Friday, May 11, 2012


I have a suggestion for whatever misrad regulates automobiles in Israel - require that car horns play a lovely tune, like some piece of classical music, or part of Hatikva. 

Because there is so much honking here. Israelis LOVE to honk.  Here are some of the reasons they honk:

  1. They like the noise.
  2. They like to irritate other drivers.
  3. The car in front of them is not moving fast enough.
  4. The car in front of them front of them.
  5. At a red light, the light has turned to yellow-red and the first driver in line has not burst forth at 80 kph through the intersection yet.
  6. In a parking lot, someone is trying to get into a space and is not pulling fast enough into the teeny tiny space with his "I have an American car" car (ooh, I think I mixed issues there, sorry).
  7. The car in front of them is waiting waaaaaaay too long to make a left into a treacherous road, when he or she CLEARLY had at least .23 seconds to do so but didn't want to risk life and limb.
  8. They like the noise.

I am sure there are many scholarly articles written about the Israelis taking their frustrations out while in their cars, but (and you don't have to pay me for this) my professional assessment of this situation is that (ahem): THERE ARE A LOT OF VERY VERY VERY TENSE PEOPLE IN ISRAEL.

I know there are many rational explanations for this - um, being surrounded by people who want to wipe you and all of your future generations off the face of the earth might be one.

In Baltimore I lived for the past seven years on Park Heights Avenue.  It is a very noisy street - fire engines, police cars, honking, etc.  But outside my window on Rechov Sara Imeinu in little old Modiin the honking surprises me.  I mean, it's just people taking their kids to school, people driving to work, there are no red lights.  But if you are pulling out of your building and someone is 2 blocks away and they see you, I believe it is, for the Israelis anyway, an opportunity to honk.  Seriously?  I am looking at you as you are driving, I SEE YOU, and you see me looking at you - I am not going to put myself at risk by trying to pull out at 70 kph to beat you into the street.

So I guess I live now in a more competitive country.  But I will keep doing what I do - being a considerate driver, letting people pull in ahead of me, waiting patiently for someone to move at a stop sign or light.

I mean, unless they are really not going fast enough.  Then I might honk. 

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