Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My first email.
Do you remember the first time you sat in front of a keyboard (typewriter for most of us) and started to type? I had that feeling yesterday.
For the first time I sat in front of a keyboard in Hebrew and typed my first ever email in Hebrew. Can you imagine that? Our ancient language, the language of our holy Torah, on an email? Isn’t that amazing? I wrote about two full sentences but it took me about 15 minutes or so. I still haven’t figured out where and why the letters are positioned that way. Also I must thank Mr. Gates for adding a spell check to his software, it came in very handy. I have decided for now to write in English.

Some other complications Hebrew brings to the computer is the fact that you can go back and forward from writing right to left and then left to right, however numbers are always left to right. The calendar on Outlook goes from right to left, so you need to scroll to the left to go to the next day (not to the right), a couple of times I have scheduled a meeting for yesterday instead of for tomorrow.
I have done 3 days at work and now I’m on vacation until Wednesday due to the holidays + pre-holidays + bridge + Friday. They have been interesting days, all charged with lots of Hebrew. I’ve got a lot to learn about the Israeli market as well as the company and everyone at Diplomat has been very helpful and understanding. It’s very interesting the differences found in marketing for a country with 300 million people vs. 7 million, between 3,500,000 square miles and 10,200 square miles or 8,400 square miles without Gaza and the West Bank (slightly smaller than the state of N.J).

I’m looking forward to mastering the language and fully understanding the business and processes.

Regarding the cultural differences, I’m still trying to figure it out.

It is a funny feeling to be able to eat freely at the company’s cafeteria and ask for the meat Kreplach. Only in Israel.

It’s amazing also how the entire business and decisions are affected by the Jewish Holidays. Religious or secular we are all affected. This new product launch would not work in April because of Pesach (Passover), we could do a costumes’ promotion for Purim, this will have to wait until after Sukkot, how about a special sale for Chanukah? Only in Israel.

Back to the Oscars
A sequel for “Driving Miss Daisy” came out but did not do much. We have finally received our drivers license after all that we went through, waited and paid (see blog “And the award goes to”). Not much happened after we went to the post office to pay for it.

A great sequel is still underway from “The Hunt for Red October”. Our shipment finally arrived in Israel last week, but it took another week to be unloaded and go through customs. But wait, we didn’t know that it passed customs until yesterday that the shipping company said that they cannot release it until they get a document we previously gave them at a meeting in a park that they lost. Very professional. Did I mentioned they also charged us slightly more because the shipment is coming from the Haifa port vs. Ashdod because of the unloading in Turkey driven by the strikes in the Israeli ports? Well, to top that, now that they have everything they have it will have to wait until after Tuesday because of the holidays. I will not name our shipping company (we are so close to Yom Kippur and it would not look good on my records J) but I’m not too happy with them, however if there is anyone out there looking to ship their things give me a buzz since we should not “Place a stumbling block before the blind person”.
The only thing we were hoping to get at this point was our Sukkah (Hut) before Sukkot, but it doesn’t seem feasible now. However by posting an email to a Modiin e-list I was able to get a Sukkah from someone we are yet to meet who will not be in town to use it. What a great Mitzvah (good deed/commandment) is for someone to let a complete stranger perform another Mitzvah (building and using a Sukkah). Only in Israel???

Gmar Chatima Tovah to all. Easy fast.

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