That dog is me – A post about life in Tel-Aviv

Just like any other single girl in Tel Aviv that has any sort of self respect; I too, am a dog owner.

She, in my eyes, has completely human qualities, she is the epitome of perfection, I worship the filthy ground upon which she walks, she spoons with me at night and I speak with her childish way that’s so over the top, its borderline insane, in public.

Yep, that’s just the way it is in the city, we all live a life of commotion masked with laughter, infinite happiness and complete freedom, when all what anyone really wants, is to ease the terrifying loneliness that plagues our lives.

Anyway to get this done goes. You wouldn’t believe how many creative ways there are. Starting with chatting on “Facebook” entire nights with strangers, going out until the crack of dawn, or until we pass out, an excess of drugs that would embarrass even the worst neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, drinking alcohol until we puke and of course, the crème de la crème, finding redemption and comfort in the arms of strange men, many of them, all sorts and types. All this so that we, god forbid, won’t be bored, or so that we won’t be left to confront ourselves, to sleep in our empty, cold beds, diagonally, thinking tortured by our own thoughts.

mutual love and understanding - kuti 🙂

Somebody before me must have thought the same thought and came up with an ingenious idea: “A dog for all citizens of Tel Aviv. Upon entry to the city please submit your sanity and promptly continue to your nearest animal shelter, choose a pet (dogs are recommended), and be on your way…good luck.”

[quote]Sometimes it’s not even clear who the dog is and who the owner is, who the boss is; who’s taking who for a walk? [/quote]

Tel Aviv is littered with dogs, on every street, every corner and in every garden. A gathering of the masses, impeccably organized by hours of the day, just like shifts handed out to all the different cliques of the city.

The existence of the dog is not important per say, if it was up to us they would probably start killing each other, get stuck in trees, or running into traffic, the important thing is that we get to that hour in evening, the light at the end of the tunnel of a long dreary day, in which we go to the park and hang out with everyone, chat pleasantly, lie about how great our lives are, and hit on the new guy. Don’t even think for a minute that this has any of the makings of some sort of adventure. The people are the same, the dynamic is the same and the conversation about the brutal boredom of the moment eases the general boredom that eats you up in the hour that you’re in the park.

We humanize our dogs as if they are the heir to the royal throne. We speak to them as if they were children, sew them clothing, celebrate their birthdays, spend a fortune on one-of-a-kind accessories, consider them in all of our decisions, give them attention that is supposed to saved up to for a significant other and we would risk our lives for them.

Don’t get me wrong, love is a wonderful thing. The connection between man and his dog is sublime, but it’s still difficult for me to forge any connection with another random person in Tel Aviv, it’s like the saying “Me and my dog against the world” and with that we block and kind of real option of letting anything new into our lives, because, well, we have all the love we could possibly need and it’s the kind that doesn’t disappoint us (even if it did we would forgive them).

It’s true that our dogs will never open up their mouths and start cursing you and tell you you’re a bad mother, they won’t ever tell you the house it dirty, and they won’t ever let you know that you gained weight, BUT, they also won’t ever hug you back at night, run their fingers through your hair, breath in your scent and tell you how happy they are to be next to you. They are not a substitute for people, but an extra value in our lives, and they give us the ability to at least understand the concept of love, commitment, devotion, worry, and all the other things that go along with that.

[quote]I, too, have been caught up in the illusion that my dog is the universe and all the stars in it. [/quote]

Koti is the reason that I wake up in the morning, or that I leave the house and don’t waste away in self pity, and most importantly, she is the reason that I come back home at the end of the day, otherwise who would I tell my stories too. She helps me to clean my head and keep order in my chaotic world.

I could say right now that I went and brought her into my life, but in reality she came to me, from out of nowhere, in the middle of the street and I just took her. Truthfully I believe that this is divine intervention so that singles in Tel Aviv won’t be lonely.

