Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | August 15, 2005


* apply annoying mobile phone ring tone of your choice *

What is it with this country’s fascination with mobile phones? Come on, seriously, what is this Israeli obsession all about? After x many years here, I’ve still yet to get my head round the takeover of this country by small appliances that are getting ever-smaller and ever more fully-featured. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of gadgets out there, but the need for the latest Samsing or Shmokia just doesn’t do it for me…

I’ve just had a phone conversation with a friend of mine who was talking about something or other when he suddenly started raving about his latest phone upgrade. As he raved on and on, I had to hold back the yawns, but ooops, no good, the barrier was broken and the more he raved, the more my eyes filled with yawn tears (you know what I mean, right?). Voooommm, right over my head.

As for phone etiquette, forget about it. Israelis have no idea. Absolutely none. Cinemas, theaters, shows, none are safe from the invasive ring tones that punctuate the room/hall. Chatting with a friend over coffee? Watch his participation in your conversation disintegrate upon the first shrill ring of his mobile. Sit there gormlessly while he carries on an animated and yet totally meaningless conversation over the phone. 5 minutes later, if you’re lucky, you’ll manage to continue where you left off.

Yet when the mobile phone companies construct massive erections (ooh lovely!) in order to expand the phone networks reception, the nation (including the PM) rebels. OK, none of us want one of these monsters greeting us when we look out of our balconies, but isn’t this the price paid for a phone-filled population? Aren’t we quick to bad mouth the phone companies when we can’t get reception somewhere? Shouldn’t we just accept the fact that phones are here to stay and in order to cater for their ever expanding range of services, an ever expanding number of antennas is needed? Perhaps soon, we won’t be raving about the latest phones, but the latest antenna upgrades we’ve purchased…

Yes, I do have a mobile, the same faithful model for the last 3 years. What always makes me laugh is when a phone addict sees my phone and starts pawing it with some kind of grudging admiration and jealousy. You see, my phone’s from England and is not sold over here. And yes, I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve said that to people…



  1. You know what drives me totally crazy? Those people on the train who decide to pass the time by checking out all the different ringtones on their cell phones! Makes me want to take the phone and throw it out the window into a field somewhere!

  2. I know what you mean She – I was in a park a couple of weeks ago, and there was a kid with his parent’s (or his?) cell phone playing all the ringtones over and over again. On the other hand, I was in Rishon LeZion, so maybe it was my fault for expecting something better…

  3. It’s interesting to read an Israeli perspective on things.

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