Originally posted December 19, 2000
I realized I'd been in Israel too long while on a recent trip back to NY.
I'm standing at the back of the city bus by the door as the bus pulls into my stop. And I stand there like an idiot for a few seconds.
I'm about to call out "Nahag!" (Hebrew for 'driver'), to get his attention so he'll open the door for me when I remember that in NYC, you have to work to get off the bus. You have to press the yellow tape to open the door. In Israel the bus driver operates all the doors.
I finally managed to find my way off the bus laughing.
Another thing that made me realize I'd been here too long was my surprise upon entering a mall in NY and not being stopped by a guard so he can fondle my bag, swish the contents around with a ruler or pen and otherwise pass this Star-Trekkie type device over the bag looking for a bomb.
This morning, we were met with yet another facet of Israeli life...the "suspicious package".
8 times out of 10, someone running after a bus or trying to catch a ride will forget the day's shopping or laundry and since no one is stupid enough to go through it (because times 9 and 10 are bombs) the Army Bomb Squad is called in.
Traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, is stopped in all directions. Now once the bomb squad arrives, it should take no more than 15 minutes to clear the package. You've got the guy in head-to-toe flak jacket controlling the little robot with video camera...
It usually takes longer than 15 minutes because the bomb squad guy usually has to stop because there's some oblivious moron walking through the cleared area...Either he's lost in his own world and doesn't notice the dozens of people milling about and the stopped traffic, or she thinks she's invincible and won't get blown up.
Personally, I think those people should be given a ticket for hundreds of shekels....
Anyway..this morning we passed French Hill just before they closed the streets. I think someone for got their laundry at the hitch-hiking station.