First, a random question-- why does Egyptian President Mubarak appear to have a seder plate in the display cabinet behind him during his press photo meeting with US President Obama right now? (Finally-- proof for Egyptian extremists that Mubarak is a closet Jew!)
The big news of the day today, of course, is that the Israeli version of the Amazing Race will air the first part of its finale tonight. I never watched the American version of the Amazing Race, but when episodes of it do show up on Israeli TV, I'm struck by how comparatively boring it is. In the American version, the couples seem serious, focused on their tasks, competitive, steady... they are in it for high-minded reasons and they patronize non-English speakers in the countries they visit.
Israelis, on the other hand, struggle through with English not always better than, say, the Japanese businessman giving them directions. They teach Kibbutz cheers to South Africans. Israelis are used to dealing with genuine hardship, so they combat challenges on this race with senses of humor and willingness to wring as much enjoyment as possible out of the experience.
My two favorite contestants were Hadas and Inbal, the "blondiniots." (Well, after these women.) Yes, the blondiniots' official race portrait shows them posing in pink bikinis. But Hadas and Inbal are also two blondes who have served in the Israeli army, and they define themselves as "fighteriots." They gained my respect when I saw them shoot down clay pigeons one after another-- yes, Inbal screamed when the gun kicked her back after each shot, but she wasn't at all shy about pulling the trigger. I love this about Israeli girls... it's hard to explain, but there's something tough about even the most girly girl with pink nail polish riding the train... in her green army uniform. Whereas American girls can get by on pretty if they choose to, Israeli girls know to carry their own weight.
My favorite moment from this reel of "blondiniot" highlights is when they try to cut a rope by spraying it with perfume (containing alcohol) and lighting the perfume on fire... and eventually succeed by smashing a makeup mirror and using the shards to saw through the rope. Yes, they chose to carry perfume and mirrors with them in their race backpacks, but at the same time they don't hesitate to use these substances innovatively to get ahead. That, to me, sums up the superior toughness of "girly girls" in Israel:
Sadly, the blondiniot didn't make it through a recent elimination, although they were the last all-female team in the race.
Right now I'm rooting for Amichai and Maya, in part because Maya has a truly awesome name and is an olah from America... kind of. (I still can't figure this one out. She speaks unaccented Hebrew, but her vocabulary isn't very good. Maybe she has Israeli parents?)
I still think an all olah-chadasha team on the "Merutz" would be amazing. Anyone want to apply with me? :)
P.S. More evidence that Israeli girls have superior toughness... and this one is only 6! Wow!
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