This was another busy week filled with random adventures. The first was learning how to make hummus from a vegan chef at her home. I don’t remember everything she said but that’s probably because I was too busy eating. The next day I went to a competition in which Israeli start-ups presented for cash prizes and for the chance to be flown to Shenzhen (China’s Silicon Valley) to meet with corporate leaders and government officials. It was really interesting to be in a room filled with Chinese investors and Israeli entrepreneurs. Needless to say, I was in awe and out of place.
On Friday, thanks to my amazing boss, I visited Nazareth for the first time to tour the Nazareth Business Incubator Center (NBIC). The center’s objective is to advance entrepreneurship within the Arab community in order to raise their living standards. Recently, the NBIC and the 8200 Alumni Association (8200 is the IDF’s elite intelligence & tech unit) launched a program called “Hybrid” – an initiative that aims to integrate Israeli Arabs into the start-up ecosystem. We spent the day meeting with entrepreneurs and touring the city. The collaboration is inspiring and one of the reasons I love my job is because I get to meet intelligent and genuinely good people who are shaping the future.
1) In an Israeli business meeting, at least two jokes must be exchanged. It’s weird if it’s completely serious and no one has laughed by the end of the meeting.
2) It doesn’t matter which grocery store you go to, every single one has family-size portions of food. You won’t see frozen meals for one like you do in America. The system is designed to discourage spinsterhood and to speed up your baby making process.
3) If you want to see the happiest person you know cry, tell them Princess Diaries 3 is in the works.
4) Requirements to be a bus driver in Israel: excellent at Math, sassy, and able to calculate change by weight all while looking at the road.
5) Even if the event description is in English, there’s a 95% chance it will be in Hebrew.
6) If you want to make your Israeli family laugh, try practicing your Hebrew with them. They will love that you confuse drakon (dragon) and darkon (passport) as well as baya (problem) and ba-al (husband). To be fair, I argued that the last two were the same and I stand by that.