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Saturday, March 4. 2006
(To find out what this is about, click the Aliyah Diary category on upper left)
Feb. 17, 2006: Israeli DMV
But where's the building? The bus driver tosses his head back and to the right. I see nothing, but follow my co-miserables. One says to me, the driver couldn't deposit us over there? He points to a bus stop on the other side of a busy road, and only five minutes walk from the building. I joke, that he looked at us and thought we needed exercise. My jokiness doesn't sustain itself.
We pass through the usual gun and metal detector and are swept by the wand for weapons, as well as a pat down in the small of the back. After today's experience, I gather that security should not be concerned about Palestinian bombers/shooters, but Israelis who know what they will soon endure.
Short and sweet, I get the run-around. The lady at the information desk tells me Mon. and Wed and tries to hand me a long sheet in Hebrew telling me what she had said. I have learned now, not to even try Hebrew; to act dumbly American monolingual. I ask to speak to the manager. She acts now, as if she has lost her English comprehension. Finally says that it is "Lital," then changes to "Atal." (Names are changed to protect the guilty.) She tells me to go around the corner. There, hidden in another corner is a door. It is cracked open as the woman, Atal, is talking to a man, telling him in Hebrew to take a hike. As I step forward, she slams, then locks the door. I am brought to mind of speak-easies, and am thinking of some code-knock that will get her to look through the peephole. She opens promptly, however, hears my American, and gives me the quick brush off: Mon. or Wed. I explain that we have one day off monthly from Ulpan and it is Sunday. (I don't tell her of my gimpy leg.) She persists; I persist. She tells me she'll meet me around the
I am transformed. I, Bullius. I wont' move. Alice ups the ante, tosses some of her higher cards on the poker table. I can't stay there. I must go out. She will call the cops. I tell her, quietly, that I want to speak to the Manager. And here, she tips her one big card so I get a peak: she tells me the name of the Real Manager. He
I have brief interlude during which I talk with Myron. He wonders
Someone comes twenty minutes later, buzzes the door and .... is buzzed in. I now figure that I may try this maneuver. I am buzzed in. There is another ante room, with a secretary's desk, but no secretary. There are small offices, in which two woman work, while talking on their cell phones; people come and go, not talking of Michelangelo, nor any other such art. Perhaps forty minutes later, a pleasant, self-assured fellow walks out, as if ready to leave, with a woman soldier next to him. He pauses at the exit. Asks the pelephone woman, "Who is this man waiting for?"
I surreptitiously time this. Slightly under 2.5 minutes, she has glanced at my US license, Oleh certificate and signed my provisional Israeli license. Tells me to go outside to the post office to Xerox a copy of my US license. I hesitate, not wanting to lose my contact with her as we are about to consummate the deal. Think for a moment to slip up to Manager's office to Xerox there; think better, slip out to
Now, to pass the driver's test.
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"Praying mantis-like" Good image! Do they have those in Israel? I used to take a pair, separated in two jars, to the kids' kindergarten each year and describe their habits to the kids. Tell them to never ever kill one of those scarey looking critters if they see them in their garden. But too traumatic to the little darlings to actually put a male and a female together. Now, with the teenagers, it might have been the ultimate object lesson in unsafe sex...