The 9 Types of Neighbors You’ll Have in Tel Aviv

2 min read
Zoë Biehl
Zoë Biehl

Tel Aviv is a very unique place. If you live here, you’re bound to have some very interesting neighbors residing in your apartment building … for better or for worse.

1. The crazy cat lady

Keywords to know: רַוָּוקָה עִם חֲתוּלִים – single lady with cats

Transliteration: rah-vah-kah eem chah-too-leem

Tel Aviv is packed full of stray kitties that roam the streets. This lady can’t help herself when she sees a cat in need…so now you have a neighbor that has 8 cats and counting. She doesn’t leave the house much or make too much noise. Though you may be asked to feed her cats while she is away every once in a while.

2. The party boy

Keywords to know: הַבַּלְיָן – the party boy

Transliteration: ha-bal-yan

This guy doesn’t think twice about booming techno music at 3 in the morning, waking up all his neighbors in the process. Ask him to turn it down? He’ll just blast it louder.

3. The stomper

Keywords to know: הַדּוֹרֵךְ – the stomper

Transliteration: hah-do-rech

What is that guy doing up there? Sometimes it seems like the neighbor above you likes to strap on his Blundstones and stomp around like an elephant just for fun.

4. The overbearing grandparents

Keywords to know: הַמִּתְלוֹנֵן (m) הַמִּתְלוֹנֶנֶת (f) – the complainer

Transliteration: hah-meet-loh-nen (m) hah-meet-loh-nenet (f)

They’re nice … sometimes too nice. Bump into them in the stairwell and they’ll insist you come into their flat for some Turkish coffee and rugelach, and they wind up telling you a long-winded story with no end in sight. They’ll also regularly pester you with questions such as: “Why don’t you know Hebrew yet?” and “Why haven’t you gotten married yet?”

5. The annoying dog owner

Keywords to know: זֶּה עִם הַכֶּלֶב הַמְּעַצְבֵּן – the one with the annoying dog

Transliteration: zeh eem hah-keh-lev hah-meh-ahtz-ben

Every building has at least one person with a dog they let bark and bark and bark all day and night. It will slowly drive you mad.

6. The stoner

Keywords to know: הַסַּטְלָן – the stoner

Transliteration: hah-saht-lan

He might make your stairwell reek of weed, but at least he’s friendlier and quieter than the party boy.

7. The couple in love

Keywords to know: הַמְּאֹוהָבִים – the lovers

Transliteration: hah-meh-ohah-veem

Don’t be surprised if you’re woken up by loud noises coming from the apartment next to you. Tel Aviv’s walls are thin.

8. The couple not so in love

Keywords to know:הַצּוֹעֲקִים – the screamers

Transliteration: hah-tzo-ah-keem

Israelis are a passionate bunch, especially when they’re angry. You’re sure to hear the occasional screaming match when the couple next door has a disagreement on something.

9. The musician

Keywords to know: הַמּוּזִיקַאי – the musician

Transliteration: hah-moo-zee-kai

A cool musician moves in next door and practices his music all day long. At first you love it — his music is pretty good! But after a few weeks and months of hearing him play the same songs over and over … you’re ready to smash his guitar.


Zoë Biehl is a full-time freelance writer and editor with an insatiable passion for travel. Originally from New York, she now happily calls Tel Aviv home.

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