A wise man once said, "Follow other people's blogs and then steal ideas which you think are funny for use in your own blog." He might not have been the most original wise man, maybe a little lacking in integrity, but we listen to him nonetheless. So the idea for the following blog has been gleefully and blatantly stolen from my friend Rena's blog, which you can read here at http://www.mysocalledlifeinisrael.blogspot.com/.
Rena made a list of all the luxuries that she misses from America, and what she has replaced them with here. I thought, "That is funny. I will use that." So here you go, my List of Luxuries:
1. My Chrysler Town & Country, especially the magical doors that opened and closed "by hisself." I have replaced this with a Ford Focus, three of which could fit inside my T&C. And I now look at Toyota Corollas - you know, the pinky finger on the hand of the Toyota company - and think "Wow, what a luxury car!"
2. A LARGE coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. Extra cream, no sugar. It's one thing to replace "coffee" with "latte;" it's a whole different pan of falafel to replace "large" with "the size of your child's sippy cup."
3. Amazon.com (I would also include here Barnes & Noble, both dot com and regular. This has become especially poignant after the recent stranding of our "stuff.") Amazon - you order something; 2 days later it shows up. Here, you buy something, 2 days later it breaks.
4. Speaking the language and sounding like a fairly intelligent person. Now - "Shalom. Mah shlomcha? Bseder!"
5. Having parents four hours away. Now - parents are four months away.
6. Shmoozing with my friends at SAR ("Go Work on This Irrelevant and Useless Assignment So I Can Shmooze with Rachel and Shoshana" is the title of my upcoming book on education.) Now, I spend much of my days shmoozing with Da-veed of Dimri. He doesn't have nearly as much gossip.
7. Bathrooms in public parks. You all know what this has been replaced with.
8. Rapid strep tests. Now - diseased sticks.
9. Have I mentioned the whole English thing?
10. Free checking. Here - Bank NotDiscount. ("Bruchim Habaim! Give us ten shekel!") Although, maybe now is not the best time to look to the American banking system for guidance.
As Donny pointed it, however, it would only be fair to include the Reverse List - if we were to move from Modi'in to Riverdale tomorrow, what would we miss? So here is my Reverse Luxury List; or, Reasons to Make Aliyah in the First Place.
1. Choice of restaurants for breakfast as far as the eye can see. In Riverdale: Corner Cafe. Or, Corner Cafe.
2. Friday mornings without the kids. (Yes, I know we would get Sundays in return, but you know what? I'll take our precious kid-free Friday (almost) any day over that.)
3. Trissim. Waaaaayy cooler than blinds.
4. OFER'S FALAFEL!!!! I mean, I do miss Dumplings, but, when it comes to Ofer's Falafel, "chavlaz" as they say in Hebrew. (New phrase I learned - one of those acronyms Israelis love to turn into words. Chaval Al Hazman - when something is so unbelievably freakishly awesome there is just no time to expound upon all of its goodness.)
5. Listening to Yaakov mangle two languages. (As we're doing a puzzle: "Mommy, I want this piece po l'ma'aleh.") Soooo much more fun than just one.
6. Buying fresh bakery rolls from any random supermarket across the country. Replaced with walking into supermarkets and staring intently at the label on the bakery goods, hoping to will an "OU" onto it.
7. Tripling (at least) the length of the fun Jewish holidays, like Chanukah and Purim. Replaced with TWO sedarim and three day yontivs.
8. Da-veed of Dimri. He may not be the source of juicy gossip here, but he does get things done. Replaced with our Japanese-speaking, slightly nutso landlord, Mr. Yamashita. [See #9.]
9. Shmoozing with Leezy and Lisa 100 times a day. Replaced with fighting with Mr. Yamashita 100 times a day to get him to remove the noxious mold spores engaged in a hostile takeover of our basement.
10. Chocolate milk in a bag! Chocolate milk not in a bag? No comparison. Chavlaz.