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Top five Tel Aviv neuroses

1. You're more hungover than the rest of the office

You're hungover...for the third time this week (and you've only had three work days so far). Despite the caffeine-inspired boost that helped you achieve the impossible and physically get to the office, the short-lasting effects of your first cup-o-Joe have worn off. Everyone stares at you as you struggle with the office entry code. You keep your sunglasses on to hide your bloodshot eyes, make a mad dash for the espresso machine, and hope to God your boss is in a morning meeting.
 
hungover

© Alena Ploski

 

2. Everyone is more Tel Avivian than you

You've got the style, the studio apartment, and the cold shoulder when American frat bros try to hit on you at the bar down pat. But does that make you Tel Avivian enough? Never. That's why you buy a bike (even though you've never ridden one before), grow unnecessary facial hair, and go out of your way to spend the night at Rokoko, hopeful that the residual cigarette smell will linger on your clothes and skin for at least a day or two.
 
Tel Avivian

© Alena Ploski

 

3. Your friends makes more money than you

Most Israelis are bold and their first questions are often monetary. Something along the lines of "How much do you make?" or "How much is your rent?" are considered appropriate first date material. You're too gosh darn polite to ask your friends though, even if they constantly nudge you to tell them your salary, expenses, and net worth. One day you crack, as if trapped inside an interrogation room: "Fine, it was me! I'm guilty! Are you happy now?"
 
Poor Man

© Alena Ploski

 

4. All commuters secretly have a death wish

The biker almost hits the bus almost hits the car almost hits the pedestrian almost hits the biker. All regards for traffic lights are thrown out the window in this city; turn signals? what are those?; and forget about helmets. No matter what mode of transportation Tel Avivians use to get to work, there seems to be this unspoken suicide pact tucked underneath their seats – one that only they and all other commuters are in on, while you stand awkwardly on the outskirts (praying not to get hit).
commuters

© Alena Ploski

 

5. Your neighbor is a serial killer

Strange noises are coming from next door. The door creaks open at late hours, oddly-shaped packages arrive from foreign addresses in bulk, and there is a strong aroma of latex – or maybe that's Clorox – seeping into the walls. The key to staying alive: keep on good terms by carrying on with your polite neighborly duties. Shower ONLY at reasonable hours, sweep the communal space daily, and never ever occupy the one functioning washing machine before asking...heck, just don't do laundry at all if it helps you maintain complete anonymity.
 

 

Take a look at the top five people you'll find at the Shuk.

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