Sunday, August 05, 2007

Another "only in Israel" story 2007

On July 23, Howard and I went to Raanana to see two people. We parked on a side street, just off the main road of Ahuza. We were parked perpendicular to the sidewalk as were others to our right and left. When we went to leave at 6:30 p.m., we found a car parked perpendicular to us, blocking our exit and the exit of an SUV also wanting to leave. This is not uncommon in Israel...often one lane of a road is blocked temporarily as someone goes into a store to quickly get something.

This person, however, was in no hurry.

We waited for a few minutes, and then the guys sitting around the local snack store started to get involved, complaining about how such drivers are not polite. The other guy waiting must have called someone as soon a neighborhood guy is a black shirt with a "security" emblem on it and someone else with a similar "job" came by. Anytime anyone leaves a package or something else around and walks off, security can soon become involved. They too could not figure out what to do, while our friends sitting around said to call the police. Someone did call the police, as a car with flashing lights soon pulled up....and everyone (now there was a crowd of about ten) started to talk to each other.

Meanwhile our friendly guys decided to take action. One guy (white button down shirt folded deeply to show off his chest) was the owner of the big SUV to our left. He decided to pull forward so that Howard could somehow maneuver our Hyundai Getz rental and get out.

He did and we eventually did. Howard and I were laughing in the end. Basically, Howard had to pull forward on the sidewalk area too (no curb involved), turn almost 90 degrees clockwise, and then somehow maneuver around the front of the other car and turn 60 degrees the other way. Three of four guys were "guiding:" Howard, yelling at him in Hebrew when they figured out he could understand directions in Hebrew, and giving huge arm waves. In the end (with less than an inch separating the cars), our friend hopped into our car to finish the job. He had a mind of his own though, and at first did not listen to his advisers. AT one point a bunch of them were going to pick up our car to maneuver it out, Once I screamed when I saw how close the cars were, but they ignored me and managed to get the car out . Everyone cheered in the end, celebrating with hand shakes, big grins, and pats on the back, waving as we drove off. We did not stay around to see if the driver of the other car came back.

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