Car-ma is a Beach…

Karma bit me yesterday, not quite in the backside, more like in the front wheels of my car. But it has given me an “only in Israel” story to share.

We live in a desert. A beautiful, fertile desert, but still a desert.

Back story: Last week my beloved husband was on his way home from a meeting, and like every good Israeli he took the advice of Waze to find the fastest route home. He initially said he would be home around 2pm, but then called around 2:10pm to let me know he’d be a little later, as Waze had taken him on a diversion, and he was on some kind of dirt road. I suggested that he turn around and go back to a real road.

One and a half hours later he had not yet arrived home, and being a wife, I called him to make sure everything was alright. He muttered something about a tow truck, and when I asked him to repeat what he said he told me that the dirt road had ended, and he tried to turn around only to get the car stuck in a sandbank. Oh, I said, and you can’t get it out? Where are you exactly? Somewhere in the middle of  field in Nes Ziona, he replied. Not too far from home, but not actually near anything other than the train tracks… He said he had called the towing company because it was the only way out.

My initial reaction was to yell and call him stupid, but as my brain processed what had happened – a Man, who would never ask anyone for directions, had followed directions from a non-human application, and ended up stranded in the middle of a field–  all I could do was start laughing. And I couldn’t stop. In fact, when he finally walked in the door a couple of hours later (it took a long time for the tow truck to find the exact spot in the field that he was stuck in), his children and I were still laughing – as was the entire family who had been notified via Whatsapp about the incident. And most of our friends by now also knew, because Facebook. No damage done, no one got hurt, it’s good to laugh, right? I showed him the setting on Waze that allows you to turn off “Dirt Roads” so that this doesn’t happen again – PSA: There is a setting in Waze that allows you to turn Dirt Roads on and off, I recommend checking that you have it set to off.

sandbank

Our poor car stuck in the sand

Yesterday I went to Ashdod with my brother to the beach. Do not go to Ashdod on Wednesdays. It’s market day, and so the large parking lot with direct beach access is taken over by the market, and we were forced to park across the street in a make shift lot that was a little sandy. As in, it was hardened sand, not the soft sand of the beach. I parked carefully, mindful of the dangers of sand, and of the large white van that was parked nearby partially blocking the way out.

A couple of hours on the beach and a nice lunch at an Indian restaurant later, we returned to the car only to find that the white van was still there, and now a car was parked directly behind it, therefore completely blocking the way out. My only choice was to drive forward to go around the car and van. Forward I drove and then suddenly the car would not move. I looked at my brother and said “this cannot be happening” (OK, I may have actually cursed too). We got out of the car to assess the situation, and found that sure enough, we had driven into the one small area of the lot with mounds of sand, and yes, my car was well and truly stuck.

Thankfully, we were very visible from the road. Two young yeshiva boys (probably around 16 years old) at a bus stop saw what had happened, and immediately came running over to try and push me out. Honestly, I knew there was no way that they were strong enough to move the car at all, but I give them a lot of credit because they really tried – including putting cardboard under the wheels and all sorts of other ways to try and help. After 10 minutes I called my husband (only because someone had to pick my kid up from school, and clearly I was not going to make it).

The conversation went something like this: “Hi it’s me. You won’t believe what I’m about to tell you, but the car is stuck. In sand.”

Him: Very funny, what’s up?

Me: I promise I’m not joking, I’m really stuck in sand in a parking lot in Ashdod and I need you to go pick up the kid from school.

Him: (Ok, I give him SO much credit right now for not just laughing and hanging up on me)

He stayed on the phone trying to come up with ideas, and meanwhile, in typical “only in Israel” style, various people tried to help. The yeshiva boys were still valiantly trying to find help. Some bloke in a Mercedes SUV pulled over and said if we had a rope he would happily pull me out. We had no rope – but I have put it on the shopping list. An older gentleman with obvious military experience came over and started doing things with the front wheel, but he wasn’t enough to actually get it out (and I was terrified he would have a heart attack while trying).

And then a bus pulled into the bus stop.

Another older man got off the bus – he was probably in his 70s. He immediately spotted the situation, glanced around and saw half a dozen men nearby including a couple of bulky construction workers. He shouted at the top of his voice “Nu?! What’s wrong with all of you? Can’t you see this lady needs our help?! Let’s go! It’ll just take a bit of manpower”. Suddenly 7 or 8 guys (and my brother) between the ages of 25-75 were at the front of the car, telling me get into reverse. Bus man shouted “1, 2, 3, YALLAH KADIMA” and they all pushed while I stepped on the accelerator. That’s all it took, and I was home free. And they all disappeared as quickly as they showed up, I didn’t even have time to thank them other than a thumbs up and big smile.

Needless to say, when I walked into my apartment 40 minutes later I was greeted with howls of laughter from my husband.

And Boy George has been in my head ever since!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Jun 02, 2016 @ 12:48:04

    Only in Israel!!

    Reply

  2. Anonymous
    Jun 02, 2016 @ 13:18:03

    This is a great story, Vanessa! Rebekah Israel

    Reply

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