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Monday, February 12, 2007

Becoming a "Real" Israeli

A SUBMISSION FROM BINYAMIN -- For some, becoming a "real" Israeli is voting in their first election. For others it is army service, or better yet, their first reserve duty call-up. But for me, it is buying my first pair of Israeli underwear.

You know you've really integrated into a country when you finally give up on the tighty-whities that have served you so well since high school, and decide to get some new underwear. Also, because it's easier to buy new underwear then to go to the Laundromat and wash your old ones. Some people prefer to shop at the Mashbir. But if you go there, you have to talk to the lady. You know which one I'm talking about. She's the only one working in the men's underwear department. She's been there forever. She knows your size with a quick glance. Trust the men's underwear lady. She will serve you well.

Then of course there is the underwear you buy in the store on Yoel Solomon Street at the same place you get your nargilah and flavored tobacco. You know the place. It's either playing Sarit Hadad or a rap song you heard in America five years ago. This is the underwear printed with the words "I'm Jewish, wanna check?" or "100% Kosher". My friend's girlfriend bought him a pair as a joke. He washed them and hung them out to dry on the balcony. The underwear fell off the balcony and onto the laundry of his downstairs neighbor, an older Israeli-born woman. My friend had to go downstairs and in broken Hebrew, tell this lady that she had his underwear.

But now, my fellow olim hadashim, we have integrated. We have Israeli underwear. We may not know Hebrew fluently. We may not know how to cut in line at the bus station. We may not be in overdraft at the bank. We may not know how to flirt with our secretary and then be indicted. But we have Israeli underwear and thus we are well on our way to fulfilling the Zionist Dream.

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  • At 11:49 AM , Blogger Ezra said...

    HA. It isn't every day you actual L out L.

  • At 4:23 PM , Blogger Shulamit said...

    hey, wat about the girl olim?? they have to get boxers also? :)

  • At 4:51 PM , Anonymous Mel said...

    Well, here's something I never really wanted to discuss publicly:

    Apparently, Victoria's Secret makes a lot of their underwear here in Israel. However, I have yet to see a VS in Israel.

    I love Israel. I'm never leaving. But I import my undies.

  • At 6:34 AM , Blogger Sarah said...

    LOL!! :)

  • At 8:43 AM , Anonymous Oleg the Oleh said...

    Your not really there until you wear the IDF-issued panties they insist are 'tachtonim.'

    I used 'em to shine my boots. Icky.


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