Have you ever driven on the Mount of Olives? There are cars parked on both sides of the road, occasionally in two rows. In the narrow gap between them you can see making their way all kinds of vehicles such as large trucks, donkeys and most of all tourist buses. At the same time you see schoolchildren and veiled Muslim women crossing the street, old gentlemen standing around and observing the hassle. There…a young man balancing his way through the traffic with a box full of eggs. His sudden appearance in front of my car window gave me a real shock!!!
Every few hundred meters you see a sign showing a way to one of the many churches. That’s the place where the tourist groups get out and try to cross the street to the other side. While driving a car I do not want to succumb to the mentality of – “If you push hard, you come through!” That’s why I stop decently in front of a crosswalk. There, a colorful group of Indian women stand, looking around frighteningly, while the bolder pilgrims already await them on the other side. They are probably rushing to the Russian Ascension Church, because Auguste Victoria Ascension Church is already happily behind me and Pater Noster still a bit ahead of me. “Bum”! Someone hit the back of my car. How stupid of me to stop in front of a pedestrian crossing …
Recently, in a similar situation, a young man from Sri Lanka bumped into my car. He came to Jerusalem looking for work and made a hole in its rear instead. But luckily only with a screw that temporarily held his license plate in place. Now I’m confused and scared. Even though on the Mount of Olives it was only the bumper. Thank God I sent a quick prayer to Heaven before the ride: “Lord, help get through the Mount of Olives!”
On Sunday I have to visit the center of Jerusalem. It is the beginning of the week and the traffic is the worst. That’s the reason why I turn on the smart Israeli navigation app “Waze”. Waze is successful in avoiding traffic jams. It leads me through the narrow streets of an ultra-orthodox neighborhood. Also here a driver can be surprised by a small child taking his siblings to preschool: “Just do not run over anyone and at the same time don’t let anybody bump into you …!” Suddenly I hear a voice coming from the navigator: “Turn left into ‘For He is good ‘!” Yes! I will! I am relieved! And I am glad that I can live and drive in Jerusalem!