I just returned from a week in the States. Flew out for work, but I wasn’t going to let an opportunity like that go by without doing some shopping. What kind of Israeli would I be? What kind of woman would I be? And most importantly, what kind of pregnant Israeli woman – who doesn’t fit into any of her pants – would I be?

Here’s a little-known fact about me: For the last month I’ve been literally wearing my jeans open, held together with a rubber band, with long shirts covering the zipper. I knew I’d be going to the States for work and the maternity clothes selection here sucks; at least for jeans. For the rest I can wing it with over-sized or hippie fashions.

On my way to buying bigger pants for my bigger belly, I noticed a lot of other bigger things I’d never see here in Israel… yet:

Bigger remote control cars, courtesy of Costco, the bigger store.

Bigger battery-operated kids’ ride-on cars jeeps, also courtesy of Costco (Yes, they make them in 4×4 jeeps now!? What happened to the plastic tricycles I rode?).

Bigger remote controls, found at my mom’s house. Maybe the patent purpose was for the legally blind, but I did see them sold at household stores as a gimmick.

Well, I got my bigger pants in the end. And in the spirit of bigness, my belly ‘popped’ while I was staying in New York.  Which lead me to wonder if it was really my pregnancy or the peer pressure.

The British know what they're doing.

Everyone knows that Israelis can’t drink. I mean, anything classier than vodka-red bulls. Well, they might be able to sip a nice whiskey if they actually tried it once in a while.

So how do we expect them to not tax good liquor a million percent, thus reducing any chance of making decent booze affordable to the immigrant public? And I don’t mean Russians, who seem to not mind the ten shekel vodka.

So the British embassy made a very smart move when they hosted a ‘scotch drinking party’ on Thursday night. Displaying and offering classy scotches imported from the UK, they essentially forced Israeli higher-ups to drink and be merry and thus perhaps giving this booze taxation a second thought (if they could still think clearly by then). Scotch is a major export from the UK, so the self-interest was there.

What better way to make a point?

Get the full lowdown at ynet.

American Pie Pizza. Only, not.

American-style pizza of true cheesy quality is not as easy to find around Jerusalem as you’d think. Big Apple Pizza (which just opened a new branch on Ben Zakai, my old hood) has done a good enough job, but they’ve grown so much you get that American sold-out feeling.

If you want a small, colorful pizza joint, I’d highly recommend American Pie Pizza on Bet Lechem street. I’ve had it before today, but today was the first time I actually went into the place.

The odd thing about walking into American Pie Pizza, though, was that as soon as we heard the other customers speaking, we realized everyone in the store was… French. Then we turned to the pizza guys and started ordering in Hebrew, and they told us to hold on and turned to the French and answered them… in French.


Ok, odd nationality-food mixes aside, the pizza was delicious and I learned how to say ‘mushroom’ in French. Highly recommended experience.

A late night meeting.

I’ve been experiencing a crippling muscular pain in my lower back (ahem… very lower back) for a few days now. It just seems to get worse. I sit and stand up, it sharpens. I stand and sit down, it sticks into me.

Yesterday I went to the doctor (how many times have I seen doctors in the last half year?) who said that lying down and sitting are not going to help; constant movement is what I need (and some pain killers). Hmm… I sit at a computer job all day and I’m not a fan of medication even when I’m not pregnant.

All this is reminding me of a childhood/teenagerhood sprinkled with these half-joking words from my mother: “I carried you for nine months!!!” (of course, I’m leaving out the juicy bits).

Last night, as I was lying in bed, not sleeping and trying to find a position that would not result in a knife-like feeling for the lower half of my body, I rested my hands on my belly as a gesture of peace towards this unborn child. No resentment here, kid. This is all for you. Unless one day you get your tongue pierced like your mama did.

And then I felt a pop…

And a poke…

And another one…

So as I couldn’t sleep from the stabbing back pain, and my husband couldn’t sleep from my stabbing restlessness, we lay awake entertaining ourselves with the thought…

…our baby wasn’t sleeping either.