Sunday, January 16, 2011

Breaking The #1 Safety Rule and Surviving

This story does have a happy ending, or you would have read it and heard it on the news.

I was debating about which blog to post it on.  It's one of those topics which fit both criteria, me-ander and this blog, Shiloh Musings.  It's personal, security and one of those "only in Israel, especially if you live in a place like Shiloh" stories.  Here goes:

A few days ago I got a call from a kid studying here in Israel.  We don't know him, but he got our number from someone who knows us from blogging.
"Can I come for Shabbat?"
I told him to take the #148 bus, which even has a stop near where he studies.  He said that he'd find out the bus schedule.  Fine, nice and simple, I figured.

Friday afternoon I got a call:
"I'm at the bus station.  They told me that the bus left ten minutes ago."
"The last bus?"
"It could be.  Maybe I can just take a cab to Shiloh."
"Not too many cab drivers would be willing, and it's not cheap.  Let's see if there are any other buses to the area."
We checked it out, and that had been the last bus.
"If you really want to come, you can take a taxi to the machsom at Hizme.  If you're really lucky, you'll catch the bus there or a ride."
"The what, where?"
"Just say machsom-Pisgat Zeev.  The driver will know what you're talking about."
Oh, boy, now he'll be breaking my first, most important safety-security tremping (hitchhiking) rule.  Only tremp to places you know.  You must be familiar with the route.  This kid, total stranger to us, not only didn't know the route, he could barely speak Hebrew.

I kept in frequent phone contact:
"Where are you now?"
"The taxi let me off near a bus stop, and the soldier just asked me what I was doing."
"OK, now you need to find a ride either to Ofra or Shiloh, whichever comes first.  If you end up at Ofra too close to Shabbat time, you can go to my daughter who lives there."
I quickly called my daughter who offered to host him even before I could ask.
"Where are you now?"
"I'm getting off at Ofra."
"Good, now on the main road there's a bus stop.  It should be full of people.  Wait there.  If a car stops ask where it's going.  Only if it's going to Shiloh do you get on."
"I see a bus stop, but it's empty."
"Are you sure it's on the main road?"
That got me nervous.  It's safer to wait with others.  How could the bus stop be empty on a Friday afternoon?
"Where are you now?"
"It seems that there's another bus stop around the corner.  It has people."
"Yes, that's where you should be."
"Remember, only to Shiloh, and if you don't get a ride soon, I'll let my daughter know and they'll take you to their house in Ofra."
Next time I tried to read him, there was no reception.  Now, that's an either good news or bad news situation.  Most of the road between Ofra and Shiloh has awful reception.  The chances were that he was on his way and just didn't call to tell me before reception went.  I kept praying and calling over the next ten minutes.
"Where are you now?"
"I guess I'm in Shiloh."
"Great! Ask the driver to which neighborhood he's going."
"Duh! How do you say that in Hebrew?"
"לאיזה שכונה? L'aizeh shechuna?"
"Huh?... Which are you in?"
"למעלה limaaleh,  up, the upper neighborhood."
"That's where we are."
"So where are you exactly?  What do you see?"
"Can you be more specific?"
To make a long story much shorter, I finally sent my husband out to look for him and after giving them each other's phone numbers they met up, and I hope our brave, intrepid guest had a nice Shabbat here.


Keli Ata said...

You and you family have hearts of gold:)

I think it is one of those only in Israel stories. I can't imagine that happening in the US.

Batya said...

Keli, I guess only in Israel, but many of my neighbors can tell you similar stories.

keren said...

I can just imagine what you went through

It sounds very nerve wracking

Batya said...

At least it ended well, thank the Good Lord.