With this post, I am starting a series called, “It Happened In Israel.” This series will feature events which actually happened to an American couple who decided to spend six months in Israel to see if living in Israel would be an option once they retired. All the events are real. Only names have been changed.
I’ll call the male Stan and the female Fran.
Stan and Fran have just finished eating in a new Mexican restaurant in Efrat, a restaurant so new that it doesn’t have printed menus yet. The menu selections and prices are written on a chalkboard on a restaurant wall.
An English-speaking couple with their daughter is sitting a table away from them. The husband, a big burly guy, is wearing an Israeli Police Officer’s uniform and a holstered gun.
The waitress brings Stan and Fran the bill. As they are looking it over, the waitress returns and takes the bill from them, saying it is not their bill. She then brings another bill. This one is for about 20% of what the charge should have been. They call the waitress back and explain that this too is not their bill. The waitress takes the bill and finally returns with the correct bill.
Stan hands her his credit card for the charges. He also tells her to put her 20 NIS tip on the card. “I can’t do that,” she says.
So Stan hands her a 50 NIS bill. The waitress responds, “I don’t have any change.”
Stan and Fran start looking in wallets and pocketbooks. They don’t have any smaller bills and between the two of them only manage to find 8 NIS.
“This is not fair,” Fran says loudly. “We can’t leave such a small tip.”
“It’s OK,” said the waitress. “Don’t worry.”
Suddenly the Police Officer walks over to Stan and Fran’s table, hands them 8 NIS, and tells them to return the money to charity.
So Fran and Stan end up leaving the waitress 16 NIS, less than the 20 they had intended to give her, but double the amount the waitress would have gotten had the Officer not contributed.
Only in Israel.