High Time for High Culture

February 25, 2009 at 15:09 4 comments

Back from my long weekend in Paris, I notice that the opera tickets I ordered some time ago have arrived.

Maybe it’s because of the centennial celebrations, but the Tel Aviv Opera has a very strong season this year. I’ve already been to la Traviata in the park, and in April I plan to see Carmen. I’d also like to squeeze Aida, put on by the good people from la Scala in Milan, but we’ll see how much opera one man can take in a year.

On the envelope with the tickets, someone has deemed it fit to put a little image of a clock, together with the text: “Your time is important! At our opera house the performances begin on time”. This is probably a pertinent reminder, since Israelis are notoriously bad at keeping times. I don’t think I’ve attended a single social gathering, meeting or religious service that has begun on time in this country.

Needless to say, this can drive a Swede insane.

Before you start writing talkbacks about how Israelis really aren’t any worse than people in general (maybe Swedes excepted), let me just say to you: yes you are. And I can prove it.

A few years ago, I visited Budapest with a friend and we decided to take a guided tour of the parliament building. On the sign where the tour would begin, it said — in a number of languages — that the visitors should wait at that spot ten minutes before the tour was scheduled to start. The text was identical in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Russian. Only one language differed. There it said that visitors should wait at the spot 15 minutes before the scheduled start.

And what language was that? Hebrew, of course.


Entry filed under: Arts, Life, Tel Aviviana.

Watch out Diderot Left Party Leader Rejects Antisemitism — in Theory

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. spellingmistakes  |  February 26, 2009 at 06:09

    Yesterdy I had the pleasure of joining a mega conferene- web – call trans antalantic meeting. Only four people arrived iwere presenet in time. Two of them were Brits, a Swedeish lady and me, the rude aggresive Isreali sabra. Three years in the UK are not allowing me to be late, you see, you combine that with my polish genes and you get OCD.

    The Swedish lady (so stylish) was appalled by everyone `s lateness, knowing no one will even appologize. She shared with us some Sweidish ettiqute. It sounded like fairytales to me.

    20 minutes later the meeting began.

  • 2. Marissa  |  February 26, 2009 at 08:30

    that is probably the funniest thing ive heard in a while….
    can i go see aida with you? if you dont want to go, can you just give me the details?

    im glad the blog is back…. ive been bored

  • 3. Yehoshua  |  February 26, 2009 at 16:31

    Ugh, those Hungarians are just anti-semites.



  • 4. Watch Out! « A Blog of Two Cities  |  March 6, 2009 at 11:19

    […] Standing in line in Israel is annoying on any given day, since Israelis are incapable not only of being on time, but also of queuing. But if it’s hot, or rains, the experience can cause the most docile of […]


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