Thursday, March 8, 2012


No, this is not about a poorly prepared Purim seudah (face it, you were all thinking that).

You may remember that I have been nervous about getting self-service gas. Well, I finally did it.  I was on my way to Bet Shemesh for Purim seudah at my daughter's, and I knew there was a gas station right on the way, an easy pull-off.  "Come on," I told myself, "you have to do this, don't be afraid, what's the worst that can happen?"

You're all laughing already, aren't you.

Well, let's just say that it's a miracle I wasn't arrested.  I have no idea what happened at that gas station.

Here's the story.

I pull into a "sherut atzmi" (self service) pump, open the gas tank and pull out my Israeli credit card (you can't use self service with a foreign card) and look at the screen which is full of Hebrew words.  "Well," I think to myself, "it must be telling me to put my card in!"  So I slide my card in and the words on the screen do not change.  Then I slide the card in the other way and the words on the screen do not change.  Hmmmm.

So I do the same thing again.  Still nothing.  Then I remember that someone once told me that I had to put my identity number in, so I figured why not and typed in the number.  Still nothing.

OK, my nightmare is now officially coming true.  I've gone to the gas station and can't figure out what to do.
I think, "You have to ask for help."  So I turn to the Israeli-looking man at the next pump and ask, "Slicha, efshar l'azor li?" (Excuse me, can you help me?).  He nods yes and comes over and he cannot make it work either.  He then pushes the speaker button and the guy inside says I have to come in.  "OH NO!  I have to speak more Hebrew!"  

But I do it as I think how my nightmare is continuing.  I go inside and the guy says some words to me and I stand there with a blank face.  Then he gestures that he wants my credit card.  I give it to him.  He swipes it. He says something about coming back.  I say OK.  Then he asks if I want a receipt?  I understood enough of that one, so I said no.  He hands me back my credit card.

Now what?  My Israeli friend has pulled away and I am standing there like an idiot.  I figure, maybe I'll try pumping the gas.  Nothing.  Hmmm, maybe I'll try sliding the card again!  Nothing.

Uh oh. Then a little voice comes over the speaker and says something.  I figure I'll give the pump another try and gas comes out!  I fill up the tank.  Then I think, "I don't think I have to go back in there because I don't want a receipt and they already gave me my credit card back. So.....uh....I'm just gonna drive outta here.....quickly."

So I give a quick look back to the office and see that no one is gesturing for me to come back.  OK, I get in the car and turn it on and pull out.  I keep looking in the rear view mirror expecting to see this gas station man screaming, waving his hands madly, and running after me, accompanied by several policemen, the Mossad, and a whole platoon of chayalim.

No one follows me.

So, I got gas but I was not successful with the pump thingy. I can't wait to check my credit card statement to see exactly what I was charged.

See, I had wanted to go WITH someone who would help me but I thought that was very childish and I should go myself.  So I did and it kinda failed, except that I did get gas.

Next time I'm taking a chaperone.

Oh, yeah, Purim.  Purim was wonderful here -of course everywhere you drive there are people with costumes,crazy things coming out of their cars, speakers playing music, and more. And hearing the DJs on the rock and roll station say "Chag Purim Sameach" is so very cool - I don't think the DJs on 98Rock in Baltimore do that.....

1 comment:

  1. So proud of my sistah but still laughing my head off.....