Tag Archives: Transportation

750 minutes

As I was sitting on the bus this morning (Bus 27 be exact) I figured out how many minutes I actually spend on this bus weekly: 750.

For all you mathematician’s out there, that equals 12.5 hours a week.

50 hours (3,000 minutes) a month.

200 hours (12,000 minutes) a semester.

That’s A LOT of wasted time.

Just sayin’

(So tell me… how much time to you spend in transit to your job/school/etc.?  Any empathizers out there?)

I want a bike!

Disclaimer: This post is a rant!

I’m so sick of busses!  I’m sick of having to go by their schedules, stopping every 5 meters and taking 45 minutes to get somewhere that would take 10 in a car!  (and not even running on Shabat) I want to be able to just GO when I want!  I want to drive again! I want a bike!

Not a bicycle, mind you, (I already have that)… a MOTORCYCLE!

And while I don’t need a Harley… something smaller will definitely do (like the MIU).

Just no more busses!!!

(This was in Niagara Falls when my nephew was just still so little…)

Mediterranean Monday: Driving in Tel Aviv

trafficIsraeli’s drive like they live: extremely aggressive!  This might sound a bit harsh, but its not.  They are just more on the offensive than the defensive.  I assume if you were a psychologist, you could attribute this back to their history and what they’ve been through, etc. but I’m just gonna keep it simple.

I had some practice with this type of driving while living in Rio.  I finally had a car my last 2 years there, and driving was such an experience.  You have to learn to become an offensive driver versus a defensive driver (which I personally believe most American drivers are taught to be.) Anyways, I found driving in Rio thrilling, and I loved it.  People say that all Carioca’s (people who live in Rio) drive like they are on the racetrack, and maybe thats true.  I don’t know.  But I know this:  Drivers in Rio are mild compared to drivers here!  They both feel the need for speed, but the main difference is that drivers in Rio are nice. Drivers here are not!

On any given day, you will hear horns ALL day long, and not for pleasant reasons.  I remember in Rio, 2 short beeps of a horn meant go ahead.  There are definitely NO 2 short beeps here.  I have yet to even see a car give another car the right away….that just doesn’t happen.  It’s an eat or be eaten type of mentality. 

Lest you think this is just for cars, let me reassure you its not.  The buses, taxis, and sherut’s follow the same rules of behavior on the roads.  Let me give you an example:  Last week I got a bus in the morning, on my way to the shelter.  It was pretty early, so there wasn’t too much action on the road.  At one of the stops a man got on and told the driver he just needed to go to the next stop.  Well, the next stop came, but the guy didn’t get off.  When the bus driver finally realized the guy was still on the bus after 2 stops, he started yelling at him.  They both exchanged words (sorry, I don’t know what they were to give you more detail…but you can only imagine).  The bus driver got so mad, he stopped the bus right in the middle of the road, turned it off completely, and demanded that the guy get off the bus.  Other cars were honking at him, disturbed at the bus stopped in the middle of the road, blocking all traffic.  Finally, the guy got off the bus after like a couple of minutes. Akward!

So, after all that, will I drive here?  I’d love to!  The problem is not the driving, but the money to afford a vehicle.  For now though, I’m satisfied with walking. 🙂

In the news…

crashToday we were rocked with news of a huge catastrophe in Eilat (a city at the southernmost point of the country).  A huge tourist bus tumbled into a ravine killing 25 Russian travel agents and injuring many more.  The rumors on the street is that there were 2 busses involved, and they were each trying to reach the checkpoint first.  Its even on record now for the deadliest traffic accident in Israel’s history.

While this is horribly tragic, what I find interesting is that is became such a huge piece of news.  I hate to say it, but people die from bombs and gunfire everyday near/on the borders here. Unfortunately, its gotten to the point where this has become the norm, and hearing about this type of tragedy has not become ‘top news’.  I am deeply saddened by the news of this bus crash, of course, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder why we are becoming numb to what is happening to the people loosing their lives in Gaza/the West Bank. When will we recognize that one life is just as precious as 50 others.

Bus 53

This week is the last week I’ll be riding bus 53 to the shelter.  I am moving to my new apartment this weekend (YEAH!), which means no more riding the bus early in the morning cuz now I am close enough to walk. 

Unfortunately, this also means that I will no longer see the little old man who I befriended on the bus.  I catch the 7:40 am, and he catches the same bus, 3 stops after mine.  He really is the cutest little thing; I’m guessing he’s around my grandpa’s age.  Every day when he gets on, he looks to see if there is a seat open next to me, and if there is he sits by me and we ATTEMPT to converse.  Between my Hebrew and his English, our conversation is limited, but we seem to get by.  He’s always such a fresh breath of air, compared to many ‘stale breaths’ I see on a day to day basis.  

I am going to miss his happy little face greeting me on the bus in the mornings! Its one thing I am sad to leave behind.  I guess I’m just gonna have to start meeting him for coffee now at the central bus station.  I mean, its not everyday that you actually meet people you end up liking on the buses in Tel Aviv!

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