Here’s the DL on Israeli drivers. Not so DL, really.
When you heard those pro-touring-Israel slogans, ‘you have more of a chance of getting killed in a car accident than a suicide bombing’ (rosy campaign, yes) – IT’S ABSOLUTELY TRUE. In fact, it’s, I daresay, TERRORFYING.
On the way to university I had a lift with a guy about my age, owner of a cute newish Fiat. If I were him, I’d also love dodging between slower cars, watching the clock for timing updates, blasting the music. I mean, in the old country, I used to do that too. Everyday, on the way to work. Like religion. So I suppose I can trust my own.
(Being on the passenger end, I have to turn to my own passengers of yore and say, ‘Wow, guys. Thanks for the trust.’)
I take the oppurutunity, as a newly-made Israeli and passenger, to watch other drivers, young and old, acting like kids in the highway. Speeding, tailgating, weaving.
But, well, kids will be kids, right?
Yes – but more importantly and pertinently – Israelis will be Israelis.
Because it isn’t just me and my fast Fiat friend with this habit – tailgating, speeding, weaving. That’s just it – everyone is acting like a kid in a cute new car, big new car, fast new car on the highway.
So, on the way back from university was a slightly different experience. You know the steroetype about cab drivers. You know the stereotype about Israeli drivers. Put it together, with me sitting in the front seat = 35 minutes of heart-racing madness.
This sheirut driver was going 140 km (87 miles) in a rickety clunky sheirut in a two lane highway WHILE TAILGATING inches between his clunker and the cars in front of him. He was literally just a few inches away. A few inches between getting home in 30-35 minutes as opposed to 45-50; between getting home and going to bed and getting into a life-threatening car accident with twelve innocent passengers affected.
Well, he went too far at one point – ok, he didn’t, because I’m writing this after the fact – but he really did push it towards the end and several passengers started shouting at him – “Watch it! We’d rather get home alive than fast!”
Good logic, there. I didn’t know some Israelis could have good logic when it comes to the highway. Slightly comforting on this delicate, dangerous road I’m on.