5/30/2007

I Remember the Ice Cream…

I remember that our freezer in the States nearly always had ice cream in it. I’d go to the supermarket, and buy a half-gallon of whatever was on sale, generally never more than $3.50, but usually more like $2.50 for premium-brand ice cream. Here, I pay 17 NIS for the Israeli version of Neapolitan – mocha, vanilla, and pistachio. Or maybe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at 26 NIS (or on sale at 2 for 40 NIS) for a very special treat (like a holiday we celebrate by eating dairy products, for example).

I remember the tubs of generic brand peanut butter that we would buy in the States for next to nothing. Here, it’s the oily, grainy Israeli stuff or an exorbitant price for a small jar of an American premium brand.

I remember buying half gallons of apple juice for $1.50 at most, often cheaper, whereas in Israel you can get a liter on sail for 4 NIS. The best you can do on soda here is just under 4 NIS for 1.5 liters, and never Coke, whereas in the States Coke or Pepsi products – and a wide variety of them at that – could almost always be found for under $1, often even less, and you didn’t need to buy 6 in order to get the deal (often it was LIMIT 6).

I remember drinking orange juice like it was water. $2 for a half-gallon of not-from-concentrate, delicious OJ. Here, good orange juice is like fine wine. We get it ‘lichvod Shabbat’, and it’s like $5 for a half-gallon. Usually it’s good, but sometimes it can be sour, depending on the season.

I remember the variety of good, cheap, non-perishable foods – the ketchups and mustards, coffees and hot chocolates, and artificial sweeteners – that are simply unavailable or exorbitant in Israel.

I remember buying meat at the supermarket that was as red and fresh as it could be, and that was cheap enough that it was not a luxury item.

I remember the fish which we would eat in the States for free, and the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.

Oh, yeah. My bad. That last one was Egypt.

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