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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Do the Shekel Shuffle!

Step 1: Attempt to buy a few random things from the local Bodega Makolet. For argument's sake, let's say some instant coffee and a box of Waffle Crisp. And four bars of soap.

Step 2: Cashier: "We don't take Dollars" (pay with credit card).

Step 3: Follow signs to Bank (under big sign saying "Welcome to Nefesh beNefesh").

Step 4: Stand in line for a while.

Step 5: Teller: "I don't change Dollars for Shekels. Go over there and see Rivkah."

Step 6: Who?

Step 7: Teller: "That way!"

Step 8: Wait for only other woman in Bank to get off phone.

Step 9: Are you Rivka?

Step 10: Not Rivka: "NO."

Step 11: Where is Rivka?

Step 12: Not Rivka: "Rivka is not here today."

Step 13: Well, can you change money for us?

Step 14: Not Rivka: "No. Speak to Chaim." Pointing to cubicle to right.

Step 15: Cubicle to right is empty.

Step 16: Man in Cubicle to far right is on phone, behind sign that says "Not Working".

Step 17: Not Working: "What?"

Step 18: Can you change money for us?

Step 19: Not Working: "Yes, but you don't want to do that here. It's cheaper if you go to a money changer."

Step 20: AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH

14 comments:

MAK said...

Beyond frustrating. I sympathize. However when I was in Seminary, at least there was a money changer only about a block away. So that was good. But trying to change dollars at the bank, not a good idea. In any country. They are annoying.

LittleBirdies said...

Enjoy your trip. Hope to hear about it when you get back (as I'm sure you'll have more than one humorous story to tell).

Holy Hyrax said...

It's cheaper if you go to a money changer."


i.e.- Go to the Gruzini down the corner.

tnspr569 said...

Bah! That's nothing.

And that's why it pays to change some money at the airport, or use a credit card when possible.

Have fun!

~ Sarah ~ said...

only in israel ;)

Doctor Bean said...

Ah yes, the land that manners forgot. Everyone there treats you like family, but relatives treat each other terribly. What you'd prefer is someone who will treat you like a customer.

Oh, well. Have fun. You'll get basic etiquette when you return to the States.

RaggedyMom said...

Israeli beaurocracy puts "Who's on first" to shame. Enjoy! or should I say, "beTeavon!"

Julie said...

how long are you here? there are a bunch of great concerts coming up in the next two weeks... Moshav band is playing a bunch of dates here (and their shows in israel are particularly amazing).

the one i'm super excited about is the Ayn Safeq reunion. you probably know who they are, but just in case - b4 Moshav band was a glimmer in anyone's eye, there was this awesome band called Ayn Safeq. after they broke up - Duvid Swirsky went on to Moshav, Danny Roth and Chanan Elias to Reva Le'Sheva. anyway - they're having their first full line-up reunion in over a decade and it's a jerry garcia yahrtzeit concert. should be ridiculous.

anyway, you're prolly budgeting your time minute to minute and don't have time for this shtuyot but i thought i'd let you know anyway. have a great time in E"Y and don't forget to distinguish between Israel (the land) and Israelis...

Ezzie said...

In Geula! If you're at Kikar Shabbos, you want to go *away* from Meah Shearim (as if toward the Tachana Merkazit). On the left side, half a block down, up a flight of stairs that's got a big green arrow outside. That's where you get a good rate.

David said...

Think thats bad.. try getting a mortgage!

Chana said...

Oh wow, circular and so annoying...

In other news, something similar happened at work today. Basically a bunch of people were out and they all left messages directing you to other people who were out so it was a whole chain of people who were out at once. It was amusing but quite frustrating.

yellojkt said...

I was able to use an ATM for cash in China. The machine had menus in both Chinese and English. Can't beat the convenience.

Ari Kinsberg said...

you actually went to a bank to change money! is this your first time in israel?

to all those above who write above money changers. when i was in israel in the 80s and the exchange rate was fluctuating between 800-1200 shekel to 1 dollar on a daily basis, it was worth it to get quotes on the street. today it's not worth it.

the easiest thing is to use your atm card at a caspomat. (credit cards are not good because you get hit with a big fee for using it out of the country.)

Anonymous said...

That doesnt make any sense.
If you saw a sign that says "welcome to nefesh b nefesh" then I dont think you were at a bank.I think you were at nefesh b nefesh a place that helps people make aliyah. The would change for you but not give you the best rate so they were only bieng nice.
Yes if you live in israel you have to deal with stuff you normally wouldnt in america. good luck