Photo taken at a different time (but that conveys the mood of the story):
I have the ability to render men furious to the point of temporary insanity.
Let me clarify. By “men” I mean “Israeli taxi drivers” and by “temporary insanity” I mean so angry that they can’t drive straight and are cussing my unborn progeny.
Tonight was a classic V night. This is what I was carrying, to help you understand why I needed a cab home:
-My huge African-fabric laundry-bag (that looks like a drum case)
-one very large plastic bag containing shoes and more clothes
-my digital camera and case containing over two hundred photos for an attempt at capturing light
-my full purse (complete with a kaleidoscope, three notepads and a flashlight, an envelope containing all the papers needed for the renewal of my passport–which necessitates further explanation I’m too unable to provide at the moment, but, interestingly enough, NOT containing my cell phone, which I should carry with me in cases such as this, when I encounter psycho taxi drivers late at night)
-another bag containing the remainder of my meager dinner (untouched Kinder Bueno and some chips and tahina).
So I needed a cab. I was waiting for it with a friend and we were having a perfectly lovely, hilarious and balanced conversation about how much we hate laundry and the ways to avoid doing it (buying new clothes, or bitching incessantly about it until you feel absolutely no satisfaction and still in the end, have to do it).
The cab came and I very ungracefully, entered the slanted taxi (it stopped on a hill). And he started driving. Then I asked him to turn the meter on and he totally flipped.
Little aside: we are basically a community of English speakers living in Israel for somewhat short periods of time, so we don’t have time to learn the language (which is not the easiest to learn and requires a substantial investment of time to start learning) since we basically spend 24 hours a day either serving in an English speaking environment, or spending time with English speaking people.
Then you add to that the fact that most cab drivers quote you different prices and want to rip you off, and the fact that the meter gives you a standard price, and you get an 18% tax deduction for transportation with a receipt, using the meter is appealing and necessary. But they don’t pocket the money, and have to declare it. End aside.
He got so mad he started cussing at me, yelling so hard he couldn’t breathe and the taxi started swerving. Then he accelerated and was F-L-Y-I-N-G over the hill at record speed. I tuned off, my head tilted, looking through the window at the beautiful city, the Shrines, the gardens, the neighborhoods, the Carmelite monastery, completely calm.
He eventually stopped cussing and yelling and turned the radio way up, an amazingly beautiful song, a Hebrew ballad, that had the feeling of “Fields of Gold” sung by Eve Cassidy…so beautiful. That slow, enchanting music filling the taxi with its sound and us flying through the city at great speed was the most interesting experience.
I felt like I was at the end of some strange movie that would take place in New York City where everyone is disconnected from each other at the end and they all go their separate ways.
So I came home, wondering how I can do things differently to avoid angering someone this much next time, and figured it’s a process. I’ll figure it out eventually.
I hope I didn’t ruin his night by pissing him off that much.
Although it’s kind of strange to realize that you can do that to someone. Send them flying through the roof in anger. I was fine myself, I’ve gained a great ability to calm down in the face of absolute rage and it doesn’t affect me at all. I came home and put a bouquet of yellow flowers in front of my computer, and now I’m going to calmly look through my week’s photos.
But the flowers are beautiful. And the breeze is sweet.