Savlanoot, one of the first words they teach you in the Ulpan – the first stop for all keen new arrivals to Israel’s fair shores. Savlanoot means patience and as most Israelis will admit, is something you don’t see much evidence of on the streets here. Remember the driving post? Why wait patiently when you can lean on your horn, shout, ram into the back of someone, why go the correct but long way round when you can drive the wrong way up a one way street? Same applies in supermarket lines (the supermarket being just about the only place you will see a line), I have been crushed by an old lady’s trolley in her haste to make it to the check out first, what did I say to her? “savlanoot”.
Recently they have installed self check outs in some of the big supermarkets here. More fool the supermarkets. Trolleys full of weekly shops bumping and grinding into one another whilst impatient shoppers try to figure out why the machines won’t work – you can’t fit a trolley full of shopping on a small shelf “unexpected item in the bagging area” – yes that’s the shopper’s bored small child trying to get into the bag. There is a sign saying no more than 15 items but is basically ignored. A self check out requires patience at the best of times; the computer gets confused, the user gets confused, how do you delete something youscanned twice by accident ?- add a dash of I know better than the check out girl (or boy), a sprinkling of disregard for those queuing behind them and a gigantic dollop of impatience and you have supermarket meltdown. Wish I would remember this and just go to the regular check out.
Unlike the word patience in English, savlanoot is most often used as an instruction eg all 3 kids want to be first out/in the car/house/bath/fridge so yelling “savlanoot” is rather like “hang on” or “wait” in English. Obviously I never yell at my 3 childers, I tell them calmly, whilst at their level, in even tones.
On arrival in Israel I had bags of savlanoot, I could have shared it around I was so well endowed with savlanoot. Not so much 8 years on. Obviously I can’t lay the blame entirely on Israeli culture, 3 very small childers stretches anyones patience. Mix the two together and you have me as I am today. Not an ounce of savlanoot, in fact I wonder if anger management classes would be of benefit. My new look blog site is the case in point of my new-found impatience. Having fiddled around for at least an hour trying to change the site’s background, font colour etc I basically got annoyed with it (myself) for not being able to do what I wanted, I ran out of patience and what you see is how it turned out. Comments/advice gratefully received.