Tzur Hadassah has a supermarket (deep breaths).

Well, now we’re really in the big time. Sure, they just broke ground for a high school (I think) but today Tzur Hadassah celebrated a special milestone in a small town’s life: our very own supermarket’s grand opening. Including three-shekel hamburgers.

We woke up this morning to festive red balloons tied to every other car… (it was like waking up to snow!!!! Only not.)

Mister Zol is the first of three or four small shops to occupy an itsy bitsy shopping ‘center’ on Rechasim street, the spine of Tzur Hadassah’s newer neighborhood. It sits across from the medical clinic and mail pickup, which makes things a little complicated on a relatively narrow main street. I can’t believe I typed that last sentence.

The crowds piled up for the afternoon festivities, which somewhere included a clown, a market full of food items for sale, and, man, you’d think they were cooking up three-shekel hamburgers out there!

I’ve definitely never seen anywhere in Tzur Hadassah that crowded. Let’s hope the parking situation gets better, starting right after this shindig ended…

I think we, as a town, need some new social events.

Look who's moving to Tzur Hadassah.

Somewhere deep inside, I knew this day would come.

Tzur Hadassah is getting a ‘commercial center’ – which is basically a supermarket and an ATM – on Rechasim street.

I am not for this in any way, but I suppose my opinion isn’t worth much since I moved here two years ago and I don’t own property. But still. It’s unnecessary. We have a big-enough rip-off makolet and supermarkets all around us in Beitar Illit, Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem. I don’t see the sense in destroying trees and neighborhood peace to create an overpriced Mister Zol.

The worst part is, they decided to do it on a peripheral, dead end street. I don’t get that. If they want to build a community center eventually, and there is already a school in the middle of the horseshoe that is the yishuv’s layout, why not make everything commercial in the center, too? Why disrupt  peripheral residents with a supermarket?

It’s only going to get worse; the ‘nature preserve’ across from my building is slated for construction as well (housing, though).

Maybe it’s time to look for a new small yishuv?

I took these photos less than a week ago and the building has already progressed significantly:

New age doughnuts.

Happy Chanukah! The kid-oriented yet historically-fascinating holiday has officially begun tonight, and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit I totally didn’t get the memo and thought it started tomorrow. Even with the Hebrew dated agenda book I keep. 

I did have some clues that Chanukah was quickly approaching though: sales on candles, this year’s edition of cheap chanukiyah sold in the supermarket, party invitations, and of course – doughnuts. 

Sufganiyot – the Chanukah edition of doughnuts – are everywhere, as they always are. This year, I actually found them in a new spot: my supermarket freezer.

Oh, man, really? Frozen doughnuts? Shufersal, you know I love and cherish your homebrand, but this is a first as a product you’ve done that I wouldn’t buy.

I will note that they came with their own packet of white sugar to put on top after you’ve ‘baked’ them.  

I will also note the sadness I feel that as I am writing this, a Christmas song was on the Israeli radio, followed by a commercial that used Chanukah music to advertise a product. Oh, diaspora, you follow me everywhere.

Typical Israeli supermarket conversation.

Russian man with silver teeth: grumbles something in heavy accented Hebrew (or maybe it was Russian?) and points to a package of frozen dough

Me: “Slicha?”

Russian man with silver teeth: grumbles something else in Hebrew, pointing to the price

Me: looking confused

Russian man with silver teeth: smiles big, “Aaah…. Priveyet, russian russian russian russian russian…”

Me: smiles back, “Lo yoda’at…”

Russian man with silver teeth: now he’s looking confused, grumbles again in Russian accented Hebrew

Me: explains what he needed to know in American accented Hebrew; unfortunately for him, the price is not to his liking.

Russian man with silver teeth: walks away grumbling, “Nyet! Nyet! Nyet!”

And there we have it, once again. Russians assume I am Russian. It has happened probably a dozen times now. If only I could understand what that means