Sunday, August 17, 2008


So this past July I went to Israel and I have heard of the crazy drivers there. At first upon hearing this I didn't believe it so much, being that I went to Israel before and did not see. People kept on telling me every little alleyway is a two way street, highway speed in Me'ah she'arim's narrow and short streets. Anything you could think of about driving (crazy) was said. I personally thought that New York driving was the worst. In New York I almost got hit many times and was hit once (not hard). I have heard Miami was bad too.

When I made it to Israel I needed some means of transportation for my luggage and me. I of course took a taxi (sheiroot i think its called or mony-oht). This was my first experience that I remember in an Israeli taxi. All the other times I was too young or just didn't notice.

I wasnt ever that scared in my life, for my life before that moment(s). I have been on roller coasters, but nothing like this. This crazy taxi driver was driving in and out of lanes (no turn signals of course), was bumper to bumper with these other vans and trucks. He was forcing this little car to drive as fast as it could or he would ram it out of the way, like you would do on video games and this car did not look like it had more than 4 cylinders. We made sharp turns around corners of mountains. It had me and my brother (the one who was up after the flight) praying for our lives.

That reminds me of a joke. Theirs a rabbi and a Israeli taxi driver that died and they meet in heaven. The rabbi asks the taxi driver who has this huge golden palace "what did you do to deserve this and me not"? so the Taxi driver answers "when you gave a speech everyone fell asleep when I drove they prayed".

Anyway we finally make it into Jerusalem in one peace (my praying payed off). So the taxi drivers sees a little rounded corner he needs to pass so he goes at top speed for some odd Israeli reason. As we are turning there is a garage and someone is pulling out. the driver pulling out makes a quick stop so as not to get crushed by this maniac but is in the street a little and now the taxi driver has to stop and turn out of the way. Instead of turning a little he comes to a screeching stop, rolls down his window and scream Idiota!! (meaning idiot) and drives off. That one had me and my brother rolling on the floor it was so funny.

Lucky for me I did not have any close stories to that, the rest of my stay. Although now if I hear a car coming in Israel I run out of the streets and find shelter, like they do in Sderot for kassams. What is scary to see is the #2 bus that drives through Me'ah She'arim there are people on the sides that are almost crushed against the buildings. Let me explain. Me'ah She'arim is got alleyways all through it. The bus hardly fits through them and there are people that walk on the sides. If that bus makes one wrong move they are permanently part of the bus or wall. Same goes for the old city.

I now have no fear of walking/driving in new york (not that I had to begin with). And all those thing I thought weren't true about Israel are now true. They definitely have the worst driving skills if they have any at all. I think its luck not skills.

P.S. If you see a blue toyota sienna beeping for no reason its my aunt, run!

6 people gave their 2 cents:

MAK said...

Like I said before, I thought Miami drivers were bad, till I went to Isreal, and got the shock of my life. Taxi drivers were also something of a shock...I recall that I got lectured by a taxi driver for not knowing hebrew after spending the better part of a year there, and a friend of mine had a taxi driver give over a whole d'var torah on Moshe Rabbeinu. Always an experience.

Lion of Zion said...

i was afraid to drive the first time i rented a car in israel a few years back, but i was happily surprised. new york drivers (esp. the BP drivers) are much worse. very little speeding, cutting in and everyone stops for yellow lights! the only problem i had is tailgaiting, the worst being at a red light on a hill. until you find that sweet spot on the clutch the car rolls back a bit when you go from neutral to first gear. i had to pray everytime the light changed to green that i wasn't going to back into the car behind me.

one thing that is very bad in israel are highway signs

Mikeinmidwood said...

Lion O Zion

I disagree Israeli drivers are worse... by far. There is no way they are better than new york ones. Although I agree that they are good at stopping on the yellow and red light.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing how you get used to it. I'm on a bus which is careening through Meah Shearim and we're an inch away from scraping against the wall, but I dont care because I'm used to it.

Mikeinmidwood said...

The fact that you are writing in capital letters does not bother me do you want a cup of tea to calm down how about a life you seem to need one.

Anonymous said...

SHUT THE $#@& UP!!!!!

Your Friend,
Big Dope