Argue with the customer: One of the strangest aspects of Israeli culture is the lack of customer-oriented service. Try on a pair of shoes and reject them as uncomfortable and hear, “But they are orthopedic!” Ask for something that the sales clerk isn’t familiar with and get the response, “Ein davar kazeh (there’s no such thing).” When they push something on you that you don’t want, no polite refusal works, as they demand to know why you don’t want it. I’ve found that only making up the most absurd stories works. “Oh, I won’t buy anything from company name. They test their products on babies in China.” (Of course, that can backfire when the clerk asks, “And why is that a problem?”)
Eat up, my dumpling:Nadine returns to her normal fitness program by gorging herself on pita and white cheese, and then retiring for a well-earned shluff under the fluffy blanky. All is well. When well-meaning knuckleheads lecture me on the dangers of feline obesity, I just shrug. Miss Thing will be 14 in a few weeks (11 April, so mark your calendar), and her luscious dimensions have never interfered with her robust good health.