Complaining is the second most popular "physical activity" among sabras, the most popular being eating, of course. ;-) When I started living here, I thought erroneously that they would complain to everyone about everything all the time. But I have come to realize that there are contexts in which they do not complain, while I would, and in which they do not complain directly, while I might.
Here are some of the "rules of thumb" for new immigrants, tourists and anyone else who is interested in the sabra "culture" about when and how (not) to complain à la israelienne: ;-)
- You complain not for social justice but mainly for your personal convenience, which often contradicts social justice.
- You complain about your "rights", while ignoring and failing to fulfill your obligations.
- You complain back to someone who dares to complain to you about your "pleasure", e.g., when your neighbor dares to complain to you about your "joy of Sabbath" of listening to your favorite "music" at full volume or organizing an "athletic meet" of your small children (and their friends) in your apartment.
- You do not complain to anyone about any personal or social misconduct you yourself may (or do) make, e.g., when someone is hours late for an appointment or even forgets it completely, cuts into the line for a bus, or contaminates his or her surroundings with crazy impatient honking or lousy loud mobile phone calls in public; this seems to be a "gentlemen's agreement" à la israelienne.
- You do not complain to anyone about his or her not apologizing to you for his or her apparent misconduct.
- You do not complain to anyone directly but slander to his or her boss if you sense some potential damage to your pratictical benefit by your direct complaint.
Of course, all of you are more than welcome to complain to me about this list of mine, but à la israelienne. ;-)