Black Friday seems to be a thing in Israel


 

 Celebrating Hol Hamoed throughout Mamilla Mall and the Old City

But the difference here: The stores are not swamped with shoppers like in America (though the pace of shopping is noticeably brisk).

By: Marcy Oster/Jerusalem Post 

JERUSALEM (JTA) — I was watching late night network television on Saturday night – that’s not terribly exciting here — when I was slammed with a string of ads that made me feel like I was back in America.

The ads were in practically shouted Hebrew, but I could discern the same two English words in each: Black Friday. (You have to say to say it with a Hebrew accent though, kind of like Blek Fchidey.) Clothing, electronics, home decor – all the ads were pushing Black Friday sales.t to know

  Nor did the Black Friday assault stop with my television. Suddenly every cellphone text message (and I get a lot of them because I have loyalty cards at literally every store in one of the Kfar Saba malls where I do most of my shopping) is from a chain store reminding me that its Black Friday sales HAVE ALREADY STARTED!

I won’t lie; I have taken advantage of these sales. In fact I visited my favorite mall today and there were Black Friday sales signs in front of every store.

But the difference here: The stores are not swamped with shoppers like in America (though the pace of shopping is noticeably brisk).

This isn’t the first year that I have noticed Black Friday sales in Israel. It is just that this year it became … commonplace.

How did this most American of traditions — the door-busting Christmas season sales that come after the day after Thanksgiving g — make it to Israel? Blame the internet. Israelis order a ton of merchandise online, and every website they visit is touting Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. If it’s good enough for Americans, it’s good enough for Israelis, right?

While Israelis have come to expect these November sales, which this year come conveniently less than two weeks before Hanukkah, I don’t think most of them know why there is a Black Friday or that it is the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season.

And why should they? As a nation we don’t celebrate Christmas even though it is the land where the story takes place.

But everyone loves a sale.

As for Thanksgiving, when we made aliyah from the States more than 18 years ago, my husband and I decided to keep the Thanksgiving tradition alive. The holiday was particularly meaningful to his immigrant grandfather, who escaped from Europe right before the Holocaust, and my immigrant father, a Holocaust survivor.

The first time I tried to buy a whole turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner, butchers in three communities looked at me like I was crazy. “Ain dvar kazeh po!” (there is no such thing here), one said, and suggested I take home a nice turkey breast.

“Whatever do you want that for?” another asked.

As for cranberry sauce, fuhgedaboutit. In later years, stores in Anglo neighborhoods in cities such as Jerusalem and Raanana began stocking cranberry sauce. And this year my local supermarket also started selling it, likely in deference to a new cadre of young immigrants from the United States who have moved to our community in recent years and, apparently, are continuing to observe Thanksgiving.

On Sunday, when I went to order a whole turkey from the local butcher, the woman at the counter told me I was the third order that morning!

“For Chag Hahodaya, right?” she asked me, using a literal translation of “Festival of Thanks.” (In a strange linguistic coincidence, the Hebrew word for turkey, hodu, can also mean “give thanks.” That’s a fun fact for everyone but the turkey.)

The term Black Friday became widely recognized  in the 1980s. According to several sources it was dubbed “black” (as in negative, as in “black eye” and “black sheep”) by police in Philadelphia to describe the crowds and traffic on the day after Thanksgiving and the day before the Army-Navy football game.

In an effort to make the term more cheery, retailers took on the explanation that success on the day makes the difference between finishing in the red, or operating at a loss, to being in the black, or operating at a profit.

Do Israelis know this? I have no idea. But every time I hear or see a Black Friday ad, I feel like maybe too much of America has crept into our society. We already have pre-Rosh Hashanah and pre-Passover sales, since they have also become gift-giving occasions. But Black Friday? It’s just not Israel.

All I know is that I can’t wait for Friday and the end of the bombardment of advertisements. Besides, the End of Season sales will already be starting soon.

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Shopping While Black in Citrus Heights


Image result for raleys grocery

By: Erika D. Smith/Sacramento Bee

The story of Zhalisa Clarke — a black woman who was minding her own business at a Raley’s in Citrus Heights when cashier accused her of shoplifting and called the police — didn’t make national news.

