Business (not) as usual - extended hours for night owls

Those of us who have been in Israel long enough will remember the days when stores were open only until 7:00 p.m. and you had to rush to the supermarket after work if you wanted some food on your dinner plate.

shopping illus 88 (photo credit: )
shopping illus 88
(photo credit: )
THOSE OF us who have been in Israel long enough will remember the days when stores were open only until 7:00 p.m. and you had to rush to the supermarket after work if you wanted some food on your dinner plate. The day Supersol first kept its main store open in Jerusalem until 10:00 p.m. was a big event that definitely made our lives easier. Now, there are stores open 24 hours a day on certain days of the week - even Shabbat - and we've all become used to the convenience. Most of us are leading a more hectic and fast-paced life these days so if there are possibilities to do chores after the regular workday, that's a bonus. FOR EMERGENCIES, there are, of course, clinics and emergency rooms that operate around the clock, but for a routine visit some people cannot afford to lose time during the day and prefer to see their doctor or dentist at off-hours. Medi-Clinic in Tel Aviv now offers dental services 24 hours a day, even at cheaper rates during the evening or early morning hours. Between 7:00 p.m. and midnight, a 25 percent reduction is offered, and from midnight until 8:00 a.m. you'll enjoy a 40% savings. The clinic claims that since it started offering night hours, 15% of its customers have started coming at night - mostly business people who cannot afford to loose a moment of their day and also don't want to experience anesthesia during the day. Since dental work can amount to thousands of shekels, you would think people might come during the night to save some money - but that doesn't seem to have happened (yet). IF YOU are a night owl and working on your computer all night, a sudden hard drive crash can be a disaster. Tikun Mahshevim (03-677-9569) offers 24 hour services in the Gush Dan area, for which they charge you 150% of the normal rate of NIS 150 an hour. The company receives calls from desperate customers about two to three nights a week. Clients of Netvision can also enjoy computer services at home during late hours. The rates for at home support vary from NIS 99 to NIS 199 an hour. The HaPhoto picture store in Tel Aviv is open until 22:30 every weekday night, which is a nice, though not essential service. THOSE WHO have the energy to work out at night can find some gyms that are open until midnight. The Great Shape gyms in Kfar Saba and Herzliya, for example, are open until midnight and even offer classes such as yoga, spinning or Tai Chi after 9:00 p.m. Then, if you crave a coffee to help you stay up even later, the Caf Joe branch at Dizengoff Center is open 24 hours a day, also for meals. FOR FUN and convenience at the same time, you can go to, or host, one of the "parties" where products are sold in the comfort of someone's home. Tupperware (1-800-780-800) is one of the most well-known companies to organize these parties, where their famous plastic kitchen and storage items are sold by a Tupperware saleswoman who also provides a demonstration of the products. The Tupperware party hostess receives a gift that varies according to the amount of products sold. Popular products are the salad dryer, the shaker, or the kitchen chef (a small food processor). The Avon cosmetics company (03-648-5316) has about 3,000 saleswomen in Israel who demonstrate and sell the Avon make-up, perfumes, creams, and shampoos, etc. in 12 different areas across the country. Every Avon party has about 10 to 15 participants, although a party can take place also when there are less people. Participants receive samples, and the hostess receives a gift package. Other companies that work with the system of sales at home parties include HerbaLife (food supplements, especially to lose weight, and cosmetics) and Il Makiage (makeup work-shops). El Al offers new breakfasts THE HEALTH trend is spreading its wings these days with a cooperation between El Al airlines and Tnuva dairy. El Al now offers passengers in tourist class the choice between three different breakfasts instead of the calorie-rich omelets with potatoes or blintzes that were served in the past. The three meals are the Israeli breakfast (herb omelet, 5% cheeses, salad and smoked salmon); the healthy breakfast (granola with walnuts, fruits of the season, to be mixed with white Yoplait and honey, 5% cheeses, smoked salmon); and the sandwich duo (whole wheat rolls with Emek light and a Zefat-style cheese, olive spread, salad, 5% cheeses, and smoked salmon). The calories vary from 417 to 569 per meal. In addition, passengers are offered a Yoplait yogurt or Karlo dessert of their choice. The meal is definitely an improvement but at the meal we were served at a presentation this week, we were looking for the (of course less healthy) butter to put on our rolls, and El Al promised to make a change and offer butter to those who want it. The cooperation between El Al and Tnuva may be extended to lunches, as well, with Haim Romano, the director of El Al, saying they were looking into the possibility. For now, the new breakfasts are served on outgoing flights only while, on some flights, a dietician from Tnuva will provide passengers with information about healthy eating. When asked if the kids' meals are also being changed, Romano said he didn't believe kids were so interested in healthy meals - maybe there is still some room for improvement here? Not so comfortablecomforters IF YOU want to buy a new winter blanket to keep you warm during the cold, rainy days, you had better check the label on the product to make sure what you are actually buying. A customer, who went to Home Center to buy a goose down comforter during a one-day nationwide sale, as advertised in the big newspapers, was shocked to discover that the blanket was not filled with goose feathers, but with duck feathers! The Hebrew ad said "Avaz," which is goose (and much more expensive), but the package said "Barvaz", which is duck. The blankets were on sale for NIS 79 for a single and NIS 125 for a double comforter, and were, in her words "as thin as a toasted cheese sandwich."