I went with Shlomo today to go pay two bills – one at the post office, and one at the bank machine. Since I had to pick something up from Yitzchak, I chose to go the the post office near the shuk. From there, it is about a minute’s walk to the bus stop (not the one by the shuk, the one right after). I figured that at 10:30 in the morning, the bus would be empty enough to justify getting on a stop after the shuk, and I would still be able to get a seat. Thank G-d, I was right.
While we were waiting for the bus, Shlomo started getting antsy (read: tired and bored). I asked him a little while prior if he wanted to go to sleep, and he said, “Yeah?” I gave him his doll, but he hadn’t gone to sleep yet. So, to keep him from getting upset, I asked him where there were cars. (Answer: Parked on the other side of the street, and driving on both sides.) He immediately perked up and started looking at the cars. “Car? Car?” And I started pointing to the cars that were parked opposite us.
In Israel the way you hail a taxi is by sticking your arm out, and pointing your finger. That’s right – hold your arm out, over the curb, and point your index finger. We were pointing at cars, and one of the cars, going the opposite direction, was a taxi.
“Car!” I said. “Oops, that’s not just a car, it’s a taxi.” At the same moment, I saw a taxi going in our direction. I took down my finger, and shook my head (and wagged my finger from side to side), but it was too late. He slowed and stopped, and I shook my head again, apologizing.
“What are you doing?” he asks in Hebrew. He was kind of annoyed, and justifiably so, because he thought he had a customer, who then recanted.
“I was pointing, ‘car, car, car, car, car,'” I said.
The taxi driver grinned. Suddenly, it was no big deal. “Also, ‘bike, bike, bike,'” he said. “Have a good day!”
We were standing right outside a bike shop. Good idea, taxi driver.
“Sorry about that!” I called after him. I don’t know if he heard me, but I’m not sure it matters.