It could have. In fact, it should have.

Like Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, the black men who, in April, went to a Starbucks for a business meeting and soon found themselves being handcuffed by Philadelphia police, Clarke went to Raley’s for the most innocuous of reasons: to go grocery shopping.

She and a friend, who is Asian American, were headed on an extended camping trip and were stocking up. They spent quite a bit of time wandering the aisles looking for the right food and condiments., and in Clarke’s case, apparently a little too long looking for a vegan spread.

Click on the Link Below for the complete story

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/erika-d-smith/article217290380.html

Broke Down Diva


What is a”Broke Down Diva?”

A woman who wants everything her way and nothing else! (Jennie.G)

A Female that expects everything from someone else (Trophy wife) ( Stephanie F)

A pretender, a Diva wanna be, who gets off on belittling others, wants to live the lives of the Rich and famous but she eats at Denny’s and shops at Ross (Wayne. C)

_________________________________________________

The Sacramento Applebee staff knows who she is.  She visits the restaurant on Friday nights with an entourage (6 to 10 people) during the restaurants busiest period  between 7-8.   She doesn’t want to wait and has on occasion slipped onto table as the patrons were leaving insisting, her table cleaned immediately!   She makes the staff wait, as she inspects the water glasses and if one doesn’t meet her standard then she demands all the glasses replaced.   Everyone food, must meet her standards, or they’re returned.   Ignoring her means DRAMA, something she seems to enjoy.  If doesn’t matter if “A” server has her hands full of hot platters, doesn’t have to be her server.  SHE must be attended to immediately.   Loud disagreements are common place, if she isn’t getting her way!   ” Any in fraction should come with a discount, after all it wasn’t perfect, something she expects every time. She has memorized the customer service number and has complained in the past when her all demands weren’t met!     She openly tells her friends the wait staff  should be thankful that they are receiving a tip from her.    She feels  her 4% or 9% tips are more than generous considering the service!

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She arrives at the hotel in her signature gold outfit, with matching purse, polyester on parade.   She wants nothing but the best, her initial tone is pleasing, if she is displeased it becomes shrill.   She arrived at 1am with a story.  Another hotel had her on hold for more than an hour  OMG! OMG! she cried!   She wanted a suite but a suite wasn’t available.  She was appalled! “You don’t have a suite!  (They expected her to say OMG-but she didn’t)   She is expecting a visitor.  She has always stayed in a suite at this hotel.  And her demeanor says she had  never experienced a pedestrian room!    A room without a sofa and amenities!   She reluctantly accepts a “pedestrian room.  A few minutes later, she returns and says she is sick to her stomach.  How could she face her company in such a room?   She calls the reservation line to locate a suite in the greater Sacramento Area, however, she doesn’t want to spend much.  They locate a reasonably priced suite near Cal-Expo that’s 20 dollars more.    She apologizes, and thanks the front desk for not charging her for THAT room.    Oh my gawd!

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Tracee is well known to the merchants of this small foothill community.  For her outrageous behavior, demanding discounts and returns.     Some of the cashiers go on a break when she walks in.  She is always over dressed and over perfumed.  She wears stilettos in the rain, everyone knows where she is at all times by the clacking sounds of her shoes. She often keeps the items until the last day they can be returned.   She will argue past closing time.   One supervisor said, I hate to say it, but I think we all hate her.  She goes out of her way to be mean and just nasty!    There is no reason for her to be like that!    If anyone in this town is a Broke Down Diva, Tracee (not her real name) fits the bill.

 

 

Eight weird habits you’ll pick up in Germany


Eight weird habits you'll pick up in Germany
In Germany men sit down when taking a pee. Photo: DPA
When you go back the homeland for your Christmas hols don’t be surprised if people look at you a bit funny – you’ve probably picked up one of these peculiarly German habits.

Not crossing the street until it’s green

Berlin’s famous Ampelmann. Photo: DPA

In the Anglophone world it might seem like perfectly reasonable behavior to step out into the road if you’ve scoured both horizons and not found a vehicle in sight.

But in Germany it’s considered downright reckless – and a bad example to children, who might be watching out of windows even if they’re not there beside you on the street.

