Jun 5, 2012

You Know You're In Israel When...

By: Jessica Hochstadt, MS

I have already written about the joys of looking at Israeli men. Like I said, they are just a pleasure. Israeli parents everywhere, you did something right- mazal tov. However, somewhere between the looks and the speech function, something went terribly wrong. Let me paint a picture for you.
It’s Sunday night and you decide to go for a relaxing drink with friends. At the bar, you spot him… or he spots you… it’s unclear because let’s be honest, you’ve been looking at him all night, and he can’t help but pick up on the group of English speakers drinking loudly in the corner. So, you’ve seen one another. He approaches you like a regular “Rico Suave.” Clearly he’s done this before, and that’s okay.
He gets nice and close, because Israelis have no concept of personal space. But you don’t mind at all, not for this guy. He opens his mouth. You know whatever he says is going to sound like melted chocolate. It has to, right? I mean, he has that cute accent and he’s too pretty to not impress you. So here it is, ladies. Here’s the line that your Israeli stud opens with, accent and all: “Your night is to the face, yes?”
Pause. “To the face.” Your expression goes from giddy, to confused, to offended, and back to confused.

He goes in for the line....

...and it backfires completely!

For those of you who don’t speak Hebrew, “to the face” is a literal translation of the phrase “la panim”, which loosely translates into “a great time”. Your man was basically asking you if you were having a good time. If you weren’t, sit back and enjoy, ladies, because the lines get better.
The pick-up lines here in Israel always take me by surprise. They are funny and distracting. The poor fellow is just trying to get your digits, but you can’t quite seem to get passed his attempts at poorly translated expressions. Here are some pick-up lines that have made it to my blushing ears in Israel. Some have worked, others have been terrible failures.

(For maximum pleasure, please read the following statements with a thick Israeli accent.)

  • “Your body is like a coke bottle.”  This fine gentlemen then proceeded to show me with hand-gestures how my body and a coke bottle are so similar. No one wants to be that curvy. Move it, brother.
  • “Give me your number and I’ll call you. But I can only call you around 3 AM because I’m in a little relationship and I don’t want my girlfriend to know.” Let’s make a deal. I’ll give you my number, you give me your girlfriend’s number. Nope. 
  • “Girl, you are like the Mediterranean. So beautiful… and so deep.” Good sir, you are like the Charles River. So full of sh*t, and probably swimming with diseases. No chance.
  • Boy: “I feel lucky. Can I have your number?” Me: “But you don’t know my name.” Boy: “Obviously it comes with the number.” Clever. Here is my number. Use it wisely.
  • “I learned how to read palms in India. Your palm says that you are like fire on the inside, and water on the outside.” Maybe you would understand my palm better if it hit you in the face? Sorry, pal.
  • “When you kiss the mezuzah… this kills me.” I have to admit, this kills me. I’m blushing just writing this. Win.
  • Boy: “Come to my bar.” Me: “I don’t want to come to your bar.” Boy: “Come to my bar.” Me: “Okay, I’ll come to your bar.” What can I say? He’s persistent. Well played.
  • “Baby, touch my muscles… I’m in the army.” Baby, that means you are actually still a baby! Go back to mama.
  • “I am a human weapon and expert in krav maga.” Great, I would love a weapon right about now. Leave me alone.
  • Boy: “You know what I like about you? Your wrinkles.” Me: “My what!?” Boy: “Your frinkles.” Me: “My what?” Boy: “Your freckles.” Me: “Get away.”

Mr. Frinkles in action.
Notice how my head it turned away as I prepare to run. 
Ladies, these lines are extremes. Normally you will get a “Do you want to grab a drink with me?” But if you’re lucky enough to hear one of these gems, lighten up. Israelis’ English is far better than your Hebrew. And let’s be honest, these guys are just trying to show you some love. Help them out because it’s not every day someone will compare you to a large ocean. And when you hear these lines, regardless of whether or not they are successful, remember… you’re in Israel. Enjoy.