Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Israeli Way: favors that aren't quite favors

This weekend I went with my boyfriend, Yotam, and a number of friends to spend a night on a beach south of Tel Aviv.  These weekends aren't all that infrequent.  They usually consist of a BBQ (Israelis love their BBQing and have a habit of setting up a fire with a metal grill wherever whenever) and drinking with some intermittent swimming.
Typical Israeli BBQ, aka על האש

What is always unique about these events is the way that everyone pitches in.  Someone volunteers to drive (most people don't have cars) someone volunteers to buy meat, another beer, another chips and so on.  If someone doesn't have a car, the group makes calls to friends that don't mind lending them one.  If someone doesn't have a grill- the same.  The notion that it's impolite to ask, doesn't exist.

Let me clarify.

Our beach weekend began at Kibbutz Palmachin, a kibbutz right on the beach. An old friend of one of our buddies named Noam happens to live there in a beautiful house with a lawn and a view of the ocean (both of these are very rare).
Kibbutz Palmachim

It was not question: Of course the eight of us could come and use his house and his yard and his kitchen for our BBQ.  We were welcome to whatever.

We showed up with all our shit at dusk (never mind the constant phone calls back and forth as we got lost and needed clearer directions to his place) and threw 30 beers in Noam's freezer and fridge.  We threw the rest of our food in his kitchen while he and his girlfriend got ready to leave for a family dinner.  Before we went for a short walk on the beach, he left us his key and told us to have fun. And that was that.

The eight of us took a stroll, came back and set up Noam's grill.

We used his coals, some of his spices, paper cups, plates and knives. Three hours were spent in his front yard drinking, cooking, eating while he was away.  Neighbors of his walked by.  "You want to eat?" we asked. "Come, have something to eat. Come."  When we needed a candle, we just knocked on the door of the nearest house.  They brought us one with a smile.

When Noam and his girlfriend returned they happily sat with us, despite the fact that they knew only about 2/8ths of us and we returned the key. We sat together, drank together, and then cleaned up.  We said our goodbyes, invited them to come meet us at the beach for some fun and games before bed, and that was that.

Would this EVER happen in the states?!

Palmachim Beach, where we slept

1 comment:

  1. lived at Palmachim 40 years ago.........hasn't changed!


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