Give yourself a few months and you’ll be waiting with the crowds for the little man to turn green – if you don’t, prepare to get shouted at.

Saying hello and goodbye to shop owners

A small late-night convenience store. Photo: DPA

It would seem downright rude to ignore a shopkeeper or cashier in Germany, even if you don’t end up buying anything.

Germans may not be known for their friendliness, but they never fail to greet you as you come into the convenience shop, grocery store or pharmacy and almost always sing a melodic “Tschüß” as you walk out the door.

Perhaps it’s because shops tend to be smaller and thus feel more intimate than they do in the US – just imagine greeting all of Walmart’s workers as you walked in.

Clapping when the airplane lands

It’s always an entertaining clash taking a flight from the US to Germany and witnessing the German half clapping upon landing while the rest look around utterly baffled.

                                                 Photo: DPA

Especially when there’s a bit of a bumpy ride beforehand, it’s actually quite a nice gesture to show appreciation to the folks upfront who managed to bring an enormous, flying metal bird back down to Earth safely.

Obsessively collecting bottles for Pfand

Getting Pfand for empty bottles. Photo: DPA

Germans take recycling seriously – as you can tell by each apartment complex’s courtyard dedicated to an elaborate system of specific bins.

Beginners’ German classes sometimes even spend time explaining the process, almost as a matter of German pride.

But on top of that, supermarkets make it extremely easy to turn in bottles for their Pfand deposit and immediately get the cash reward through automatic machines.

Thus you will see long queues of folks on weekends awaiting their chance to earn a few extra cents per bottle – and huge collections of bottles amassed in each German’s household, rich or poor.

Simply tossing a beer bottle in the normal garbage bin would feel almost sacrilegious when you know the next passing bottle collector could put it towards their next meal or good night’s sleep.

Sitting while peeing

For men, sitting down is a must. Photo: DPA

If you come from the barbaric Anglophone lands where the lesser sex still stand up while doing a number one, you may have to deal with weeks of passive aggressive muttering from German flatmates before they finally concede their ire at the fact you don’t bend the knee when taking a pee.

This isn’t just something that will bother female flatmates, German males are often just as insistent. In fact it’s an issue taken so serious,one landlord recently took a tenant to court over it.

Throwing in English words while speaking German

                                                Photo: DPA

German culture is so heavily influenced by American culture that sometimes it seems like every second word has been pinched from English – even for words that already exist in German.

After a while you’ll feel that it’s too weird to use the actual German word you learned so diligently in school and start using the English one instead – but with a heavy German accent to it of course.

Being totally cool with nudity (and mixed sex saunas)

Naked sunbathing in Munich. Photo: DPA

This is the one that us prudish Anglo-Saxons probably take the longest to get used to. But it is accepted – if not widespread – to be naked in certain areas at the beach or by the lakeside.

If you are a member of a gym in Germany you will also have to get used to the fact that you’ll be the only one wearing speedos in the sauna if that’s how you choose to go about it.

And there’ll be naked members of the other sex too. This is one habit that is sure to cause a storm if you take it back to the Anglo world with you.

Having lightning speed hands at the cash register

She’s never as decisive as when packing her shopping. Photo: DPA

When you head to the checkout counter at grocery stores in Germany, you have to be both physically and mentally prepared. Those cashiers don’t mess around. And no one is going to bag your food for you like stores in the States.

Nope. German grocery store checkouts are survival of the fittest, a competition between consumer and cashier to see if you can keep up with their lightning-speed hands, throwing veggies, milk and eggs across the scanner as you scramble to pack things in a bag before they read out your total.

Those who are too slow should expect frustrated sighs and passive aggressive watch-checking from both the cashier and the customers behind them.

Why Ikea makes couples fight


It’s good that they made it clear about the size of that cinnamon bun. Picture: Reddit

It’s good that they made it clear about the size of that cinnamon bun. Picture: Reddit

The psychology behind why Ikea makes couples fight

By: Simone Mitchel/Perth Now

HAVING an Ikea bust up is something of a rite of passage in any relationship.

And just like with a pizza, you can choose to have your fight in house or take away.

