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March 17, 1989 - Image 41

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-17

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originality than those found
elsewhere, I think. Where
else might you be sitting
behind two live chickens who
are on their way home to that
Great Pot of Broth in the Sky,
or sit beside a woman lugging
two enormous plastic baskets
filled with kilos of melons
that inevitably roll to the
back of the bus at every
abrupt stop?
Incidentally, you would do
well never to step to the rear
of the bus unless you possess
a strong stomach and/or
thick-soled shoes. The decor
that awaits you there is more
than likely to be wall-to-wall
sunflower seed shells, in vary-
ing degrees of decay.
Actually, treading on them
isn't so bad. It's catching one
in the face from a careless
> spitter that some find mildly
Bus stops seem to be much
farther apart in Israel than in
other parts of the world. One
false pull on the "stop" cord
and it's a three-block uphill
walk, with two kilos of fruit
on either arm for ballast!
In urban areas, at least,
stops are readily identifiable.
Once one ventures into rural
communities, the situation is
not so simple — you may find
youself at the intersection of
haystack and orange grove,
with only a sign vaguely
pointing out a village's direc-
tion to guide you.
When you take a sherut
(communal taxi shared by
five or six people), you will
not be subject to many of the
inconveniences faced by bus
passengers. Sherut rides are,
however, fraught with other,
unexpected dangers. You are
at the mercy of any number of
drivers who fancy themselves
a combination of Steve
McQueen and Mario Andret-
ti. If there is anything on the
road in front of them, they
consider it a personal insult,
and their honor is upheld
only by overtaking the offen-
ding vehicle, preferably on a
hilly, blind curve, at night.
Beware of three-lane
highways. Some drivers be-
lieve that the middle lane is
for through traffic. Also
beware of drivers whose
dashboards are decorated
with buckskin fringes and
whose rearview mirrors have
assorted chatchkes hanging
from them.
Never tell a driver to slow
down or drive more carefully.
He will consider this a
challenge and increase his
speed, honk his horn and pass
the next three cars.
The only possible way to
slow down is to wave either
your doctor's certificate at-
testing to your heart condi-
tion or a $20 bill. ❑


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