Friday, June 29, 2012

A little bit of water can go a long way

Most restaurants in California will serve a customer a glass of water upon request. And some will even pour you water automatically the minute you sit down at the table. Occasionally the waiter will stop by to check if you need a refill. He will even leave you his water jar if you ask for it. Not so in Israel. If you ask for water, the waiter has to place your order with the bar and will bring over one glass at a time. Refills aren't automatic: your waiter has to order another glass from the bar, which takes time and requires a few friendly reminders.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Giving 'Green Light' to Young Drivers

One of my ‘pet peeves’ in Israel is the local driving culture. Admittedly, driving has improved over the last decade or so, especially after major investments in road infrastructure. Yet compared to California, I feel far more anxious on the road here. I wrote about my dissatisfaction with driver behavior before, as in ‘Looking for a Gentler Mr. Wheeler’. And according to my wife, I sound far less subtle when I sit behind the wheel and curse. One day after sending yet another driver to hell, she said to me “if you feel so strongly about the situation why don’t you do something about it?”. Ah, wives and their pragmatism…

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oil Change - In Broad Daylight

My car needed an oil change - nothing too complicated. I have done it myself in my younger days: you unscrew the oil plug at the bottom of the engine, drain the oil, replace the oil filter, screw the plug back, pour fresh oil on top and you’re done. It takes 20min max. But who wants to get down and dirty now days? Especially when lots of places (in California) offer to do that, plus lube, plus rotating your tires and inspecting your car – all for about $20? But wait, we’re not in California anymore…