08 March 2009

Be'America (Be'Ima Sheli)

That's right! It's super-fateful grad school visiting time!

But first: culture shock! ETA: Daniel added my translation to the video! Subtitled version here...

Keren Mor: Who's last [in line]?
Shai Avivi: I am.
KM: Is there someone...?
SA: Where?
KM: Inside?
Dov Navon: Some old lady. She's been in there for an hour.
KM: I just have one question.
SA: Sweetie, everyone just has one question.
DN: I've just had one question since morning!
KM: This can only happen in Israel.
DN: All because of the bureaucracy...
SA: In America, you wouldn't wait even one minute in line.
KM: America — how can you compare? In America, the customer is always right. You can buy a shirt and return it a month later, and they'll give you your money back.
DN: Here, I bought this in America. No buttons!
KM: They'll give you your money back even without buttons. Even if you don't want to return the shirt, they'll still give you your money back.
SA: They'll give it back and say thank you!
KM: Sure, "thank you," but later they'll mug you in the street, with, with the money you got back.
DN: Yeah, they'll kill you there, like, no big deal.
KM: Murders and muggings, and no one even cares. You could walk around there in the middle of the street at midday and get murdered, and no one would care. You could bleed all day long on the sidewalk and no one would care.
DN: Yeah, in Israel, people care.
KM: In Israel! In Israel you can walk outside at night without having to worry.
DN: They'll murder you! And no one will care.
KM: Where?
DN: In America.
SA: America! In America, of course they'll murder you. But we were talking about Israel!
DN: Oh! No, in Israel they won't murder you.
KM: No, they won't murder you but they'll take the skin off your back with these prices, and what'll you get out of it in the end? Such small portions!
SA: Ah, in America, portions are portions — enough for you and all of your friends!
DN: Yeah, but, that's America. In America, there are no friends. There, it's dog-eat-dog. So what'll you do, go to a restaurant alone? And then what will you do with all the leftovers from your huge portions?
KM: What, what's the problem? Just take the leftovers home.
SA: Yeah, it's completely acceptable. In Israel, if you ask a waiter to wrap up your leftover food, they'll look at you like you killed somebody!
DN: Yeah, and then, on the way home, they'll kill you AND take your food.
KM: Where?
DN: ... in America.
KM: Sure! In America, no one cares!
SA: In America, you can bleed in the middle of a restaurant, right into your plate — no one will care!
DN: But there, your plate's be full of big portions.
KM: Yeah and then they'll give you your money back and say thank you!
SA: In Israel, if you bleed in the middle of a restaurant right into your plate, they'll look at you like you killed somebody!
DN: Well yeah, it's completely acceptable.
SA: Where?
DN: In America —
KM: In Israel —
DN: — err, in Israel —
KM: — in America —
SA: In America, if they raise the prices, people take to the streets.
DN: True, but they can get murdered in the streets.
KM: Sure, but who cares? No one.
SA: In Israel, people won't ever take to the streets.
DN: And even if they do, no one will murder them.
KM: And if they do get murdered, everyone will care.
SA: Where?
DN: ... In America.
SA: What shit.
KM: Where?
SA: In Israel.
KM: Ah.
DN: But not like in America.
SA: Well, America! How can you compare? [sigh]
DN: [sigh]
KM: ... Who's the doctor?


  1. Christian and I think this trip is very east-of-the-Mississippi-ist.

  2. Whatever, I'm SO crossing the Mississippi to get to St. Louis.

  3. Where did you make that map, and how can I make one?

    I'm drafting a post for my blog on non-American perceptions of America. I may use that clip and subtitle it with your translation. I'll let you know when/if I do.

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC8cr-qNiFY

  5. the STL segment starts at 8:15 PM (not AM, unfortunately ;-))

  6. oh, and it ends on 4/6, which is Monday(not Friday)

  7. I know you'll have plenty on your plate when you're here in Ann Arbor, but give me a ring if you're able, as I'd love to see you!

  8. Neat, I'm glad I click over to your blog every now and then. I'm working most weekends at Craft Alliance in the Loop now, so let me know if you have time for a quick lunch or coffee/tea/icecream in the Loop, or dinner anywhere else while you are in St. Louis!

    -Miriam W.

  9. Hope trip was joyful.

    And the jokes are the most important thing in life. Is there anything more than positive affect?