guide to living in israel
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

An Amateur's guide to the do's and don'ts of living in Israel

Fake it 'till you make it

95
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfbq7lDDXbS/
instagram.com

1. Don't be passive

media.giphy.com

Don't be afraid to speak out and be assertive. Of course, it's difficult to be assertive when you're completely clueless to what is going on. But there are tons of phrases you can pick up on. And body language is a universal language. In Israel, workers won't come up to you and ask if you need assistance, they will assume you don't unless you assert yourself. Key words to use to be more assertive: yalla, sliha

2. Do take the bus

Giphy

Taking the bus everywhere is a weird concept for me, especially when I've been driving or Ubering everywhere for most of my life. But in Israel, bussing is a necessity. Get a Rav Kav card or bring coins with you for the cheap bus ride.

3. Do check prices

media.giphy.com

Living in a foreign country is especially difficult when purchasing things. Because most Americans like myself might get a little lazy and not do the currency conversions. You might think something costs a lot more/less than it really does so it might be easier to just splurge. Ignorance, in this case, is really not bliss.

4. Don't pretend you're fluent

media.giphy.com

If you're trying to look for directions or asking a question, and you know how to say it in Hebrew, you might actually make it harder for yourself. In Israel, if you look even the slightest Israeli, people will speak Hebrew to you. So making them believe you're not a tourist, won't exactly help. They might respond with something you don't understand and then you're back where you started-clueless. Don't pretend you're fluent, but it doesn't hurt to learn a few words here and there.

5. Don't expect people to act American

az616578.vo.msecnd.net

Israelis have a distinct culture. They all seem to keep to themselves which is for sure not how America is, especially when it comes to shopping. So don't be alarmed if the cashier doesn't greet you with a "Hi how are you?" or doesn't tell you "have a nice day" on the way out. But honestly, they could've said it but I wouldn't know what it is. Anyway, don't get mad if they're being impatient or not giving you 100% their all. Customer service isn't as emphasized in most countries like it is in America. So don't expect a greeting at the store door and the greeting on the way out.

6. Do let people know you speak English

media.giphy.com

Sometimes it's really difficult to communicate with someone in Israel, but only if they don't know English. If someone speaks to you in Hebrew just respond, "English." And either they'll translate what they said or they just won't get the hint. But it really doesn't hurt to try. Most people do know English, all you have to do is make it clear that that's what you want.

7. Don't stress so much

media.giphy.com

Living in a new city is exciting, but living in a new city in a new country as well can be daunting. Don't stress. Israelis are pretty laid back despite being aggressive. So don't worry if you show up late to work or dinner with a friend.

8. Do ask how much a taxi ride is

www.pexels.com

A lot of the time, the taxi drivers can rip you off, charging a lot more for a ride that shouldn't cost that much. Ask how much it is before hopping in.

All in all, when adapting to living in a foreign country, you really do have to fake it till you make it sometimes. Don't make your mind up from the start that you can't adapt just because you're not from there. Learn as you go, and believe you belong, and you will, hopefully.

9. Do bargain with sellers

images.haarets.co.il

A lot of the time, especially at the Carmel Market, sellers will know you're American so they'll try to sell you something for more money than it's listed for. Don't fall for it.

10. Don't expect to get a "quick" meal

media.giphy.com

Most waiters/waitresses in Israel don't really have any concept of time whatsoever. They won't apologize if you wait an hour for the food or check. They won't ask how the food is. They let you take your time and they take theirs. Don't expect them to think you're done. You're not done until you let them know you are.

11. Do explore

www.hiusa.org

It's a brand new city, and there's no need to stay on the same street eating at the same restaurant. Explore what's out there. Discover new places to go, new places to eat, new places to hang out with friends. You never know what you might find when you're not even looking.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Five Types Of People In Fall

From yummy pumpkin spice lattes to scary movies, fall has it all and then some.

262
Destination Logan County Illinois

Oh fall, the most marvelous time of year...right? Every approaches fall differently, some pumpkin spice-tastically and some not so enthusiastically. We can't all be Autumn lovers, so here are five types of people in fall. Grab a cup of hot coca, sit back, and enjoy.

Keep Reading... Show less
https://unsplash.com/photos/XdbUsFkAwqA

If you're like me, by this time of year you're over summer. The beach, the sunshine, and the heat were all great, but now we're itching for blanket scarves, football, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! As the new season approaches, your relationship can benefit from some old traditional dates and some new fresh ideas! Here are a couple great date ideas for you and your boo to try out this fall.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Social Media Or Soul Media

To the generation that cares way too much about affirmation.

3379
Emma Smith
  • This semester I am taking the ever so famous class, Writing 101. Walking into it, I had heard the horror stories about each major assignment. I have to admit, it’s not a class that I am fond of. But, major assignment #2 got me thinking, we had to create a research question based off of a topic that we are interested in.

Two weeks prior, I watched a very interesting documentary on Netflix. Miss Representation was recommended to me by one of my friends and I have to say the topic is absolutely mind blowing. Social Media and Female Body Image. How Social Media makes girls see this unnatural perfection of ‘beauty’ that really doesn’t exist. But female body image isn’t the only thing affected by social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Sex And The Church

A letter to fellow believers.

4504
Amanda Hayes
  • I know many of you just read that title and thought it was scandalous to see something so “risque” in the same setting as something holy. Well guess what – sex is part of that. Everyone seems to think they are separate, which makes since because most people treat them as though they are complete polar opposites. Shall we think this through?

Who created the Church body? God. Who created the body? Also God. If we know God to be the creator of all things, we cannot leave sex out of that equation. God created sex, people! Praise Him! Like all great things, the world has twisted and perverted it. The world has stained it so badly that even many church congregations see it only as stained and keep quiet about that part of God’s word. Many people know that God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), but a lot of people overlook the entirety of Song of Solomon. The entire book is dedicated to telling of the love and sex between man and wife. God blessed us with the gift of intimacy, one to be shared between husband and wife. Church if we teach of sex as the blessing that it is, more people will start treating it as such. If we stop viewing sex as this unspeakable act, the temptation would be lessened. With the fall of man, humans naturally desire things they should not have. So if more people speak of it with gladness and praise, and do not hide it in the darkness as if it were vile, fewer people would be drawn to it for the wrong reasons. More people would appreciate it for what it is: a gift from God.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tumblr

Chick-fil-A, I love you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments