Last Thursday the tax-man-visited. Allow me to clarify - the 'television tax' man. Now allow me to expound -
In this lovely little country of ours every household is theoretically required to pay a television-tax for government channels. The bill for a few hundred shekels comes every year and you're considered 'guilty' (of owning a tv) until proven 'innocent' (which can only be done following a near-impossible series of steps.)
Every year our bill arrives and we attempt to contact the broadcasting authority in order to inform them that we have no television in our house. After multiple phone calls and numerous faxes we rest easily enough in the knowledge that we tried our best to do our civic-duty. It's not our fault that the numbers they provide seem to be disconnected and that nobody ever seems to work in their offices.
This year for the very first time the broadcasting authority is trying to crack-down on tax-evaders. So Thursday mid-morning when there was a knock at my door I definitely wasn't expecting a cheery little guy who identified himself as an employee of the broadcasting authority. He had legitimate looking papers and knew all of my details (and he didn't seem creepy or weird) so I invited him in and offered him a glass of water.
He explained that it was his 'job' to investigate citizens who have neglected to pay their tv-tax for 'a long time' - we most definitely fall into that category. He said that in the event that we owned a tv that he'd give me a fine and a bill and if not then we'd just sign the paperwork stating that we we tv-free.
I assured him that we were 'tv-free' and not free-loading tax-evaders. Then I offered to show him around - just so he could be sure that I wasn't making up stories. He peeked into each room for a grand total of 1.38 milliseconds and concurred that our home was indeed free of any television monitors.
He checked the "tv-free" box on the form. I signed on the dotted line to acknowledge that he had visited. And that was that.
He left with a smile and a little sing-song chant which went something like this:
"Now you're all set - for the next 5-10 years or until the next time the broadcasting authority decides to get their act together..."
At least that's taken care of.