Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Israeli Bus Story

I love Israeli bus stories....i've shared some over the years..... the taxi driver who cut off the bus to deliver a passenger the bus driver had left standing in the dust, the woman who handed her baby to an old man on the sidewalk while she loaded the stroller, and the bus driver slammed shut the doors and took off, leaving a bewildered old man with a baby on the sidewalk and a hysterical mother (and passengers) on the bus. I even had to direct a bus driver one time, one who didn't know the route.  Then there are those I haven't mentioned like the bus driver who stopped the bus outside the Merkaz HaRav Yeshivot, asking the passengers if they minded that he talked for a minute about his nephew who was one of the tragic victims of the terrible pigua at the yeshiva the night before.

Most of the time the buses in Jerusalem drive me mad.  They are always late, very very late, they run 2 or 3 buses together instead of spacing them out, the passengers are, ummm, not always on their best social behavior to put it mildly - talking loudly on their cell phones, blocking the aisles with enormous agalot, eating, glaring, shouting, etc..  Tonight however, it was all redeemed (at least until tomorrow. :)

I boarded my #18 bus and walked to the back where often an empty seat or two get overlooked.  Standing at the back door was a young secular man, playing his heart out on the guitar, and singing.  Now this wasn't any just-horsing-around, this guy was GOOD, and he was having a GOOD time.  The song was a really familiar popular song that i couldn't quite place, and i actually don't remember if it was an american or israeli song (i know i know !), but as he entered into a familiar chorus, the whole bus load of people belted it out with him...not just joined in... belted it out at the top of their lungs.

We quickly arrived at the next bus stop and he moved - i thought to let someone out - but instead, he and a few of his friends bounded off the bus. Amazingly, he was still playing the guitar as he leapt to the sidewalk. I was really disappointed I had missed the concert !!  Just then the entire bus load of passengers burst into applause. As the driver slammed shut the doors i noticed the very orthodox, perhaps hasidic rabbi, who had departed at the same stop, walked over to the guitarist/singer, back slapping him and grinning.  (See, we do get along sometimes...:)

Only in Israel.  Made up for all the rotten bus rides i've had. That's what Israel does to you...those precious "Only in Israel Moments" make it all worthwhile.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Afternoon in the Judean Hills

Looking over the Judean Hills from HS Winery
Recently i spent some time in the Judean Hills with some friends, visiting Tavlin, an amazing spice store in the Eshtaol Forest (tavlin is the hebrew word for spice) and the Hans Sternbach winery in Givat Yishayahu, where we had a delicious lunch. I must say, i think i was too relaxed, too in awe of the beauty of the hills, too lost amongst the fragrances of the spices, and .. too much enjoying the wine and lunch to take good pictures for a story.

Which means of course that i have to take a second trip with pictures and story in mind.  Here are 2-3 photos to tease you.  In addition to the tavlin and the wines, we made a stop in Har Adar, where a craft and clothing fair was held in individual homes rather than under one common roof.  What an idea ! It was fun to drive through the lovely mountain town of Adar and enter various homes to enjoy them.  No pics at all from there though.

By that time, the wine...had settled in.. :)

Wine tasting with Adam, who teaches us about the various wines of HSW

Tavlin Spice Store in the Eshtaol Forest

Photo from israelreservation.com