Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Israel My Kind of Place: Bizarro World

Bizarro World from the Superman Comic Books

So I have covered a number of things that I wanted to write about before Yom Kippur so now I will do some writing about my life here in Israel. Several friends of mine have wanted to know my take on living here. I will try to write something every week, so here it is.
The Kotel i.e The Western Wall in Jerusalem

Things are going well here. I have a new apartment here in Maale Adummim and I am getting set up faster than most people who move here. My cousin said my Aliyah has been a strange and interesting one since I had about two weeks to get all of my stuff together before I started work. In a previous article I talked about my adventure in getting my Teudat Zehut (Israeli ID). So what I have been doing since that time?

The City of Maale Adummim, Israel where I live

I started work during the second week of August. I am getting paid some nice money for Israel, ad I was given a company car. Work is interesting, because there are some really funny people here. It is definitely more lay back than when I worked in America, yet at the same time people work hard. There have been a number of times when I am still working on some things at 5:30 p.m. and people are like, what do you plan on staying all night? I love it! When I worked in America for Fujitsu I often was staying at work till about 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. on a good day. Because of the weird schedule we were put under we were often doing night shifts and weekends, and I had no real private time. When I finished with work all I felt like doing was eating and then sleeping. Here in Israel I feel more energized and I like the fact that I have so much that I can do when I get home.

Weird Things Happen At Work

For those who don't know I am an electrical engineer and I work for an test lab in Kefar Bin Nun. I had one day last week that was like Bizarro World where I had to drop off some equipment at our other office. There are no parking spots and the company car they gave me didn't have the proper tags to part on inside the compund. The guard let me in, but told me I had 15 minutes. Since I thought I would only be in there for a few minutes I parked in a reserved spot.

So when I got inside the building the CEO wanted to talk to me, he then later had another guy talk to me. That guy is known to talk for a long time and he did. I am known to be talkative also, but I believe that in this situation I had met my match. He kept talking and talking, mostly about non-work stuff. He talked a lot about some guy he once worked with that he described as a bastard, no a bastard of bastards, and a son of a b***. As he kept going on about this guy I tried not to laugh, but when began with the flailing of his arms as he described the guy I couldn't help it so I started laughing. He chuckled a bit, stopped, and then said, "Okay, no more laughing." That alone almost made me laugh some more, so I sat there trying to hold it in as he kept going about things that had nothing to do with work.

He later went on to talk about an Israeli guy I met at MET about 7 years ago from Tel Aviv, that he described as a nice guy, but he also added that the guy was a dirt bag. At this point I had been at the facility for about 25 minutes and I began to think about my car parked in that reserve spot. I tried to tell him that I was parked in a reserved spot, and he said don't worry about it and he kept talking. I also told him that my manager didn't know I was going to be gone so long. He said, "He won't miss a meal while you are gone." A few minutes later I found out everyone was looking for me because I parked in the CEO's parking spot. That was only the beginning of the fun.

The Car Crash

Later that evening when I was going home, I got my official welcome to Israel. A car stopped in front of me on highway 1 going towards back to Jerusalem. I stope maybe about 1 foot behind him. The car behind me was going at a high speed and all I heard were brakes not being applied in time, and then I felt it. I had hit so hard that it knocked my glasses forward, and my kippa went flying. The car behind me hit my car so hard that was pushed into the car in front of me. At that moment I was in a bit shock since this the first accident that I had been involved in. I wasn't hurt, but the car was messed up. My trunk would no longer close, and my hood was dented.

I had never been in a major accident in America, so I once dismissed the response shown in the below commercial.

After being hit hard and pushed into another car and not being hurt I can definitely say my reaction was EXACTLY the same as the girl at the end of the commercial.

The guy who hit me was okay with it because it was a company car and so was his. The guy in front of me checked to see if I was okay, at the time I felt like I was. We kept our cars in the same lane as the accident as we exchanged information. Still thinking like America I was also waiting for someone to suggest that we call the police to file a report.

So then the police arrived. They asked if we were all okay. Everyone said yes, and then they said, "Okay we need you all to get your cars off the road and to the side." We did as they said and then they drove off. I was later told that the police are mostly for security here rather than traffic. The next day I drove my battered car to work, and I was given a new one later that day. It was then that I began to feel a bit of tightness in my back and abdonminal area as if I had worked out. I then realized that the whip lash in the accident may have had an affect. When I went to the Abir martial arts class that night I began to feel better, though it took a few days for the feeling to go away. Before I moved here I was told that the terrorists aren't the ones you have to worry about it is the middle eastern drivers. Now I look 4 or 5 cars ahead and 20 cars behind me. Thank God that the air bag didin't go off in my face, and thank God that the guy who hit me wasn't going any faster.


There will be more to come, but one thing I can tell you about being here in Israel. If you have ever attended an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in America prior to about 2000 then Israel will be 1/2 adventure and 1/2 cake walk for you. If you have a good job. Truly this is Bizarro World, but it is my Bizarro World and I love it because I find so many things here that make me laugh.


Jacob Da Jew said...

Sorry to hear about your accident.

Drivers in Israel, ah much on the topic...Tailgating is a mitzvah!

Tell Yehoshua Sofer that Jacob the SY guy says hello next time you see him..Although he might not remember me, its been about 8 years since I've last been by him.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey Jacob,

How are things in NY?

It is no biggy. I can at least say that I have had two cars within one month of being here.

Yes, tail gating the 615th Mitzvah right behind driving outside of the lanes and all over the white lane dividers.

I will be sure to rely your message to Mori Yehoshua Sofer.