Monthly Archives: May 2011

Why wouldn’t it work in Israel

The Good Stuff…

Yes, we Israelis pride ourselves of being warm and helping each others everywhere on the globe.

we are also highly initiative and will always find the best deals there are.

Alas, this is also the reason why some things can never work in our country…

Whose Turn is It?

I just came back from driving more than 2,000 KM around California and Nevada.

I found out there are some rules in the US that are different from what I was used to.

  • Right of way in junctions with no traffic lights – in Israel, when you get to a junction with no traffic lights, the right of way is given to the car arriving from the right side of you. In traffic circles, it’s the car on your left… In the US, if you get to a junction in which everyone has a stop sign, the right of way is given to the first car who arrived at the junction! yep, it sounds weird at first, but it works.
  • Turning right on a red light – unless specified otherwise, when you get to a right turn and the light is red, it functions as a stop sign. meaning, you can make the turn on the red light just as long as you stop at the junction before.
  • Green light for two intersecting lanes – sounds weird but there are junctions in which the left turning lane and the opposing straight lane have green light at the same time. in which case, the left turning lane must wait for the junction to be clear before turning left. this was a near accident experience to me when I first got to LA :).

I did loose a psychic ability though…

in Israel, you have a psychic ability allowing you to control another driver. if you need to change to a left lane in order to pass a car and there is currently another car on the left lane, far behind you, you just need to hit the signal and you can make the other car driver speed up, trying to make its best not to let you pass.

Another weird thing was when I missed the light turning from red to green and I got delayed for 3 seconds, thinking about something else. nobody blew their horn, that was really weird…

Of course, none of these would work in Israel since they require some basic patience.

Apples anyone?

When I was hitch-hiking around in New Zealand, I came across many road-stands with fruits for sale. the stands were packed with all kinds of fruits in different bag sizes and the price was indicated on each bag. there was a metal mail-box style box in which you placed the payment. You just had to pick your bag, place the amount in the box and move on. No, there was nobody watching the place. no camera, no personal, nothing… just your integrity… my first impression was – are they mad? what prevents people from just picking up a bag and moving on?

Several nature reserves and parks along the US have explanatory pamphlets at the entrance, like the amazing Mariposa Grove. the pamphlets can be picked up independently while the sign next to it just indicates that a donation of a quarter or two quarters are requested.

The same thing happened in several gas stations, in which you pumped your own gas, read the amount on the meter and then entered the store to pay the bill…

Your table is ready

In the US, some restaurants have a long waiting list. this forms a big line of people waiting outside the restaurant waiting to be called. but what if you want to go for a short walk in the meantime? get something from your car? there is a chance you will miss your turn…

So, when you register, you’ll get a small table pager transmitter that will indicate that your table is ready.

I would love to see it here, but I am pretty sure some or most of these transmitters will not be returned to the restaurants 🙁

Just buy the cup

Everyone is aware of the fast food refill policy. just buy the cup and feel free to refill. this is of course part of the reason for obesity in the US. (The big cap gets up to 1.2 Litters and more !!!).

Israelis would probably ask – why should I buy several cups for our table, let’s just buy one, it’s a refill… we could all enjoy the cup…

This is just a short list, sadly there are many more examples of this kind…

could this change? could we be more patient and trusting?

I hope so…