2010-10-22

Verbal intrusion into privacy in Israel

One of the bothering behaviors of many Israelis to which I have not become used is their verbal intrusion into the privacy of others. By "verbal intrusion into privacy" I mean mainly those questions they ask people they do not know well or at all not so much as for their genuine interest in others as potential friends as for temporarily satisfying their uncontrollable desire to peep into the life of others. Every time I become a victim of such "peepers", I cannot help being amazed how they are not ashamed to ask such private questions even in public, as I would not dare to do so even in private.

What is bothering about this verbal intrusion is that it has no relevance whatsoever to the services we are going to receive or the tasks we are going to perform. For example, why do I have to answer the owner of a photocoping store where I come from and how many years I live in Israel?

What is even more bothering about these verbal intruders is that their questions are reciprocal. Someone who asks someone else something private should answer his or her questions first, but these people never do so even after being asked to by someone they ask.

Of course, I cannot deny anyone the right to ask these questions in his or heart, but to verbalize it is something I would not expect from a civilized adult. I have learned how to cope with these uncivilized people best by simply ignoring them instead of getting angry with them, as they will never understand that they are intruding into my privacy by asking these questions.