Somehow, I Always End Up in Tourist Towns

I would be so lucky. Moments after me, a gaggle of tourists led by a stereotypically loud American (presumably Jewish, presumably ex-pat) stepped into the falafel shop. They immediately convened directly in front of the counter, and everyone already inside clambered to maintain their spot in line. We did, but barely.

The woman at the head of this group immediately started explaining – unbearably loudly – that THIS IS FALAFEL. YOU GET TO CHOOSE YOUR SALADS. YOU CAN GET A WHOLE OR A HALF. YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT YOU PUT ON IT. She starts pointing at things. THAT’S SALAD. THAT’S TEHINEH.

One of the girls in her group didn’t know what tehineh was, and also didn’t really speak English. She got louder. TEHINEH TEHINEH. YOU KNOW. SESAME. SESAME SEEDS. SESAME PASTE. SIM SIM. SESAME.

She suffered from the common misconception that if someone doesn’t speak your language, you should shout. It usually means they’ll understand you better, and you’ll make friends. So not only was she shouting at one of the girls she was leading, but she was shouting at the guy behind the counter. ARBAH HEZI (four halves). He, of course, was in the middle of making other peoples’ sandwiches, people that were there first. Rega, rega. Wait, wait. ARBAH HEZI ARBAH HEZI. Because seriously, repeating yourself helps.

Thankfully, I got my sandwich and ran. As fast as I could, down the hill, far far away. And there I’ll stay.


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