Matkot Part 2: The Museum

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The sign reads welcome to the Hall of Matkot

After my excursion to Ting-Dong Dagan, where Matkot paddles are made, I ventured up the road to Neve Tzedek, the first neighborhood in Tel Aviv, to visit the Museum of Matkot.  Located in the second story apartment of Amnon Nissim, the apartment/museum is a shrine to all things matkot (and it turns, out, music and cats, too). A small man with a soft raspy voice excitedly greeted me and proudly walked me into his expansive apartment.  Two large rooms with towering ceilings were covered with matkot paddles, matkot trinkets, matkot shirts, matkot trophies (how, I asked if there’s no winner? These were just gifts, I was told) and non-usable artistic matkot paddles (marble, crochet, painted with landscapes, Elvis’ face, glued on seashells, etc), and matkot gifts from fans around the globe.  I also received a history lesson on matkot paddles and walked through an informal timeline of the development of matkot paddles’ designs, from heavy wood to today’s carbon. Continue reading

Matkot: Ting-Dong Dagan

Ting-Dong Dagan

Ting-Dong Dagan

Matkot: The official Israeli game that is simple, humble and is true to the nation’s socialist roots (what other game requires you to be dependent upon the other person, ie your opponent, and has no rules and no final outcome?!).  I would also argue that since Israelis love their beach culture (where Matkot is played)–and are significantly more laid-back and less competitive than Americans when it comes to beach time, exercise and pretty much any fun activity–that it really is the ultimate Israeli game. It simply involves hitting a rubber ball with a paddle. I grew up playing it in the US (though we called it Kadima-not sure why), which is why I was SO excited to go to the Ting-Dong Dagan–a Matkot making shop in Tel Aviv. Continue reading