Sunday, January 29, 2012


Living in Israel and having to deal with contractors, repairmen, salesmen, etc., one learns quickly that "service" has quite a different meaning here than in the US.

You're sort of on your own.  Here are some examples of what they say and what they mean:

"I'll call you when it's ready" = I will not call you when it's ready.  You call me and if I'm around I may tell you if it's ready or not.

"I'll be there at 1:00 pm on Monday" = "I'll be there when I get there.  It may be 9:00 am.  It may be the next day. Or the next week."

And you are not, as in the US, in the position to complain to the Better Business Bureau - they don't have one here.  And even if they did (they may, frankly I didn't research that last statement), not only would the company not care what you said, but no one else would care either. So, you just shake your head or laugh and move on. 

ON THE OTHER HAND, some things are really nice:

You can pay in installments, without interest, for quite a long period of time.  Everyone understands that money is tight and getting paid in installments is better than not getting paid at all.

Everything is tied to your bank account - so you really can't buy what you can't afford because it's going to come out of your own money right away.  Smart.

Medical care - for all the inconvenience of the lab not being in the same building as the doctor, I could check my strep test results online.  And all of one's medical records are online nationally.

And ON THE OTHER OTHER HAND, some things are awesome, like:

The shofar-like "alarm" that you hear in some cities when Shabbos starts - I absolutely love that. 

Living on a street named Sarah Imeinu, which is parallel to a street named Rachel Imeinu. Cooler than other streets we've lived on: Garrison, Summerson, Gardenwick....not to mention West 111th and Bennett Avenue.....

Going to a government office building and noticing that they all have mezuzos on their doors.

This week we are trying to get our apartment in order - it's dusty and a bit dirty, and our stuff is piled on top of the dust and dirt, and we won't have electricity for a few days, but it's ours.  We sat on our couch today and looked out at the most awesome view and could not really fathom that this is our home. 


  1. I understand your frustrations and sympathize but just by the way we do have a better business bureau type thing here and there is even a specific one for contractors and service people like plumbers etc.

    Let me know if you want the info I will try to get you the link to the websites or phone numbers when I am not on a mobile device my computer is in for repair so it may take me some time to get you the info-sorry
    . They have made a difference for me in the past but its too long of a story for a comment :)

    Sorry for your frustrations but the pros you mentioned of living here kinda out-way the cons you mentioned ... regardless welcome home:)