Some people choose to have their tense moments within the disorienting maze that is an Ikea store, others prefer to save their blow-up for the moment they get an item home and have to assemble flatpack furniture.

Domestic battles over the Swedish retailer’s products are such a common feature of modern cohabitation that comedian Amy Poehler once joked that Ikea was Swedish for “argument”.

So let’s look at the two options. They both have their charms.

IN-STORE CONFLICT

Ikea is a maze of model bedrooms, kitchens and kiddies’ rooms. Customers are encouraged to spend time sitting in a faux lounge room, imagining what life could look like in these spaces.

And that’s where trouble often starts.

According to Dr. Gorkan Ahmetoglu, lecturer in business psychology at University College London, shoppers at Ikea don’t realize how deeply the store’s perfect set up can affect them. He says it makes them feel literally at home, which means they don’t have to be on their best behavior.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula told the Wall Street Journal “the store literally becomes a map of a relationship nightmare”.

“Walking through the kitchens brings up touchy subjects, like who does most of the cooking. Then you get to the children’s section, which opens up another set of issues”.

A nice idea to alleviate in-store Ikea tension is to create an incentive for good behavior. For example, if you manage to make it to the checkout without filing for divorce you get a soft-serve ice cream cone or a plate of meatballs in the cafeteria on the way out. This is not unlike Pavlov’s classical conditioning with dogs — you will come to associate a trip to Ikea with reasonably priced culinary fare instead of wanting to stab your significant other in the heart with a tiny pencil.

The other thing that you can do is try and lighten the mood by introducing a pun session to your Ikea trip, like this brave gent did.

THE HOME GAME

Swedish design is often praised for its simplicity, but that is often wildly disputed by anyone trying to assemble a piece of flat-packed Ikea furniture.

Frustrating projects, such as navigating a foreign city with a map or constructing a chest of drawers can put the most solid couple’s relationship to the test.

“Little things like putting a set of shelves together will bring up some ancient history with the partners,” Don Ferguson, author of Reptiles in Love: Ending Destructive Fights and Evolving Toward More Loving Relationships, explained to Quartz.

“Do you trust me? Do you think I’m stupid? Do you think I have no skills? Do you wish your old boyfriend was here doing this?”

Dr. Ramani Durvasula, who we quoted earlier, agrees, referring to the complex Liatorp wall unit as “the Divorcemaker”.

According to the psychologists, the conflict can begin as soon as the unboxing takes place.

Even couples who aim for egalitarian division of labor across the whole of their relationship find that when it comes to individual tasks, one person usually steps forward as the lead: she oversees paying the bills, for example, while he’s head chef in the kitchen, writes Corinne Purtill.

Presented with a new task — like, say, assembling a Hemnes dresser — couples may have competing ideas of who’s best suited to take the lead.

A power struggle ensues, and power struggles are breeding grounds for conflict.

“Unless one of you is the accepted leader for building something, you’re thrown into this dynamic of ‘who is in charge?’” said Scott Stanley, a psychology professor at the University of Denver and author of the book, Fighting for Your Marriage.

Conflict also arises when something goes wrong in the construction process.

“The question is, do people have a tendency to blame the other person, or to understand that things just happen?” said Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University.

“During the [construction] process, things happen in an unexpected way. There are pieces missing. People put things together in the wrong way. The question is, how much do we tend to blame the other person?”

There’s also the problem of fundamental attribution error, Ariely said. We tend to attribute our own mistakes to external factors (“I put this together wrong because the instructions were bad”) and others’ mistakes to internal ones (“You put this together wrong because you never pay attention.”)

As a side note, Allen keys are amazing, because as soon as you pull them out of the little plastic bag, they vanish into thin air.

Seriously, where did they go.

The Best BIG Department Store in Sacratomatoville Spring-Summer 2016


The Big downtown Macy’s at 5th and L is currently the best big department store in the Sacratomatoville.

Last Saturday, South Natomas resident Vanessa Daniels needed a blender stat!

Her shopping options were the Wal Mart and Target stores in North Natomas off Truxel Road. Both stores are closer but the traffic is a nightmare.   The other option was Arden Fair-Traffic Impossible!

