|Even bus stops aren't all that safe and comfortable, especially when you don't know when the bus will arrive.|
It's not that I have anything against buses. There are times I really look forward to taking a bus for the comfort and quiet and chance to say my daily Tihillim Psalms or the Mincha Afternoon prayer. When my husband travels home, especially, heavy bags from the shuq, open air Machane Yehuda Market he has been known to wait hours for a bus to Shiloh rather than struggle with his bulky, heavy bags and tall frame in a small crowded car seat.
| Our buses do not stop|
on the road.
If we take another bus in order to get to a bus/hitchhiking stop will we see our bus passing and then miss it?That's the "Murphy's Law" for travelers like us? If we take a ride to Ofra, we may have to run like mad, or end up missing the bus if it comes quickly. And if I take a ride to the Shiloh Junction, there is a bus stop, but few drivers pick up passengers there. A number of times I've ended up waiting either there or at the Shvut Rachel-Shiloh Junction where no bus stops at all.
So you must wonder why I tremp. First of all, you should know that most of the drivers are friends or very familiar people, considering that I've been living in Shiloh for over 34 years. I know lots of people from nearby communities and my work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin. We do quick profiling, as do the drivers.
I'll give an example of what happened to me the other day. I was on my way home and had taken the lightrail to Ammunition Hill, which is near Ramat Eshkol and French Hill, Jerusalem. From there I walked to the bus stop on the top of Eshkol Blvd. There was supposed to be a bus in a few minutes, so I waited, and I waited. And I didn't get on any of the buses that could easily have taken me to the "cityline," the border of Jerusalem, where there are buses and tremps. I was waiting for the bus that would take me just a few steps from my house. Yes, I have absolutely nothing against taking buses. But the bus never came. I was getting tired of standing, and if you're wondering about safety, there's no guarantee that standing there is any safer than standing at the "cityline."
Finally, when a bus to Ariel, which doesn't stop in Shiloh, came I got in. I was able to use my train ticket's free transfer which made the trip free until the Psagot/Tel Zion/Kochav Yaakov stop. But I got off at the "cityline." And just as I got off, a neighbor pulled up, so I got in, and someone told me that another neighbor was right behind her. She took me straight to my door. To me, that was the sign that I had done the right thing by tremping.
I think the bus came just a few minutes later, but since I had no idea it would be arriving at all, I think I did the smart thing. Too many times my husband reports that buses didn't show at all, and there's a limit to how long anyone should stand helplessly at a bus stop.
|Yes, that's me at the "cityline." Those signs are no longer there, but cars still stop supplementing the bus service.|