|Jerusalem Egged Bus|
We're "carless," meaning that we don't have a car. So to travel to and from Shiloh, we're very dependent on others, public transportation, rides planned and "spontaneous," and above all, the mercy and miracles of Gd.
I'm the impatient type. I hate waiting. It makes me nuts. Unless I'm pretty certain that there will be a bus in 5-10 minutes, I prefer waiting at a bus stop where there's also a chance for a ride aka tremp. I also time my leaving home for when there should be a bus very soon or lots of people passing with cars, who could offer a ride. I also have a pretty good knowledge of Jerusalem bus routes, the lightrail and connecting stops.
For years I've said that I travel by siyate d'Shmaya caful, meaning "doubled hand of Gd." First is that like all travelers, my safety is in Gd's Hand, and second it's thanks to Gd that I even get on the road.
How to travel, which bus or ride to get into, sometimes demands split-second decisions:
"Should I get into that ride which only goes part way?"The list of questions as I travel is really much longer.
"Will this bus stop give me a better chance for a ride home?"
"Does this look like a good driver?"
"Do I have enough time before my scheduled bus to do a quick shopping?"
Yesterday after checking out some new kitchen stuff (bli eyin haraa, slowly making progress) and seeing one of my baby grandsons and his parents, I started on my way home. I caught a #18 and hoped I would be able to get a #66 from King David Street. But there wasn't any listed on the sign or app, so I walked as quickly as possible to the lightrail across from the Municipality. I took that to Pisgat Zeev and waited for a bus there.
Since I have a month's unlimited bus ticket this month, I can get on and off buses and the lightrail between Shiloh (actually Eli) and as far as Mevaseret Zion or Maale Adumim. That gives me a lot of flexibility in traveling.
I checked the schedule of buses to Shiloh and saw that there'd *probably be one in about half an hour. Now, would that give me time for a quick shopping in Rami Levy, Shaar Binyamin or not? OK it would depend on how quickly I could get to Shaar Binyamin. But I also must remember that the last time I tried it, I missed my bus. Maybe it would be better to just get off a Hizme-the "city line" and tremp home...
A minute later a #468 came. I could take it to Ofra, which is more than half the trip home. Usually, that's my principle:
Take the first bus or ride that is going in the right direction as long as it has a chance of connecting buses and/or rides.But for some inexplicable reason, I jumped off at Hizme. Within seconds there was a ride to Ofra, but again, I didn't go for it. Something in my head kept saying to wait for an even better ride, even though the chance was minimal. A minute later someone I know was going to Maale Levona and could drop me off at Ofra. As I weighed the pros and cons in nanoseconds I heard my name being called. Just past the bus stop a neighbor had stopped and was inviting me for a ride home.
I ran to the car, got in and had a ride to my door. Totally miraculous. Gd is truly great!
*There is never any guarantee that a bus will arrive. They breakdown and there aren't any spares. Sometimes even two in a row don't show.