Although I consider myself a person of a placid temperament, there are times when I lose my temper completely in Israeli society and protest directly, often in a very harsh language, to the person who has caused this. The following are some of the typical contexts in which this happens:
- When someone treats me stereotypically: This is probably the single most disturbing context for me. I am especially sensitive to linguistic stereotyping. One of its commonest forms in Israel, though it does not happen to me so frequently, is to be spoken to in broken English by a non-native speaker of English who thinks that I do not understand Hebrew.
- When someone brings in his private things to the public sphere: This widespread childish behavior takes a number of forms in Israeli society. Someone can carry out a personal cellular phone conversation loudly in public. Someone can email a personal message in public instead of sending it only to the person involved. A bus driver can listen to his favorite music loudly without paying attention to the passengers.
- When someone keeps silent when he should say something explicitly in my opinion: I call this "Israeli silence". Many people here simply ignore my sincere questions. Many people do not have the minimal etiquette of thanking for what they requested and received. Many people do not apologize for not keeping what they promised.
Yes, I am fully aware that I am a difficult person to get along with. ;-)