Her neighbor suggested Macy’s downtown.    Vanessa, said she was in and out of the store in 20 minutes including parking.   Try that at Arden, Sunrise or the Galleria?

Macy’s downtown is the only department store downtown.  Macy’s was once an anchor store along with Weinstock’s  in the Downtown Plaza.  Today Macy’s is the last store standing.  The mall has made way for the Golden 1 Center due to open this fall.  As a result, there are no crowds in this large building.   Other shops are planned for the rebadged Downtown Commons.  A renovated Century Movie theaters will re-open this fall with two new theaters.

Despite the absence of crowds the departments are fully stocked.  Parking is fast and free. Staffing can be sparse but the waits are short.

This bliss will come to an end this fall when the Golden 1 Center opens this fall. As for now,  Macy’s is the most convenient department store in Sacratomatoville.

 

CityFella

 

 

 

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Doorbuster


There was a time in my life when it was all about the Mall. I enjoyed the energy, the Mr’s Fields Cookies, and it was a good place to meet people and to people watch.   If I were on vacation, I took out the Yellow Pages and researched the malls in the area, often settling on the largest mall in the area.

As I time went by the Malls were less appealing.  The thousands of windows shoppers moving at  glacier pace often stopping without warning to glance at something in the window, was becoming too much for this cowboy.   If I had to go to the mall, I would park as closes I could to the store I was going into, it wasn’t about browsing, it was about the in and out.

Online shopping was designed for me. I can shop in the comfort of my fruit of the looms. checking sales , return policies and have them dropped shipped to the office.

However there are some things you need to actually go into the store.

Last weekend, JC Penney’s had incredible deals on some items I needed.  Sheets and Towels, the ones I currently have are very religious and I was told that I needed to actually touch the towels.

I estimated it would take me 20 minutes to get in and out.   I arrived at ten after twelve ( the sale was due to end at 1pm.)    At he  mall, I parked on the upper level near the escalators and preceded to the third floor.     I have shopped at that JC Penneys for more than twenty years and rarely go beyond the first floor.

A Whole New World

OOOOO MMMM  GEEE  there was none of the chaos that is on the first floor.  The ladies (older) are very warm and accommodating (unlike the the kids who give you the I don’t know- followed by the discreet rolling of the eyes)  and happily directed me to where the sheets and towels were.   The pay stations had stools.   Mama!

There they were  (JC Penney’s have never let me down unlike Target-who runs out of the sale items ten minutes after the store opens )  the towels on sale, marked down from $16.00 to $4.99 with a very large variety of colors.

But there were other towels on sale, a super soft towel marked down to $6.99 fro $12.oo . As as I looked around there the selection was vast I was overwhelmed.    So  I thought I would look at sheets and comeback it should be easier.

Cotton, Egyptian Cotton, Broadcloth,  than there are the tread count? Fuck!  and they weren’t cheap even on sale.  I think I paid twenty dollars for my last set at  Big Lots and on saturday they were starting at 25.00 a set.

With 30 minutes left, I went back to the towels and simply grabbed four sets of the purple towels.   Then I walked back to the sheet department and couldn’t find the cheap sheets anymore.

I put my towels down so I could focus on the sheets  and then couldn’t remember where I left the towels.

My head was hot and my stomach was queasy.  This is not my world!  Time to ask for help.

Next thing I knew the shoppers swarmed in to help me ( perhaps it was look in my eyes)

One lady found my towels and as she was explaining the difference in quality another women, a complete stranger, strokes my neck with the softest towel I have ever experienced.  Yes, I thought, I want those, until I realized they were $30 oo a piece.

The sales person explained thread count was often important in terms of softness and durability.  Of course the top of the line sheets was well over $100 a set.

I’m going with the ugly and cheap striped ones and the purple towels.

True to form as I paid for it in the nick of time!  A young lady with thick black glasses was removing the sales prices. The Doorbuster for this saturday is over.

The ladies told me to wash and soften the towels and sheets before putting them away.

Last night I put new set of sheets on my bed and towels up in the bathroom.

The sheets are a bit scratchy and the towel were just okay.

At the next Doorbuster, I’m going deluxe!

 

CityFella