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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An "Only in Israel Story," The Arab Bus Driver

Ever since reaching "a certain age," I've begun to claim the front-seat of the bus for myself.

Not long ago, after getting on a bus to Jerusalem, I realized they the bus driver was an Arab. This happens a lot, because as I keep saying:
"Israel isn't an apartheid state!"
Honestly, I don't inspect the driver when getting on the bus, so unless it's a driver I'm familiar with, I haven't a clue as to who's driving us.

I only realized that the driver was an Arab when he began to make announcements. Now, to be honest, drivers don't usually make announcements on Israeli buses. It took me a bit until I realized what was going on.

First he suddenly stopped the bus, and before getting off he said that "everything was fine." But then we saw him anxiously trying to make some calls and apparently try to report something. I was starting to get pretty nervous. Then he made an incomprehensible announcement. Incomprehensible between my rotten hearing and his heavy accent. He had to repeat it a few times for me.

He reported that something was wrong with the bus, and he was going to do his best to get us as far as Givat Asaf where there are lots of buses towards Jerusalem.

And then he addressed me in Hebrew, and of course I asked him to repeat it a couple of times.
"You know English? Are you from America?"
And then he suddenly spoke to me in excellent, slightly British accented English.
"Where are you from?"
"I've been here a very long time.
"But where are you from?"
"New York"
"I was there."
And before I knew it, the Arab bus driver was telling me a whole long story of how he had tried living in America to study and how outrageously expensive it is.
"It's much better here."
He seemed so very happy to be speaking English. It reminded me of when I used to work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, when there used to be a lot of Arab customers. They loved speaking English to me and would tell me that it made them feel like they were back in America.

PS Yes, we did get to Givat Asaf, and a bus picked us up after only a couple of minutes.


Mr. Cohen said...

Ancient Roman historians connected Jews with the Land of Israel:



Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Thanks for story

Batya Medad said...

Glad you like it.

sc said...

Oh Geez, Batya, i started reading and my heart started beating faster... and i thought oh no... please Gd...
It also began to sound like a thriller and i was at the edge of my seat, my head going closer to the screen... (little eye problem and hearing problem too... tis my age) and then...

Oh... Thank Gd...!!

So good to read there ARE good people in all of mankind... Thank Gd!1

Thanks for an uplifting even tho a bit of the heart pounding... the heart settled down to its normal beat.

Gd bless you and yours


Batya Medad said...

As the story had unfolded in real-time, I also felt myself in suspense, but then I realized that this was just the sort of story to show real life here, far from the narrative of the Left and media. It's also nothing like the stereotypes people think of we so-called "settlers" are nor the Arabs. I'm glad you appreciate it. Thanks