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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Things that are cool in Israel #4: The Dude and the Drainer

solar water heaters on rooftops in IsraelYom HaAtzmaut is coming – Israel’s Independence Day!  So it’s time to sing her praises.  Tra, la, la… here I go!!!

Praise #1:  Going Solar

In terms of natural resources, one thing Israel’s got plenty of is sunlight.  In the summer, probably TOO much, but that’s not entirely a bad thing.  Israel got into the solar water-heating thing very early on, and now you can’t go up and down a city block without seeing water heaters bristling on the roof of just about every building.

Apparently, 90% of Israeli homes have a solar water heater – or, in Hebrew, a “dude shemesh” (דוּד שֶׁמֶשׁ).  And now, so do we!

(The plain old word for water heater is “dude” / דוּד – you pronounce it just like he English word “dude” – phonetically, dood, to rhyme with “interrupting the post like this was very rude.”)

In the Merkaz Klitah, our electric dude was right in the apartment, and if we wanted hot water, we’d have to turn it on and wait 10-15 minutes.  It took me a few days to figure this out – when we first arrived, it was WAY too hot to think about heating up water, even for a shower (it wasn’t freezing cold out of the taps, anyway).

Here, we have a switch.  In the winter, like when we moved in, there isn’t quite enough sunlight for a steady supply of hot water.  These days, we don’t have to think about the switch… which means we’re saving a ton of money.

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I love being part of a country where something like this – which would be revolutionary in Canada – is just a mundane feature of even the most junky, run-down apartments.

(Granted, in Canada, there’s not as much sunlight, so it would probably be silly to rely on it to heat a family’s entire water supply… for oh, about ten months of the year.)

Praise #2:  What’s this about Drainers?

Because so many people have raved about their dudes in past, and thus it has become kind of cliché, I thought I’d throw in a “bonus” rave, and here it is:  two-level dish drainers!

I bought a new one yesterday, having grown tired of our one-level drainer and wanting to move up in the world:

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(excuse our post-Pesach kitchen “balagan”!)

This one is a sturdy plastic model; there are also metal ones available, but to me, the idea of metal and dripping water don’t mix.  No matter how “stainless” it is, I know at some point, there will be rust.

(Weird Word o’ the Week:  stainless steel in Hebrew = nee-rosta / נִירוֹסְטָה, a word I just figured out a few days ago is actually a non-Hebrew word combining the Latin-ish parts, “nee” (no) and “rosta” (rust).  Blah.)

Yeah, it’s kind of a yucky brown/beige colour.   I don’t know exactly why I think this is so cool, except for the fact that I’ve spent my entire life trying to fit stuff into a measly single-layer dish drainer, creating an effect my family refers to as the “Jenga” when anyone tries to get any one item out.

With this one, the layers are switchable, so if I decide I want cutlery and plates on the bottom, and pots / glasses on the top – la-bri’ut (“to your health” / לִברִיאוּת), as they say here when you sneeze.

Draining the Drainer

The only thing about this that is not cool is that it’s nearly impossible to buy a dish drainer that actually drains.  Unlike just about every model I ever saw in Canada, most come with a “tray” that sits underneath and catches the water.  Ew!  Why would you want to leave the water sitting to go moldy and make your cutlery stinky???

(I understand the utility of it if you’re drying dishes, say, on your bed or on a bookshelf… but in a kitchen, there’s almost always access to a sink, right?)

So if you peek underneath this new drainer, you’ll see that I have replaced the tray with one that actually drains, into the sink.  It’s not quite the right size, but given how long and hard I had to search for it, it will do for now.

Wow!  Usually, I only share ONE thing that’s cool in Israel… but this time, you’ve gotten not one (the dude), not two (the drainer), but THREE (the little language lesson about stainless steel).

To show your appreciation for this tremendous generosity, please Like, Share, Comment… let me know I’m not alone in my admiration for this great land of ours!

5 comments:

  1. Love it! Israel does rock! How about the awesome fact that the busses on their feed count the days of the omer!

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    1. Yes! I loved seeing those pictures when they were floating around facebook!!!

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  2. They do have drainboards here for the dish-drainer.

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    1. Yes, there is one underneath the drainer in the picture. It was only 10nis, which is good, but crazy hard to find... and it's nowhere near big enough. In the end, I asked my mother to buy us a Rubbermaid one, which YM will bring iyh when he comes next week.

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    2. Also, the Rubbermaid ones in North America are SLANTED to help the water run down. And RIDGED to keep the dish drainer out of the puddles. This one is flat, so I have to tilt it, and it needs frequent washing because grimy water still pools in it. (Mysteries of the universe: why the water in the drainer gets grimy even when they are CLEAN dishes!!!)

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