She is my mirror, she shows me all of my sides, good and bad in all of their glory, without inhibition or games and through her I learned what perfect, pure, surrounding love is, and in the same way I learned what it’s like to live without a pair of un-chewed shoes, underpants with no holes, or a whole phone charger.

After four years of a devoted, tight knit and intense friendship it’s still important that I remind myself that she is just a stinky, dirty, cat chasing, dog, that’s sheds everywhere, she’s not my boyfriend or my daughter and no, my life will not end if god forbid fate divides us.

In the moments that I feel need to run to her and blame her for my foul existence and scream at her that she is possessive and it is because of her that I don’t have a boyfriend, or friends that invite me over to their place, and the fact that my life is the way it is…is all her fault!!! I stop for a second, look at her silly face starring back at me in complete, however unclear, adornment, her floppy ears, and her kind, innocent eyes and I think to myself “This dog is actually me”.


Teder Bar & Radio – Season #2

Teder was born in the summer of 2010 in the minds of two similar minded nightlife/ party promoting crews from Tel Aviv.

Both “Tabac” (itai drai and Zack bar) and “Hargol” (Shlomi Zidan and Dror Sher) always had a dream to run an underground radio station; this dream came true in the summer of last year.

Teder is a pop up radio bar – an internet radio station that broadcasts live for four months every summer from the gallery next to the great synagogue in Tel Aviv. But the thing with Teder is that it is also a bar set around the station so that you can sip on a cold beer while listening to the tunes and watching what’s going on in the studio.

Ton's of cool vibes - Teder

After a crazy first season last summer, Teder is back for another summer, this time bigger, faster and stronger. For this season Teder will broadcast 24/7 with a roster of show hosts and guests from the cream of Israel’s music underground.

Other than great music and a nice place to catch the vibe and have a drink, Teder is also a boutique records and books store and a place to grab a quality snack (with the menu put together by Eyal Shani, one of Israel’s most known Chefs).

You can listen to the station at, or better yet, if you are in Tel Aviv drop by to feel the vibe.

Har – Sinay 6, Tel-Aviv


Urban dictionary – Tel Aviv Slang – Part 2

Let’s Continue – Part 2:

[toggle title_open=”Lenashnesh oto (masc.)/a (fem.) לנשנש אותו\ה (Le’nash-nesh otoe/otah)” title_closed=”Lenashnesh oto (masc.)/a (fem.) לנשנש אותו\ה (Le’nash-nesh otoe/otah)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]verb/adj.- I want that person, that person is hot (literally translated- to snack on him/her)

This one is relatively new, it’s a little crude, but we like it! You can use this as an action, to describe how much you want someone/what you would do to them OR as an adjective to describe someone when you at a lack for better words. Make sure your conjugation is at it best to use this could end up sounding like a doofus.

Ex. -Oh wow do you see that bartender overthere? -Yea, I want to lenashnesh oto! Mmm

Ex. -Hows that new girl your seeing? -SO HOT, Lenashnesh ota! [/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Bassa באסה (pronounced like its spelled)” title_closed=”Bassa באסה (pronounced like its spelled)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]adj.- disappointing, underwhelming, depressed/depressing. Used to describe something or someone (after correctly conjugated!).

Ex. -How are you feeling after the break up? -I’m in such a bassa…

Ex. -The food at that restaurant was so bassa(improper) mevaess(proper).

*note- this is a simple word people, use it correctly! The letter “BET” when place after another letter sounds like a V. So after conjugating it to describe something other than a feeling (masculine or feminine) you place an “Mem”(“M” sound) before the word. I.e. MEVAESSET (fem.) MEVAESS (masc.), sounds like meh-vah-ess[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Chai/a be’seretחי\ה בסרט (Hayi/a beh seret) ” title_closed=”Chai/a be’seretחי\ה בסרט (Hayi/a beh seret) ” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”] adj.- delusional (literally translated- living in a movie) This catchy little phrase is used to describe someone who has absolutely no clue, and lives in la la land, or someone who think their shit don’t stink.

