Thursday, November 23, 2017

Coffee Seal

The main street in my hometown  has several centers with shops and offices, one of them named Sharon Center. The front of this building, facing the street, is a double attraction: a McDonalds and a coffee shop named Hotam Hakafe (Coffee Seal - in english translation from hebrew).

Two things make the above cafe special: one, the owner is a known expert on coffee and everything related to it; two, the place regularly hosts cultural events (lectures and music performances) enjoyed not only by customers, but also by passersby.The facade, and one side of the cafe, are all glass, so this enables people to view and hear the singers and instrument players that perform inside.

The coffee shop is tiny, but well designed. 
The back, green wall has at its one end a high quality coffee machine, glasses, cups and  light food items (pastry, snacks); at the other end - built in wood boxes and shelves displaying a variety of coffee brands. Some tables and chairs inside and outside complete the arrangement.

I love coffee. When I was young, I used to drink black strong coffee; later on, I switched to Nescafe (red mug) with a little milk. I prefer the decaffeinated version, but it's very expensive in our parts.
When I'm out, I usually have a cappucino. Most coffee shops make a decent cappucino.

Coffe shops always remind me of the last military campaign we had some three years ago. I was in Tel Aviv city near a cafe, when the alarm started to 'yell' and people were running for shelter; three men were sitting around a table outside, chatting and drinking as if nothing was happening around.

I threw an inquisitive look in their direction; one of them said to me laconically "if I am to die at least it'll be at my favorite cafe".
I thought then, and I think now, it was stupid , conceited behaviour on his part.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Best Business In Town

Electric bikes are a great invention, but also a great... headache. They cause "headaches" to many factors: pedestrians, car drivers, police, municipalities, ministry of transport, parents.

The fact that no driving license is required, and there are no fuel/ parking/ maintenance/storage  expenses, has made the battery-powered bike a very sought after vehicle both by adults and youngsters. Moreover, e-bikes come in light, compact and folding models and that makes them very appealing to people of all ages.The nice weather all year round also contributes to their popularity.

e-bike plus the battery (under seat post)

According to the law, e-bike riders should use  the off road only (bicycle paths and trails) . In reality, there's no one to enforce neither this law requirement, nor the law requirement that the e-bike rider be at least 16 years of age and wear a helmet. 

no helmet

The e-bike riders invade both the roads and the sidewalks,   On certain wide pavements there are bike lanes intended   for non-electrical cycles , but in reality these lanes too are 'flooded' with electrical ones, and so far, the police does nothing about it. 

sidewalk with pedestrian lane and cycle (non electric) lane

I live in a rather densely populated area, and I'm worried; first of all as a pedestrian. The e-bikes are very silent; one doesn't even hear them approaching you from the back, and their bell is not always operated. Secondly, I own a trike (a three wheel cycle - never learnt to ride a proper bicycle) for recreational purposes, but I seldom use it because of the jungle caused by the e-bikers in my area.

Nowadays, teenagers are seen either on  e-bikes or waiting for the bus/ car. They scarcely use a regular pedal bike or go on foot any more (no wonder excess weight has reached high proportion in these kids; gym workout at a later stage would not repair the damage).

Anyway, there are a lot of casualties among  e-bikers riding on the road along with car drivers, and among pedestrians knocked down by the e-bikers riding on the pavement. 

Sad situation. All parties involved  promise to solve problems (by imposing heavy fines, Import restrictions ,increasing informational publicity etc..) but in reality do nothing of the kind. In the meantime, the e- bike importers and bike shop owners make a lot of money. Electric bike shops pop up at every corner like mushrooms after rain. Apparently, the best business in town!