Karaoke: The good, the bad, the Jerusalem.

Spread the word: I am in the market for good karaoke as opposed to Jerusalem karaoke.

A friend wanted – uncharacteristically – to get her sing on, so we all ventured out to Capricorn, which is apparently Jerusalem’s only karaoke bar.

Actually, it’s more like a portable karaoke machine + arse DJ + bitchy waitress + funny mistake on the drink menu (see if you can find it on this Zodiac Cocktails list):

Zodiac drink menu

Anyway, Capricorn is located at that odd corner at the end of Yaffo/Shlomtzion in the city center and my advice is to stay far away. Not only did the service and karaoke quality suck, but they wouldn’t start up the karaoke until we had been sitting there for over an hour (after midnight). Jeez, were they embarrassed by our voices or something?

I’d love to find a New York-Korean style karaoke place, where you have private rooms and your group gets to control all the songs and do whatever the hell they want.

I’m assuming at this point that my search has to start in Tel Aviv. Taking suggestions.

How they do humor in Tel Aviv.

I needed a sanity check and a little dose of big city, so we drove to Tel Aviv today, parked in the free city-sponsored parking by the Yarkon and then walked through the city for a few hours.

It doesn’t take long before you realize that Tel Aviv has its own brand of humor that Jerusalem clearly lacks. For a long time I had been resistant to Tel Aviv, possibly because the commute is a pain. Lately I’ve been a lot more at ease with the city and viewing it with much the same attitude as I view Manhattan.

Here’s what I mean by sense of humor. The first big advertisement we saw, walking across the Yarkon on Ibn Givrol was this:

Hot guy leading a blind guy wearing trendy clothes? For real? My husband remarked no one can really get offended by it since the blind can’t see it anyway…

To make up for that awkwardness, I did find a cute marketing campaign on the part of a mobile-veterinary service:

Mistovevet - pet care on wheels...

It’s called “Mistove-vet”, mistovev meaning to go around and vet, well, you know.

Continuing on our way, I was taken by this little contraption and it’s slogan:

Protect your bananas, people. Now there’s a priority.

Even the cats in Tel Aviv are cooler than Jerusalem’s:

On top of the fact that every wall in Tel Aviv is cause for a mural painting, I got a kick out of the oddness at seeing Syria listed as a destination here:

Tel Aviv is home to way more dog owners than Jerusalem, and it shows. The municipality seems to have it’s – er – shit together:

If you can read Hebrew, then you know what that is: Saki-Kaki, plastic bags to pick up after your dog. Gotta love that.

This is something you are definitely only going to see in a Tel Aviv park… until the Future hits. Rentable Segways, people:

I’ll end off with something pretty, but in its own way, carrying the brand of Tel Aviv humor… Check out the chilled out boats for rent on the Yarkon:

Another opportunity to volunteer with Sudanese refugees in Israel.

UPDATE: New info posted for volunteer opportunities to help African asylum seekers in Israel.

After I posted about volunteer opportunities with Sudanese refugees in Israel, a few people asked me for more details. While I didn’t have them (but did have the contact details of people who did) I now have more information regarding an opportunity to volunteer teaching English to refugees in Tel Aviv:

Looking for volunteers to teach English to Sudanese refugees (mostly from Darfur) living in Tel Aviv. As of now, classes are held on Monday nights but we are open to holding class on other nights as well. All levels of English are taught (advanced, intermediate, beginners and the ABCs). Knowledge of Arabic is extremely helpful in teaching the real beginners but not required.

No previous teaching experience necessary.

If you are interested or know of anyone who might be, please email: Nina722@gmail.com

Public service announcement: better sherut!

Today I was on the 18, on the way to the bus station in Jerusalem. As the bus pulled up past the Beit Shemesh sherut que, I couldn’t help but daydream of a time, one day, when Jerusalem would have a better sherut system.

Sherut literally means service, but I can’t help but feel like they are not doing their best ’round these parts. In Jerusalem, there are three kinds of sherut-taxis you can take – Tel Aviv, located off Yaffo in town, Beit Shemesh, at the bus station, and Bnei Brak, up Strauss.

Why can’t there be a depot? Like in Tel Aviv, wouldn’t it make more sense if they were all located outside the bus station, so that if you miss your bus, you could catch one there? (Actually, I realize having them spread out makes sense but I do think their ought to be a link to the bus station. It’s central, it’s logical.)

Waiting in line for security after getting off the 18, I kept hearing this voice in the background, shouting in the middle of the street. Finally I realized what it was saying: “Tel Aviv! Moniyot sherut! Tel Aviv!”

An alternative sherut service to Tel Aviv has been started across the street from the bus station by Kaviim bus lines. Now I just need for the Bnei Brak one to come out of hiding on Strauss and I’m set to go.