Bintel Blog

Loving Israel's 'Bazaar of the Bizarre'

By Daniel Treiman

  • Print
  • Share Share

Jacob Savage has penned a colorful love letter to Israel’s most maligned building: Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station.

He writes:

Subcultures have embraced various corners of the building. Some storefronts are exclusively in Thai, some in Russian, some in English. Of course there is Hebrew, which in much of the station seems almost like an afterthought.

A mini Asiatown has formed inside the bus station. A two-story advertisement for Cellcom, the Israeli mobile phone company, features a Thai woman posed on her cell phone and text in Thai. Asian supermarkets, fast food noodle joints and remittance agencies have signs incomprehensible to most Israelis.

The Russians have an even larger niche, with at least four bookstores, several tattoo parlors and a body oil shop. Russian might be the building’s lingua franca.

The Ethiopians have their “Ethiopian style” hair salon, cosmetics stand and restaurant. A store sells Rasta clothes, Jamaican flags, Ethiopian music and T-shirts that read “I Love Ethiopia.”

People watchers have no better place. Soldiers come and go on leave. Religious Ashkenazim try on jewelry. Ethiopian teenagers walk hand in hand. Heavy-set, elderly Russian women mumble to themselves as they try on bras.

Read the rest of the article on the JTA’s Web site.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Israel

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.