busy week he gave me and my parents)...but I have a strong feeling that the anglosaxies will be making their home there for a while. Not just yet, but as I see things panning out, it's a goer. Not for good, but for a couple of years or so. Mrs anglosaxy is up for it, I'm warming up to it, just need junior effing and blinding like his Dad and I'll be snapping up the tickets...
The first shot below is "typical England", taken on Christmas morning, I just isolated the green to make it look even more grayer than it was (but only just!). The three shots in the middle are from my sister's back garden, while the last pic is from Brighton, whose citizens probably deserve all the rota spikes thay can get (only joking, I love Brighton, really!).
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I think the best way to get over any reverse culture shock is to go and see a game of footie on Boxing Day, complete with hot steaming cup of coffee (x2) and a Kit Kat. Only my local boys, but they won an energetic derby 2-1.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
I'll be honest, the first day or two in Blighty, I felt like a complete stranger, it no longer felt like "my country". All those funny accents, those strange coins, all that tinsel...but after that initial shock it all came good...there's just something about driving on the road to Brighton, with the rain beating down and "This is England" from the Clash blasting out on the stereo to knock some sense into you!
It was a great trip, junior was a little star, though he wore the crap out of me...at least he's got a few more words under his belt, all the important ones like cake, Santa, and Nanny. He also got to meet his cousins for the first time, which was nice, lots of flashing cameras of course...and I got lots of nice compliments, especially from cute Duty Free saleswomen, on how brave I was to be travelling alone with him...how right they were...
The weather wasn't too bad, just typically grey. I think the sun shone for about 2 hours in my 8 days there. Bleedin' cold and foggy the first couple of days. But, I can tell you that our house in smallsville is far far colder than any house in Blighty, I froze my brass monkeys off last night! They just have no idea of the "cosy" central heating concept over here.
Christmas. There just ain't nothing like it. You can keep your Rosh HaShannas and your Hanukkahs and your Pessachs, I'd be more than happy to have just the annual Christmas-fest as my holiday. OK, it's all gone commercial and the TV is crap (that was the crappiest Christmas Day schedule ever?), but all you Blighters that knock it, you have no idea just what you've got...I shall be coming back for more!
More pics to come.