Report Card

Back in December 2013, upon returning from a lengthy visit to the Holy Land, I highlighted for you my top three non-political criticisms of the State of Israel. I’m sad to report that this amazing first-world country—the “start-up nation”, the tiny country that nearly landed a craft on the moon, the country that can accurately shoot an incoming missile out of the sky within seconds of notification, the country that can grow pineapple in the desert and pull drinking water from the air—has made very little progress on my three main criticisms.   

#1: Coffee—I’m a coffee snob. I like a freshly brewed, bold, dark roast (a little smokey) with half & half. On my 2013 trip, I drank instant coffee with 3% milk.   Feh! While they still drink a lot of instant, they have also really embraced the cappuccino, available in every restaurant and at every gas station. Grade B-.

cartoon paper with Report Card written at top

#2: Disposable cold cups—a disaster. In Hebrew, they refer to these cups as “single-time-use” cups, which is a complete misnomer because they are “half-time-use” at best. Literally, they crumple in your hand with the slightest pressure.  You can use a hot cup for your cold drink, which is a little sturdier, but be careful not to use one for your hot drink without wearing oven mits. I have heard that there are premium cups available, but no one seems to use them. Grade F.

#3: Shower curtain. Really? Is this one so difficult. My hotel shower offered a half-glass panel that protected half of the floor, and if I pointed the shower head against the back wall, I could keep most of the water in the tub. Of course, I couldn’t rinse the shampoo from my hair. I stayed in one home that had a full shower curtain, but no lip in the floor to demark where the shower started, so the water spread throughout the bathroom anyway. My favorite was the shower head next to the toilet with no curtain or step-in at all. A squeegee was provided for my convenience. Grade D-.

The good news is that the availability of shawarma, green olives on pizza, and halvah make up for all three of these inconveniences.  


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