By: Melanie Stern
Tel Aviv’s developed nightlife scene and tourism have turned the city into a hub of people from all over the world, who arrive and immediately feel at home. The streets are bustling with people speaking different languages and the beaches are covered with international beach bodies. With so many foreigners parading around the city, you may be curious to get a glimpse of the locals in their natural habitat. So how do you spot a true Tel-Avivian?
I advise starting with the basics: hair – facial, to be specific. Local men seem to consider shaving a form of torture (probably after being forced to shave daily during their army service), so they let their beards grow au naturel and revive their Middle Eastern roots. Girls tend to have messy short hair, the best option for the humid climate. Then, spy the multiple tattoos poking out of their casual tees and wife-beaters, a common trademark for many young Tel-Avivians. Another feature that exposes the locals are their devotion to flip flops – day or night, beach or club, the dress code is never too formal for flip-flops.
Where might you find these creatures hanging out? Tel-Avivians do not tend to be confined to a tight schedule, so learning their routine can be tricky. On the plus side, they spend most their time alternating between coffee shops, the beach and the local bars. If you find yourself in any of those places, regardless of the time of day or night, you will be sure to get a good view of the locals on their turf.
What should you do when you spot the natives? Tel-Avivians may put on an aloof front, but when approached, their Israeli nature takes over and they become warm and friendly. Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation in English, or even in other languages – such as Russian, French and Spanish, which are very common in the city. If you want to have a drink with a local, you might want to try Ouzo – a popular liquor based on aniseed.
Now you are ready to go out and explore!
My name is Melanie Stern, and I am TLVNights’ nightlife blogger. I am originally from London
UK, and moved to Israel at a young age. I consider myself an international Israeli: Israel is my
home, but I identify myself with the international aspect of our country – the many
immigrants (“Olim”) from around the world and the developed tourism. I have recently
completed a BA in Humanities & Arts in Tel Aviv University, and am currently living in Tel
Aviv and enjoying life in the city.