20 Ways Of Knowing Summer Arrived To Tel Aviv

Where I come from, Sweden, we spend a big part of the year with darkness, rain and snow. So my whole life I spent half the year longing for the summer. But since I moved to Israel, my associations to the word summer have somewhat changed. These days when I think summer, a big part of my associations involve high electricity bills and bad hygiene.

While summer also brings a lot of fun to Israel, that fun comes with a side effect; the heat.

I’m referring specifically to the months of July and August. If you have ever been in Tel Aviv, or anywhere in Israel during this time of the year, you will know what I mean. And if you haven’t been here before, if this is your first time, and for some reason you lost track of what month you are in – don’t worry, here are a number of signs that can help you recognize summer in Tel Aviv.

The Tayelet (Promenade) along Tel Aviv's beach

The Tayelet (Promenade) along Tel Aviv’s beach

  1. 45 degrees and dry air in the desert feels preferable compared to 35 degrees and humidity in Tel Aviv.
  2. You shower at least 3 times every day, and after the third time you ask yourself why you even bother.
  3. You dream about cold showers, while the tap water keeps a Middle Eastern room temperature.
  4. Stepping in to the sea to “cool down” starts to feel more like stepping into a warm bath (or possibly a jellyfish soup).
  5. On the beaches, life guards sit in their towers and give out warnings through their microphones: “Watch out for that jellyfish behind you” (Not that anybody really cares).
  6. You realize there is no point going to the beach during weekends unless you want to stand, as you can barely see the sand between the tanning bodies.
  7. Your electricity bills sky rocket, as there is just no way you can sleep, or eat, or do anything basically, without turning on the AC.
  8. Although it’s against all your instincts, you bring a sweater whenever you plan to spend a longer period of time in any indoor public space (e.g. mall, supermarket, cinema).
  9. You say no to invitations that would force you to go outside in the middle of the day.
  10. You make sure to perform any type of activity either during very early morning hours, or after sunset, if at all.
  11. Nightswims are way more tempting than dayswims.
  12. You make sure to carry deodorant and a pack of fresh ones in your bag to any occasion that involves interacting with people.
  13. The mood of most people is somewhere on a scale between walking dead (it’s too hot to move, or think) and stay the f*ck away from me! (as the heat gets to your patience, and the thought of having to be too close to another warm body, or anything else that would somehow make your situation warmer, creates a feeling of panic).
  14. You realize that the places selling fresh juice and frozen smoothies in every second corner is nothing less than a blessing.
  15. If you have to go out in the city during day time, you do your best to plan your walk so that is follows the (hopefully existing) patches of shade.
  16. If you go to the beach during the day, you struggle to cross the sand with your flipflops on, as the barefoot alternative will burn you.
  17. There is the annual water fight at Rabin Square.
  18. You will see a lot of nude skin everywhere.
  19. Due to schools having summer holidays, families from all over the country come to spend their days in Tel Aviv’s port, which makes it harder than usual (something you didn’t think was possible) to find parking.
  20. All over you see signs saying; “If you are thirsty, than so are we” along with pitures of cute street cats, reminding you to make sure to put out water for the animals unfortunate enough to not have AC.

If you recognize any of these scenarios, then you can be pretty sure you are in Tel Aviv during summer time. If it doesn’t sound familiar, then chances are you are in the wrong country. After all, Israel is a tiny country, it’s very possible you missed it.

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