Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is It OK to Complain?

Should we chalk this up to national nouveau riche syndrome here in Israel?

When we made aliyah in 1970, the standard of living here in Israel was so much lower than in the states.  It was a culture shock for many and the reason why the return rate to the United States and other western countries was so high.

We had telephone service pretty quickly.  Within a few months (yes months) there was a phone in the Betar Student Hostel we lived in in the Old City of Jerusalem.  Before then, we had to walk out to the public phone near the police station at Jaffa Gate.  Then in the summer of 1971 we moved into a second hand apartment we purchased in Bayit V'Gan and had a phone a year later.  My cousin made aliyah late 1974, and it took seven years for them to get a phone in their Netanya apartment.  And when we ordered our phone, it was still possible to get, for less money, a party-line.

Of course, now in Israel, most people have a few phones, internet and any appliance they can fit in their homes.  There's no real difference in day to day life.

Most people have good heating systems and air-conditioners.  Here's my little rant.  They overheat in the winter and freeze everyone in the summer.  It drives me nuts.  Instead of keeping homes, offices, public buildings, stores etc at one comfortable temperature we end up suffering from all sorts of annoying colds etc because of the extreme temperatures.  It was like that in New York in the 1960's.  I remember having to take a sweater with me in the summer to keep warm, because the air-conditioning was much too strong.

I hope you weren't shocked that I actually complained, kvetched.


Hadassa said...

I keep my house at 24C during the summer, and I try not to turn on the AC at all. During the winter I heat between 21-24C, depending on what feels right. I try to heat/cool minimally in order to save energy and heating costs - and also for the health reasons that you mentioned.

Batya said...

No surprise; you're a smart girl. No doubt that in ten years or so, most Israelis will do the same.

Nasch said...

So true!
I hated the big auditorium in uni where they always had the AC blasting freezing cold air. I never understood why the average Israeli hasn’t figured out yet how to use the AC without being sick. I thought they were the experts. Well, having never had AC at home, we figured it out after a few uses, why can’t everyone else after having used it for years?

Batya said...

I guess it's to make sure everyone knows they have it, very nouveau riche.