Jason Fredric Gilbert
Pushing the boundaries of weird since 1978

10 Ways to Beat the Heat – Summer 2015 – Israel Edition

If you’re like me and were born half Syrian Brown Bear half human half circus bear, you may be feeling the adverse effects of the latest heat wave in Israel. And you’re terrible at math. That’s three halves. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s fine. Just blame the heat.


I’ve spent roughly 17 summers in Israel and over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about beating the heat. That’s about all I’ve learned. The rest has to do with scamming the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, scamming the Israeli Tax Authority and scamming the Israeli Customs Control at the border (green line, forever freiers!) So basically scamming. It’s the Israeli way. Which is why beating the heat in Israel is no different than any other scam. If you could afford to keep the air conditioner on all summer you wouldn’t need this guide. In fact unless you’re reading this on a public computer in one of Israel’s free libraries you’ve failed test number one. Please stop reading this right now and go back to Norway you liberal bastard. You’re not going to cut it in Israel. You’re soft. You’re weak. You ain’t gonna survive on the mean, hot streets of Israel.

Ok, so advice #1, Do not attempt to climb Masada. It’s too hot. Spoiler alert, everyone killed themselves. Instead, find one of those really nice McDonald’s Cafe’s. They have air conditioners, outlets to plug in your computer and for the price of an espresso you can pretty much sit there for a week. Seriously, just google “Massada” images and photoshop a picture of yourself atop the mountain. None of your so-called friends will notice anyway.


Advice #2 Avoid Shuk HaCarmel. Seriously, if you want to be yelled at by hairy men, pushed around by hairy ladies with hand carts or generally humiliated you’re welcome to come to my places for the holidays. Instead go to Dizengoff Center. It’s one of the coolest malls in Israel. Seriously, the air conditioner is epic. You can spend an entire day at the Apple store checking your email. Or get a tattoo. That’s always fun. Or read a book at the “Tzomet Sfarim”. Or buy a new sex toy. Seriously, what other mall has that variety?11836784_10152847083996735_7336683122647276694_nAdvice #3 Try Sarona Market. This brand new, air conditioned gourmet market has everything you want and/or need if you’re a pretentious asshole. I was ridiculed and mocked by a congress of baboons, or French tourists (who can tell the difference) for not ordering the Dodo Pate fast enough. Merde! Since it is still under construction just pretend to be a surly food critic and you could easily spend an entire day eating free samples.


Advice #4 The Norwegians have a saying (and I paraphrase) that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only a “bad attitude” and poor clothing choices. I say fuck you Norway. What have you done for us lately? Seriously, you could be naked and tripping balls on Molly and still feel like you were in hell. Just make friends with those who have air conditioners. Or spend the day in the hotel lobby, even if you’re not a guest. Preferably if you’re not a guest.


Advice #5 The Gym. Some of the higher class gyms have a free trial. You’ll have to pretend that you’re really interested in a membership. You’ll also have to suffer thousands — nay millions — of pushy salesman that keep calling you to schedule your registration. If that doesn’t bother you, you’ll get to spend a wonderful day using the pool, the air conditioned, wi-fi enabled snack area and of course the showers, which I recommend using twice or thrice.


Advice #6 Attend a Jewish wedding. Even if you’re not invited. Especially if you weren’t invited. Half the people at the wedding have no idea who the groom or the bride is anyway. Just make sure to bring an empty envelope. It’s air conditioned. Extra points if you get a magnet with your picture on it.


Advice #7 Forget about The Wailing Wall. Instead try spending an entire day at the kid’s gymboree, even if you don’t have kids. Especially if you don’t have kids. If you don’t mind hundreds of screaming kids who smell like dirty diapers, if you don’t mind getting kicked in the shin occasionally this is the perfect way to beat the heat. You could spend ten hours there, take a nap, check your email and all this on comfy bean bags in cool conditioned air. The best part? It’s absolutely free. Just pretend one of the little shit kickers is yours.


Advice #8 Avoid spicy food. Seriously. No matter how high the air conditioner is turned up you’ll feel like you’re burning up from the inside. No free air conditioner can help with that. Instead stick to bland foods, like the free samples they “hand out” at supermarkets. So many dried fruit! So many olives! Just be subtle about where you drop the pits.


Advice #9 Spend time at an old age home. This is a great way to offer companionship and support to the elderly. More importantly it’s a great way to enjoy free air conditioning, stimulating lectures about renaissance art and free buffet food. Just make sure to find an elderly to latch on to. Preferably early in the morning before they’re all taken. Like 4 AM is good.


Advice #10 All this advice has made me hot! So don’t give out free advice, unless you happen to be at work, enjoying the free air conditioner, free espresso, free food and free facilities. Especially if you’re being paid to do something else entirely. In which case you’ve officially beaten the heat.


If you’ve got any more gems of wisdom on how to beat the heat please feel free to comment. I will probably steal them and reword it differently for a future blog. The first one to make a nasty comment on how stupid I am or stupid this article, or how fat I look in this dress is welcome to join me at the TOI offices, where I’ll be enjoying the air conditioner, free coffee and free internet connectivity.


*This blog is meant as satire and should not be used as a tourist guide to Israel.*

About the Author
Jason Fredric Gilbert is a film and music video director, published author and acclaimed parallel parker; His Independent Film,"'The Coat Room" won "Best in Fest" at the 2006 Portland Underground Film Festival. He is also the author of two books of screenplays, "Miss Carriage House" and the follow up collection of screenplays "Reclining Nude & The Spirit of Enterprise" He currently lives in Or Yehuda and solves crossword puzzles in the bathroom. Please slap him in the face if you see him.