Only In Israel! A Regular Bus Trip
by Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein, Jerusalem
This bus story took place several years ago on the #11 bus from Shuafat (a suburb of Jerusalem, now called Kiryat Shlomo).
A friend, Miriam L., was one of the first passengers on the bus that day since she lives near the first bus stop of the #11 route. She thus was able to get the seat right behind the bus driver — the perfect seat for seeing and hearing much of what goes on in a bus….
After traveling past only a few bus stops, a little boy climbed onto the bus and sat down across the isle from Miriam — i.e., in easy view of both my friend and the bus driver.
Two or three bus stops later, this little boy suddenly burst into tears. And, as the bus was slowly meandering through the residential streets, he continued to cry and cry and cry.
By the next bus stop, the driver turned around in his seat, and asked the little boy, “Why are you crying so hard? What is wrong?”
The sobbing little boy answered that he was given very specific directions by his mother regarding when he should get off the bus, which way he should walk, and how to get to where he was supposed to go. But he no longer remembered anymore what his mother had said to do nor where he was supposed to get off the bus.
Without a word to anyone, or a comment of any kind, the bus driver turned the entire bus around and returned to the child’s home. He then opened the bus’s doors and told the little boy to hurry and ask his mother for directions again, and then to hurry back.
Meanwhile the bus driver again turned his (big, city) bus around in order to be heading in the right direction when the child returned. He then proceeded to explain the whole story to his perplexed passengers.
Of course, being Israel, no one complained or protested this disruption in the regular scheduling of public transportation. Everyone just waited for the little boy to come back to the bus and climb aboard.
Which he soon did.
And then the bus just drove off again, continuing on its regular route.
Reprinted with permission from ON CAB DRIVERS, SHOPKEEPERS AND STRANGERS by Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein, published by Feldheim.
Author of ON BUS DRIVERS, DREIDELS AND ORANGE JUICE (Feldheim), ON CAB DRIVERS, SHOPKEEPERS AND STRANGERS (Feldheim), ON BUS STOPS, BAKERS AND BEGGARS (Feldheim),, HAPPY HINTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL ALIYAH (Feldheim), and I LIVE WITH MY MOMMY (Menucha Publishers), Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein has edited several books including Copyright in Jewish Law (Feldheim) and TO DWELL IN THE PALACE (Feldheim), an anthology on life in Israel. All books are available at Jewish bookstores or via the publishers online. She made aliya in 1971, and lives in Jerusalem.