Ex. -Did you see that girl?! What was she wearing??

-Yea, she is so chaia be`seret its unbelievable

Ex. -Gosh, that guy just won’t give up, he hits on every girl in here! – He is chai be’seret if he thinks he can get anyone.

Ex. -If my professor thinks I can get all this done AND study for a test, he is so chai be’seret! [/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Retzach רצח (rets-acH ) adj.- extreme/ly (literally translated- murder) ” title_closed=”Retzach רצח (rets-acH ) adj.- extreme/ly (literally translated- murder) ” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]A little bizarre, I know, but kids will be kids! This is used to describe anything that is surprisingly extreme.

Ex. -Wow it’s hot retzach outside today!

Ex. -That test was hard retzach![/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Ma Neesh מה ניש (pronounced like its spelled)” title_closed=”Ma Neesh מה ניש (pronounced like its spelled)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]greeting/question- What’s up?, What’s going on? This is a very new edition to Hebrew slang, it’s a phrase that became popular because of a funny ‘teenaged’ character on the T.V. sketch comedy show “Eretz Nehederet” on channel 2. It’s kind of a joke about how Israeli youth/young adults these days have slang words for everything (which is true…there are only 15 here but there are tons more!).

“Ma Neesh” is the shorter version of Ma Neeshma? (How are you? etc.).

It at first was used jokingly and very sporadically but has since become uber-popular and a part of everyday language and a fun way to start any conversation!

Ex. -Ma Neesh?! -Walla, Sababa, Ha kol Dvash! [/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”CHalushes חלושס (Ha-Looshes)” title_closed=”CHalushes חלושס (Ha-Looshes)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]adj. – boring, not great, weak (a play on the word HALASH-weak) Used to describe something that disappointed you. To use this guy you should at least somewhat have your Hebrew accent down in order to make the “CHET” sound.

Ex. -Did you hear that new album? -Yea it was chalushes for sure.

Ex. -Want to go out tonight? -I don’t think so I’m so chalushes after having the flu

*antonyms-(see Chazak/Esh)[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Yalla יאללה” title_closed=”Yalla יאללה” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”](pronounced like it’s spelled) verb- C’mon, let’s go, hurry up, I’m in This word is a must in any Hebrew speaker wannabe’s dictionary; it’s basically the mother of all Hebrew slang. It can be used in a ton of different ways and you’ll hear it multiple times a day in different tones.

Ex. – You want to go to the beach? -YALLA!

Ex. – I hate studying for this test! -Yalla, yalla… just get it over with Ex. -WERE LATE YALLA MOVE! [/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Af (masc.) /a (fem.) ali (AF A-LIE) עפ עליי” title_closed=”Af (masc.) /a (fem.) ali (AF A-LIE) עפ עליי” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]verb- really in to me, going off on me (literally translated-“ flying on me”)

This one’s very popular but a little tricky; it can be used positively or negatively. You can say this about someone who is totally into you or is really enthusiastic about you (doesn’t necessarily have to be a sexual connotation, it can also be about your boss really liking your work for example) OR it can be used if someone really laid into you or is pissed off at you and gave you a piece of their mind.

NOW, bear with me here, you can also “AF” on other people (ex. Ani AF ALEIHA- I’m so into that girl). WARNING: this should be used only by those who speak conversational Hebrew, this is not a mix and match phrase. … but you’ll get the hang of it. [/toggle]

There you have it! 15 phrases and words that you should know—learn them; live them; love them…because here in Tel-Aviv we definitely do! And don’t you worry about your accent, they are laughing with you, not at you…seriously, they like it.

Go Back to part 1 >


Urban dictionary – Tel Aviv Slang – Part 1

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]et’s face it, almost everyone you run into in Tel-Aviv speaks English, probably better than you, but there are few phrases that anyone roaming the streets of the city should be up to speed on. I’ll give you the masculine and the feminine here, but really if you’re going to use some of these words you’re going to have to conjugate on your own…we don’t have all day. Without further ado I’m going to break them down for you (in no specific order), what they mean, how to say them, and when.

