Archive for the ‘Stores’ Category

The Frozen Yogurt Store

The frozen yogurt shop

My wife and I enjoyed frozen yogurt today. There is a store called לבן (la’van: white) on the main street in Ra’anana. The yogurt is unflavored and you add a variety of toppings to satisfy your taste and mood.

We were tempted to enjoy the yogurt at the outdoor tables, but we ate inside instead. Two weeks ago we ate it outside even though it’s the middle of winter, but today it was too cold to eat frozen yogurt outside.  Other customers started outside and then moved inside.

The yogurt is very good, but it depends completely on the toppings. One wrong topping can ruin everything.  I stay very conservative with my frozen yogurt — strawberries, kiwi, chocolate, flax, and raisins — always a good combo.

While at the store, an item on the English menu caught my wife’s eye: Goat Cheese Smoothie. Why would such a thing catch her eye? Certainly not because she would order it. It caught her eye because recently I have been fascinated by goat milk products. She thinks the whole idea of consuming goat milk is gross; I suspect she was joking with me to see if I would actually be interested in a goat cheese smoothie.

On a side note, I have found the most amazing chocolate goat milk. It is the best chocolate milk ever… and as an added bonus, no one else in the house wants to drink it.

Back to the goat cheese smoothies: Truth be told, it sounds gross. What the heck is a cheese smoothie?

Before ordering such a thing, I had to find out what it really was. The guy behind the counter opened a refrigerator and removed a bottle of goat yogurt. The yogurt in the bottle is a very thick liquid.  He explained that the yogurt is dumped into a blender along with “toppings” and blended into a smoothie.

In other words, it is not a goat cheese smoothie — it’s a goat yogurt smoothie! Not gross after all! That sounds awesome.

I didn’t order it.

I have the same bottle of goat yogurt in my refrigerator at home. In fact, last night I tried to make a chocolate goat yogurt drink with it. The experiment failed because the goat yogurt is too thick and I could not stir the chocolate powder properly. I was thinking last night that I should mix it with a blender. Now, I can make my own goat “cheese” yogurt smoothie at home.

Categories: Food, Stores Tags: , , ,

The iPod

I have been living in Israel for three months. In that time, I have not made any trips to the Apple Store. One obvious reason for this is the simple fact that there are no Apple Stores in Israel.

Instead, there are iDigital stores. I think there are three of them.

The official Apple Premium Reseller

iDigital is the official Apple reseller here in Israel. The store is designed to look almost just like a real Apple store. A casual observer might even think it is an Apple store. However, instead of a big, silver Apple logo, the store only has a small, silver Apple logo with the words “Premium Reseller.”

I have been in Israel for three months and I’ve been to the iDigital store three times. The store is located in Tel Aviv and it takes about 20 minutes to drive there (if there is no traffic). Even though I’ve been to the iDigital store more times than I’ve been to the Kotel, I must insist that I’m not an Apple groupie. As my son has pointed out a few times, it’s not even a real Apple store anyway.

The fact is that I’ve been to the iDigital store three times over the last three days.

My son’s iPod Touch was stolen a few weeks ago and we decided that we would replace it. I also wanted to get a hard-shell cover for my MacBook, so my son and I went to the iDigital store two nights ago to take care of business.

Google has an office some where near the top

It was only my second trip into Tel Aviv. My first trip to Tel Aviv was about a month ago when I interviewed with Google. That trip was a disaster. I was five minutes away from the office building and I figured that I would arrive just about on-time. Then my GPS failed me — I took the high-road fork instead of the low-road fork. It took me quite a while to get back and I finally arrived at the office about 40 minutes late. Then I took the left elevator instead of the right elevator. The left elevator handles the bottom-half of the building and the right elevator handles the upper half. Anyway, it never looks goods to be clueless. The fact that the GPS that betrayed me (my iPhone) was using Google Maps is just the icing on the cake. But I digress….

A very squeaky clean parking garage

This time I found my way through Tel Aviv to the shopping mall with no problems. It is a beautiful mall. They even clean the floor of the parking garage. The floor was literally squeaky clean. We saw a guy driving around with the same machine that is used to clean the floor in grocery stores.

The iDigital store is not nearly stocked as well as a “real Apple Store,” but I was still able to find a purple, hard shell for my Mac. We also discussed the iPod Touch with the sales clerk. Apple products are normally priced at a premium, but because of the VAT tax in Israel, the prices are significantly higher than the ordinary, inflated price. However, we discovered that the iDigital store gives a 25% discount if you trade in an old iPod. With the discount, the price is only a little bit more than normal. My son had an old, broken iPod back at home, so we decided that we would return the next day to buy the new iPod.

Pretty in Purple

That evening, I put the purple shell on my Mac. It looked great, even though it was broken. It would not lock into place on one corner because the little plastic hook was missing.

The next day, my son and I brought my new (but broken) shell back to iDigital along with his old iPod. They gave me a new purple shell, but we were unable to buy the iPod Touch — out of stock. The manager told us that Apple doesn’t send them enough inventory. They were supposed to receive a new shipment the previous evening, but it never arrived. He didn’t know when it might arrive — maybe in a couple of days or maybe next week. He told me that I should just call every day.

This morning, I called and I was told that the shipment did, in fact, arrive last night. The shipment contained two iPod Touch media players. They set one aside and my son and I made the third trip in three days. We bought the iPod, and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.

I suspect, by now, that they are sold out again.

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