Of the many problems I have with Jerusalem, I would put taxi drivers near the top of the list. Generally, a taxi ride leaves me feeling seething with rage, furious in the knowledge that I've been fucked over royally by a rapacious driver and impotent because my Hebrew wasn't good enough to do anything about it (funny that, taxi drivers are the only class of people in Israel, as far as I can tell, whom are disinclined towards speaking English to the linguistically challenged like me. Perhaps I should travel by cab more often...)
Anyway, I had a meeting in Jerusalem yesterday. No problem. I check the bus timetable on line, and figured out precisely which bus I'd need to transport me from the Central Bus Station to my destination and back. Couldn't be simpler...
We arrive in Jerusalem. It is pissing down with rain. I scurry from bus stop to bus stop, trying to find the right point to catch my bus. I can't find it.
I'm getting very wet.
I dash back indoors to ask the nice folks at the information centre where I can catch my bus. The queue there is long and static. I'm running late for my appointment. I dash back outside, swallow my pride and hail a cab.
To my surprise - no, to my shock - it was a pleasant experience. No, in fact, it was a delightful experience. The driver put on the meter without being asked. He took the most direct route possible. We had a nice little chat (in Hebrew; he did most of the chatting, as you can imagine. But I did understand him most of the time, and was able to make the right noises when appropriate). He showed me the sights along the way.
And he didn't try to overcharge me. I was so overcome, I gave him a tip...
Perhaps the key is to work on my Hebrew (mumble, grumble, why can't everyone learn to speak English for my convenience etc etc...)
A while ago, I read about this scheme, for catching up with the dog owners who allow their pooches to crap all over the place. I laughed. Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, I thought.
Last night, I got back home from Jerusalem at about 7, wet, tired and exhausted. I approached the communal entrance to my block of flats, thinking about a hot shower and an early night when suddenly...I was flat on my back.
It seems that I slipped on a lump of dog shit deposited right at the doorstep - at least, that's what I deduced from the skid marks on the floor and the strange smell clinging to me. It's not the first time, mind; I marched upstairs swearing violent retribution against the perpetrator. Suddenly, DNA swabs seem like the most logical thing in the world...
¿Cómo se desarrolla la boca del bebé?
1 month ago