Fouta: Lost in Translation

A fouta by Balthazar and Rose

A fouta by Balthazar and Rose

Before moving here, I bought some beautiful foutas from a neighbor in Los Angeles. Foutas are Tunisian sarongs that have evolved to to become fashionable beach towels/scarves/throws. They’re often striped with fringes on the ends. I bought a few of them colored with shades of blues and white stripes.

I would often take a fouta with me to use at the pool. I happened to be at the pool one day when it was quite busy with lots of religious women.

Tallit. c/o Google images

Tallit. c/o Google images

While drying myself off in the locker room with my fouta towel, I noticed a few people staring at me.After a few minutes, I realized that my fouta looks A LOT like a tallit (prayer shawl). I assume they were horrified at what I appeared to be doing. My pool towel is now just ordinary, plain, bulky and a single-color.

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I just have a question….

"Excuse me. I only have a question." Graffiti in Neve Tzedek. Tel Aviv

“Excuse me. I only have a question.” Graffiti in Neve Tzedek. Tel Aviv

As is generally known, Israelis don’t mince their words, are direct and impatient. I usually love it! The chart below is an excellent guide for those unfamiliar with the cultural differences between Israelis and other nations. (In short: Israelis and Japanese are polar opposites. To my surprise, Israel surpasses Italy in confrontational and emotionally expressive citizens).

So, how does this translate into my daily life? Continue reading