Mysterious Tel Aviv Lifestyle 2004

by : Liron Rose

Israel. What do you think when your first hear this word? Right, like most people you imagine what you probably saw on CNN or NBC. Blown up buses, Suicide Bombers, Military Operations, Outright Violence – all over the place.

The only thing that probably cannot be imagined unless experienced first hand is – Day to day living. Hmmm….what does that mean? People like us just living their lives? Do people go out? Absolutely. Yes, in spite of all security issues, most people just seem to carry on with their lives, with their families, with their jobs.

Some figures: The average salary is in Israel about $US1800 per month, and the average monthly rent is $US600 for a 2-bedroom flat in a decent Tel Aviv Suburb. Yes, quite a few people don’t make that kind of money and cannot afford a $600 flat, but others, somehow, seem to make much more, and spend more too. Cars are taxed heavily - over half of their price is “sales tax" but, you see many brand new $50K European luxury models and new SUVs, some people seem to be able to pay for these.

People love to go out here. Hit a local popular bar. Imported beers don’t come cheap at $5 a bottle, and cocktails are more like $8-$9. There are scores of state-of-the-art well designed, well-stocked bars. This summer, many of them were packed even on weekdays.

Mostly a young well-dressed local crowd. Numerous restaurants and coffee shops – ditto.

Tourists, absent for the good part of the last 3 years, could also be spotted on the Beach Promenade.

Tel Aviv, Israel 2004. The place has many faces.