1. A normal friend takes a few self-defense lessons for fun.
An Israeli friend actually kicks your ass with Krav Maga.
2. When your normal friend wants to see you, he will call or text to schedule a time and place.
When an Israeli friend wants to see you, he will just pop over in the middle of the night with some Cola, Pizuhim, and Bamba.
3. A normal friend introduces himself by stating his job or where he comes from.
An Israeli friend introduces himself by stating which military unit he served in.
4. A normal friend speaks one language — yours.
An Israeli friend speaks at least two languages fluently (Hebrew and English), but more likely 3 or 4.
5. A normal friend will help you move, if you promise them pizza and beer in return.
An Israeli friend will help you negotiate the best deal on your new apartment, move, unpack, and introduce himself to your cute neighbor without expecting anything in return except for knowing that you’d do the same.
6. A normal friend will invite you over for a casual dinner one night.
An Israeli friend will invite you over for a feast with schnitzel, salad, mukpazim, chraime, and more every week on Friday night for Shabbat.
7. A normal friend talks to his immediate family every now and then, mostly on email or through text.
An Israel friend talks to his mom twice a day on the phone, his dad at least once, and his third uncle Moshe every now and then on Skype.
8. When you arrange to meet a normal friend for drinks, he shows up.
When you arrange to meet an Israeli friend, he shows up at least half an hour late and with his colleague, a second cousin, and his best friend from the army in tow.
9. A normal friend partied his first few years after high school, spending his nights doing keg-stands and playing beer pong.
An Israeli friend spent this time serving his country, undergoing difficult physical training and running operations to protect his family and country.
10. A normal friend stays out of politics except for maybe around election time.
An Israeli friend stays updated on every little detail of foreign and domestic policy and will make sure you’re informed as well.
11. A normal friend argues important points calmly, politely, with sensitivity for your opinions.
An Israeli friend yells passionately about his point while attempting to destroy yours, using his hands as punctuation and not allowing the conversation to end until you’ve either conceded or walked away in frustration.
12. A normal friend sometimes stumbles accidentally on a great sale.
An Israeli friend has turned discount shopping into an art (or an obsession?) and can spend an hour haggling to save a buck — but he always gets it for cheaper than you could’ve.
13. A normal friend forgets about you when you’ve been away for a while.
An Israeli friend welcomes you back as if you’d just left yesterday with a hug and a Goldstar, because it is so common for Israelis to travel, work, study, and live abroad.
14. A normal friend thinks your vegetarianism is annoying and idealistic.
An Israeli friend is vegetarian too, or has at least tried or considered it.
15. A normal friend thinks some chunks of lettuce, vegetables, and ranch dressing in a bowl is a salad.
An Israeli friend chops vegetables teeny tiny, and dresses them perfectly with lemon juice and maybe oil, and makes you realize the true art of salad creation.
16. A normal friend will grab a snack from the fridge if you ask.
An Israeli friend will whip you up a bowl of hummus from scratch, and even teach you how to pronounce it correctly.