In the US, "blinds" were basically curtains, just not as pretty. They sat on the inside of windows a shielded us from views of neighbors. (And by "us," I don't mean my family in particular. We grew up on a farm and didn't even have curtains in our windows, which got tricky when clients of my parents showed up before my sister and I had woken up or showered in the morning...)
Israel's obsession with security, though, seems to extend to our windows here. The picture above are of "trisim," which cover the outside of the windows on all older apartments like ours. They crack open and closed, but luckily can be pulled aside by our panes of tinted, frosted glass on the windows. (Israelis also believe that everyone else is very nosy and has no business looking through their windows.) These old trisim are pretty annoying to clean and open with metal tabs that-- for me-- always get stuck when I slide open and shut our glass windows. Newer trisim are metal shades that raise up and down like mineature garage doors, sometimes with an electric switch. Trisim are really more like shutters than blinds, as they guard against inclement weather in addition to prying eyes.
It's finally getting hot here, and for many Israelis this means opening windows at night (to let in cool air) and then shutting up EVERYTHING during the day. I have a problem with this-- I LOVE fresh air, natural light, a breeze, even if this breeze is the dust-laden wind of a chamsin. I also don't like air conditioning (although done right, opening windows at night and shutting up during the day actually keeps apartments cool-- our entire buildings are built to chill, with cool tile floors underfoot). So I tend to sit sweating in the sunlight in the summer, a fan mimicking natural breeze.
Who cares. I love the heat, and I'm glad that summer is almost here! And my trisim will be open. For now.
Ali Abunimah, Expert On Mental Illness
3 hours ago