• Nora Berman

Normal in Israel, A Lawsuit in America

Updated: May 19

[written March 2018]


  1.  In Israel the bus is only full not when all of the seats are full, but when THE ENTIRE AISLE IS FILLED TO CAPACITY WITH STANDING ROOM. I’m not talking about city buses, which in New York can be packed as well. I’m talking the coach, Greyhound style buses that travel the country. Depending on the time of day, I’ve stood over an hour on a bus. I’ve seen people lie down on the floor, or crouch for four hours in the stairs on the back exit. Can you even imagine a bus driver in America permitting passengers to stand? Can you imagine how many lawsuits would be filed?

  2. Passing drivers on blind curves. In my previous post, I neglected to mention that to reach the angelic Rika, I drove through mountains. It was a typical winding two lane road with switchback curves and the valley plunging far below you. (Israel also leaves behind vehicle carcasses that have not been so fortunate as a nice backdrop for you as you make your way down the mountain). I counted no less than six times when I would round a blind curve, with no possible way of seeing what is coming on the other side, to be face to face head on with a driver coming the other way. I have seen coach size buses attempt to pass on blind curves on Gvish 25 descending from Dimona into the Arava Valley, on an even narrower road. Israelis are fucking nuts. WHO PASSES ON A BLIND CURVE?!!

  3. Preparing and rolling a joint in public, on a bar, outside cafe, etc. is 100% ok. To qualify this, the majority of my experience has been in Tel Aviv, so I cannot speak for the entire country. I have seen at a bus stop a group of people sitting at a picnic table preparing a joint in the remote south where I live. But in general, you do not need to be shy about smoking marijuana here in Israel. I’ve been in groups where people get out their scissors and grinders and rolling papers whilst receiving fancy cocktails at a bar.

  4. Going barefoot. There are way too many kibbutzniks (people who grew up on kibbutzim) around to fuck with those “No Shirt No Shoes No Service” signs that we have in America. I’ve been with friends that go barefoot in the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, in restaurants, et al. No one cares.

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