23 February, 2008

Just a bit of sophomoric humor

Here's a sign that's cropped up in the past decade or so - it's for a French crepe stand. This is a new-ish concept (i.e. post-my initial arrival to the country in 1990) in Israel - some batter is poured onto a hot plate kind of thing, and delicately developed into a very thin pancake, which can then be topped with chocolate sauce, dulce de leche, or the like.

Unfortunately for those in the business, "crepe" does not yet apparently have its own formal Hebrew word. Therefore, the signs have little choice but to transliterate the crepe, rather than translate. This is really only problematic for crass Americans like myself; being as we can only see the consonants in the word, the French c-r-p kind of stands out blatantly with a less pancakey (and far less appetizing) meaning.

I'm sure it's delicious nonetheless. Bon appetit!

14 February, 2008

Shouldn't weatherfolk be unbiased?

Okay, today's post is another screen shot. I feel a bit strange using it - somehow it seems like cheating, since a camera wasn't involved. But it really is funny, and I like to share, so here we go.

The weather here has been crazy. First it was freezing (but Really Freezing), and then it snowed. Then we a had a couple of days where we could venture out in short-sleeves, and now we're back to freezing winds and hail. Rumors are even spreading about another possible snowstorm early next week, but I'm trying hard not to believe, so as not to be disappointed if/when it doesn't arrive.

The thing is, Israel is a country where rain really counts - we rely on a wet winter to keep us going during our dry summers. So when it rains here, even if the rain is accompanied by brutal winds and frigid temperatures, it's generally considered politically correct to be grateful, and even enthusiastic.

Yesterday, I had a free minute at work, and checked the weather forecast online. It didn't seem
quite objective enough:

Worse? Why are we taking sides? And truthfully, we can't even be sure what this forecast is implying; sure, it could be worse, as in "rainier." But since rain is a good thing, it could also be worse as in "sorry, the rain will taper off."

Pretty silly, if you ask me.

10 February, 2008

Ready, aim...

Here's a sign that I pass often - it's on the highway from Jerusalem, right before the turnoff to my neighborhood in Efrat. This sign is always a bit alarming to me, although no one else has ever said a word about it, so I guess it's just me, as usual. Here's the background on my shock:

About six years ago, there was an attempted terrorist attack in the main Efrat shopping center. The whole town was shaken up for some time about it, and we haven't really taken our safety for granted since then.

Anyway, not long after, the Northern road in Efrat opened. Just to understand, Efrat is laid out long and skinny, like a baguette. Since it was founded, the entrance had always been from the Southern end. As time went on, more neighborhoods were built, further and further North, toward Jerusalem. When we moved to Efrat, we moved to Zayit, one of the Northernmost neighborhoods, but to get to Jerusalem, we had to drive to the Southern end of the baguette, and then re-travel the distance as we drove back North on the highway. This was obviously silly, and so an additional "Northern road" was eventually built, connecting up to the highway from the other end of the baguette.

When they finally opened the new road, saving us all a lot of travel time, they put up this sign on the highway, to explain which turnoff was which:
The proximity to the then-recent attack made this graphic seem pretty tactless to me. But like I said, I've never heard anyone else say anything about it - is it really just me?

02 February, 2008

Just to get a sense of priority

Well, it snowed all right. We got two snow days out of the equation, and a lot of fun. However, I didn't have a lot of opportunity to go around snapping photos of funny signs, so I'll post something that's been sitting in my inbox for a while.

Last month, my highly esteemed father-in-law came for a visit to Israel. Since my son has been taking basketball after school, the idea of taking him out to a "real" game came up. The thing is, we weren't sure how to go about getting tickets, having only moved here eleven years ago. We're not that sports oriented a family; could you tell?

Anyway, my computer-wise husband did what he does best; he googled (in
Hebrew) the word "basketball," figuring that some kind of helpful information was likely to come up.

Now, as you likely know, when using the Google toolbar, options of things Google thinks you may be interested in pop up as you type. So, if you're typing, say, "mayflower," as you type m, the most popular things searched for starting with m pop up, then when you get to ma, the ma's start coming, and so on. Try it, it's kind of fun.

Now basketball in Hebrew is "cadur sal," meaning literally ball/sphere basket. So when Dave had gotten to the end of "cadur," all of the most popular entries beginning with cadur starting coming, in order of most searched. I realize that this post may not translate well into English, but bear with me, I'll try to make it clear. Here's a screen shot of what popped up. It's not exactly a sign, true, but I think it truly is a sign of the times:

Okay, and here are the top ten searched for items on Google beginning with "ball/sphere," according to Google Israel, December 2007:
1) Soccer
2) Chocolate Bon bons
3) The Earth
4) Basketball
5) Hot-Air Balloon
6) Volleyball
7) Caduri (the name of a very famous Israeli Rabbi)
8) Handball
9) Meatballs
10) Recipe for Chocolate Bon bons

Need I say more? How can I say more? I think I'm proud to be part of a society that holds bon bons so highly in stature. Higher than the Earth! Wow.