[toggle title_open=”Sababa סבבה ” title_closed=”Sababa סבבה ” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”] (pronounced just like its spelled ) adj/verb/noun- okay, cool, all good, whatever, no problem etc. You can use this one for pretty much everything.

Ex. -How was the movie? -Sababa!

Ex. -What does he look like? -Sababa…

Ex. -I pick you up at 8:00. -Sababa.

Ex. – Sorry I broke your bong, man. -it’s all sababa …you get the point.[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Walla ואללה” title_closed=”Walla ואללה” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”] (literally translated “everything’s honey”) Walla ואללה (another one that’s pronounced just like it’s spelled) adverb- really? , oh really…? Used in excitement or as a sarcastic answer. It’s also the name of and Israeli website…kind like yahoo ( Walla can also be used as a response to walla, or just as an opener to a conversation.

Ex. -I just bought us two front row tickets to the concert! -WALLA?! -walla, walla…

Ex. -You really should just do what I tell you to do. -walla..?

Ex. -Hey! What’s up? -Walla, everything’s cool. …get it? It’s all in the tone[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”*synonym- HA KOL DVASH” title_closed=”*synonym- HA KOL DVASH” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”](literally translated “everything’s honey”)[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Chazak(masc.)/a(fem.) חזקה(Ha-zak)” title_closed=”Chazak(masc.)/a(fem.) חזקה(Ha-zak)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]adj. – awesome, amazing, sweet etc. (actually means- strong) Used when referring to something you’re totally enthusiastic about. Do yourself a favor and get your “CHET” sound down before using it.

Ex. – Im flying to Europe…first class. -HAZAK!!!

Ex. – How’s that new song? -HAZAK!!!

..pretty straight forward[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”*synonym- Esh אש (actual meaning- fire)” title_closed=”*synonym- Esh אש (actual meaning- fire)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]This can also be used when describing a person

**said occasionally in English with a Hebrew accent.

*antonym- (See Halushes) INTERMEDIATE[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Shaboor (masc.)/Shboora (fem.) שבורה (SHA-BOOR/SHBOORA)” title_closed=”Shaboor (masc.)/Shboora (fem.) שבורה (SHA-BOOR/SHBOORA)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]adj. –wasted (high or drunk), exhausted, depressed (actually means- broken).

This lovely word can be used to describe yourself or others as completely wrecked from alcohol or ya know whatever else OR if you’re so tired you could fall asleep right then and there, or if your totally down in the dumps.

Ex. – My girlfriend just dumped me and I had to work all day and I went out last night…

-Oh man, that sucks! -Yea I’m so shaboor.[/toggle]
[toggle title_open=”Hores (masc.)/et (fem.) et HaBriut הורסת את הבריאות” title_closed=”Hores (masc.)/et (fem.) et HaBriut הורסת את הבריאות” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”](HOR-ES et haBrEE-YOOT) adj. – Very charming, good looking, funny…pretty much anything good to describe someone (literally translated- health ruining) This is a fun one.

It’s mostly used to describe someone you just think is the bee’s knees in any kind of way. It can also be said to some, used like a verb/action if they, let’s say, are cracking you up (Ex. At/a hores/et LEE (my) haBriut).

This one folks is another one that should really be used by conversational Hebrew speakers. Ex. -OMG did you see that guy? -Yea he is Hores at a HaBriut * can be shortened to just “hores/et” [/toggle]

Lets converse… see what we have so far.

Ex. – I drank SO much last night


– Yea, I was SHBOORA!

– how are you now?

– sababa, you know.

…fun right?

*note: this is an exception to the rule of “BET”! (“B” sounds like “V” after another letter (same rule applies to the letter “KAF” which makes a “CHET” sound after another letter)).  Because this word is hardcore slang we pronounce the”B” sound.

Let’s move on to part 2 >