Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #123 - WHAT?

Is everbody mixing up their car with mine or is it just me - mixing up my car with everyone else's?
I walk around the parking lot pushing the car alarm button on my keypad listening to hear which car unlocks. But not everyone locks their car and sometimes my car is parked right next to one of these unlocked cars. Why can't I tell the difference? Last week I started loading my groceries into a car that was not mine. A few days later I couldn't figure out where the base of Rachel Merav's car seat went as I loaded her into yet another car that was not mine. Bob went to get the car and pick me up after a bar mitzvah last month. He called to say he was getting close. I walked out into the lot and almost got into someone else's car. With someone else's husband!

I guess I could learn my (really long) license plate number...
I know I said all the cars in Israel are really small. And really colorful. But there's a whole fleet of cars here in Efrat that are neither small nor colorful. And to me they all look the same. What I mean to say is that a grey dust-covered 7-seater Honda Stream looks the same to me as a grey dust-covered 7-seater Mazda 5 looks the same to me as a grey dust-covered Mitsubishi Grandis. 7 seats because families are big. Dust covered because who is wasting water washing their car? Grey because...I have no idea! I rented 3 cars and purchased 1 since I've been here - I never requested a color on any and 3 out of the 4 showed up in grey. It's like the opposite of electric salmon.

If only there were something noteworthy about my car. Something special...

Rosie – I love you! “WHAT?”
When a child is on the cusp of bi-linguality there is a window of time during which the child will need you to repeat everything you say. The mechanism by which the child buys time in order to determine which language you are speaking and then process what you’ve said is the age old question, “WHAT?”

The window closes about a month later once the processing time is virtually instantaneous. The “WHAT?”s will have disappeared as quickly as they came but not before the appointment, so anxiously scheduled, with an audiologist to rule out deafness.

Or so it went with Rosie.

Curvy mountain cliff roads or Jerusalem with a risk of traffic?
Did our forefathers ponder these same questions? We opted for the scenic mountain route and made our way to Hadassa Ein Kerem for Rosie’s audiology appointment. As we entered the parking lot the gate opened but no cartis (parking stub) came out of the machine. Bob inched up to the attendant, relaxing in the sunshine, and alerted him to the malfunction (normally you take a cartis and only then does the gate open). The attendant went back to the machine, pushed the button and returned to us with a receipt indicating that we’d left Hadassa Ein Kerem.
This is what you’re giving me?
In the time it took for the attendant to shrug, the whole episode played out in Bob’s mind – we would get to the pay station, have no cartis, and be unable to exit the parking lot. He then said it out loud.
We are going to get to the pay station, have no cartis and be stuck in this parking lot!

As the guard, unfazed, turned back toward his chair, Bob put the car in park, jammed the parking brake (yes, we were blocking the lane of traffic), and announced, “I AM NOT LEAVING WITHOUT MY CARTIS!”

He got out of the car and walked back to the machine. He pushed the button. Nothing. A security guard monitoring cars in a second entrance lane called to him. Something about how your car has to drive over the hump to activate the cartis machine and the gate.
Sivuv! (go around) he instructed Bob.
Okay. So we drove out of the lot (in retrospect we were free at this point...)

It’s a Mossad car! Are you happy?
As we drove through the second entrance, the gate opened and again, no cartis. Hmmm. By now we seemed to have caught the interest of the original attendant. He was looking at the gate, the cartis machine, our car, and our tires.
Both gates opened for your car with no cartis!
It now seemed highly unusual. He had us back up and re-enter through the original gate. As if on cue, it opened right up. No cartis.

At this point both guards were practically in our car.
Tell me – is this some kind of special car?
The gate knows this car! It is a special car!
What kind of work do you do anyway?

Accepting the fact that we were not to receive a cartis this day, Bob smiled and conceded.
Yes. It is a special car. We drive a very special car.

1 comment:

  1. the cars in israel are grey to blend in with the dust - thats our conclusion. i need to get grey floors, a grey couch, a grey dining room set.......unless i get myself a new cleaning lady.