Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer is over

Summer has definitely come to an end, how do I know? Here are the signs to look for to know that summer has come to an end.

1. Back to School

Oh yes, the universal sign that summer is over is when kids go back to school. In Israel school starts always on September 1 (unless it falls on Saturday). Batya started Kitah Aleph (1st grade) and is doing great. She likes it a lot, is making new friends and learning at the speed of light. She wakes up and before living her room she is already dressed and ready to roll. She is going to the local religious public school which is relatively new and has seen growth of 50% or more year on year. Batya’s class has 38 kids (thirty eight – just like on checks to make sure there is no confusion on the number), and there are in total 3 1st grade classes with 38 kids, I guess she will be able to make a lot or friends :) and hope she can get 1 minute per day from her teacher. There are a lot of things to talk about preparing for 1st grade such as the expensive school bag that is a must that is bigger than the kids and that have to be purchased also with a set of wheels to carry it.

Ilan is doing very well at his Gan as well. He cried just a little the first day but after that he has not cried again. He is very happy and starting to make new friends.

Liora is working full time at a pre-school with babies starting at 1.5 years. She is working very hard but enjoys it a lot. The three of them are on the same street and all at a 5 minute walk from our home. I just love every morning taking both kids by the hand and walk to school.

Enjoy some pictures of the first day of school.

2. Is the grapevine dying again?

The second time around there is no reason to alarm. We have been very careful with our backyard which has grown beautifully regardless of the reduction in water use mandated by the government (no kidding, because of the scarce of water in Israel there are laws of how much you can use for your garden). We have Passiflora (I think it’s called passion-fruit), oranges, limes, olives and of course the grapevine which gave some tasty grapes this year. Well, about this time a year the grapevine starts to dry up as if it was dying. That scared us a lot last year until spring when we saw new green plants growing. Today it has grown beautifully and it’s ready to rest for the next season.

3. Football season is back

You can see it on the streets, thousands wearing their team’s shirts, preparing for the season opener… Well maybe not thousands, maybe hundreds… Well maybe not hundreds maybe 2? Am I the only one around here who cares about the Steelers? Lets see if I can stay awake for the 2:30am game.

Picture taken today as the Steelers football season opens.

4. Crembos are back, honey is on sale and the Hummus tasting clubs are starting

I’m not sure how to describe them but Crembos are an Israeli sweet candy/snack that comes out only when it starts to get cooler. Why? Because it consists of a chocolate covered… whipped cream, sounds interesting doesn’t it?

Also it’s this time of the year when the supermarkets are filled with everything for your holidays, sales on honey, sales on cake, sale sale sale. Yesterday we even received a gift bag that included a honey cake and apples, isn’t that nice?

This is also a great time for food companies to do all their sampling activity given that everyone is going out shopping to prepare for the eating marathon of our holidays. So yesterday I had a Hummus tasting experience where I tried about 6 different kinds of Hummus (all same brand) a tchina (sesame seed sauce) and some other spicy salads. I never thought you could have so many kinds of hummus until the Hummus connoisseur pointed out the differences to me as I was tasting them. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to try them, it I had to: 1) look at the appearance 2)”on pita” the aroma 3)”in mouth” sensation 4)”finish” (aftertaste); or just dip and eat, since this was my first ever Hummus tasting event I ever attended.

5. The “acharei hachagim” syndrome starts to proliferate

I have written several times about the “acharei hachagim” (after the holidays) phenomena. You definitely know that the summer is coming to and end when you hear it. It means that the month were nothing in this country gets done is going to start soon, so why start something now when you can wait until after a month when the holidays are over.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming holidays being this our second year celebrating them.

I hope I can come up with something creative to share with you in celebration of Rosh Hashanah and that I have enough time to do it next week. Meanwhile enjoy last years’ here which received rave reviews. I recommend watching the video bloopers if you never saw them.

Goodbye 5769, hello 5770. We will miss the 60’s :)

Coming soon a big announcement about the guest blog post contest I participated in. Also, I started to do some field research and will soon present to you a report about customer service in the consumer product industry in Israel, you will be amazed with he findings, I have.

Hey it’s now 1am, I almost made it to the Steelers game.


Baila said...

Hey, we also got the apples and honey cake! And isn't still a bit warm out for the Crembos?

Wishing you and yours a Shana Tova!

James Michael Price said...

If I had not gotten "cold feet" and made aliyah 27 years ago, there would be one more ex-pat on the streets in Israel with a Pittsburgh Steelers tee-shirt on. I was born and raised in the (former)steel city.

I wish you and your beautiful family much health, happiness, and success in the new year and for many more to come.

All the very best to all of you,


Israel W. said...

Thank you Jim.
It's never too late to make Aliyah.
I wish you all the best too.

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