Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Only in Israel: A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Dentist

This may come as a surprise to many, but for my family the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof isn't thought of as where the late HaRav Ovadia Yosef had lived, it's known as "the dentist's office."  We've been going to a dentist there for about twenty-five years, yes, a quarter of a century. 

Yesterday, I had a dentist appointment, and yesterday was the first full day of shiva, the week of Jewish morning for HaRav Ovadia's family.  I figured that I was lucky in the timing, since during the funeral the roads were packed.  Many people had just left their cars on the side of the highway and walked.

I had accepted the dentist appointment for 4:15pm before knowing I'd be working morning shift. But it was possible to get there on time.  That is if I left work exactly at three and got a ride or bus to Jerusalem immediately afterwards.  I'm sure you've guessed that it didn't quite all happen as planned.  This is a story.  Isn't it?

First of all I left a few minutes late, and then there were no rides.  I finally decided to take a ride to the bus stop by the Ma'avar Michmas gas station, at the junction to Psagot, Migron, Kochav Yaakov and Tel Tzion, even though it's a kilometer in the wrong direction.  It took another few minutes until the bus came, which I took to Jerusalem.  By then I estimate that I was only about ten minutes behind schedule.  I called the dentist's clinic when entering Jerusalem to say that I'd be late.
"We'll wait for you," said the receptionist/secretary.

Photo: GPO
I caught the #74 bus to Har Nof pretty quickly at the Central Bus Station and thought I actually had a chance to be almost on time.  Then we got to Har Nof.  It was all blocked off, a major traffic jam.  Davka Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chose just that time to pay a shiva call to the Yosef family.  The bus couldn't get in.  Time was slipping away quickly.  I called the dentist again.
"I'll walk.  How do I go?"
I described where I was and got more than directions.
"Tell me when you get to the traffic circle, and I'll pick you up."
And that's what she did.  I called in and kept walking.  She found me and drove met the rest of the way.  And to make my traveling even more siyate d'Shmaya, it ended up that the dental hygienist was driving in my direction.  I didn't have to wait who knows how long for the elusive buses. She took a route that bypassed the traffic jam and gave me a ride to where I could get a tremp in the right direction.

Do these things happen anywhere else?  Only in Israel!

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