From Yerushalayim With Love

Location: Israel

Friday, September 12, 2008

I received a comment. I returned from abroad.

Wow! I just checked in after a couple of months of letting my blog lie fallow and I discovered a comment. It's almost eerie to think that a stranger (I've no idea who DW is) felt like responding.
The car rental thing was not explained to my satisfaction. (And Bezeq is similarly unforthcoming.) I went with Budget eventually. I ordered the cheapest possible rental, but when I got to the Budget desk at Logan airport no economy car was available. They offered a Cadillac. Upgrade. At the same price as an economy car. I didn't want it, but my daughter, who had met me at the airport, goaded me into taking the first luxury car I'd ever driven. My misgivings were, of course, based primarily on the gas consumption: as it turned out, I drove 1800 miles in the fortnight I rented the car - but the price of additional gas was made up for by the lack of discomfort on all those highway miles. OK, I wasn't ecologically ideal; but I was in no position to take public transport or bicycles on this trip, and I don't know how much I would have aged hunched over in a subcompact, cowering when overtaken by busses and tractor trailers. The car was wasted on me. There was no manual, so I had no way of knowing what all the buttons were for - and although I didn't really think there was an ejector seat, I was reluctant to experiment. One button I pressed in my quest to unlock the gas cap (I eventually discovered it didn't lock) displayed the pressure of each tire. Technology's come a long way since I learned how to change the oil on a car...

Glad to be home in Jerusalem. I don't have a Cadillac here (or children), and sometimes it's too hot to ride a bicycle during the afternoon - but I can't see living anywhere else right now.
Of course, one man's meat.... For example: one thing I love about Jerusalem is that the residents are basically so good-hearted that it's not uncommon to see very small children going to school or waiting for a bus unattended. You don't see that in Massachusetts or in London nowadays. Yet I noticed an article in Hamodia (a religious newspaper published in English and French and maybe other languages as well as Hebrew) that ranted against the way young children cross the street. You can't win, I guess: I'm happy that the city is so safe that children don't require supervision; someone else is outraged because drivers are forced to use caution.