Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Driving? No Problem! Oh, Never Mind

In the past few weeks we have had the occasion to drive into Jerusalem and Tel Aviv a couple of times.  With Waze and/or our other phone-based GPS system, we've done really well and made it back home to Modiin without the need for a search and rescue squad.

In fact, last night we drove to Jerusalem and it felt like home - didn't need to wonder where to go, just went!  Big accomplishment!

And then came today.

Today we needed to drive to Rishon LeTziyon to take our car to the Hyundai garage for its checkup and to fix some, um, er, ahem, body damage.

Yes, we have dinged our beautiful new red Hyundai.  Actually, I dinged it just trying to get into my cement-walled parking spot under the building.  That's another blog altogether, but suffice it to say that I now back into said spot and it takes about 45 minutes to do so each time.  I exaggerate, actually 43 minutes. At least 4-5 different maneuvers.

And there have been other dings.  You see, the Israeli Mossad comes at night and moves sidewalks and curbs and then waits and watches the next day when you hit them as you are driving.  It's how they ease the tension in their office.  They watch the videos during lunch.

Anyway, it was time to take the car in.  First, like in the US, you call to make an appointment.  Luckily, we found an English speaker.  She was very nice.

Then, this morning, Gila and I drove to Rishon to drop off the car.  I had printed out Google directions AND put it in my phone in both the Orange GPS and Waze.  Pretty awesome, right?  AND I stared at the Google map for about 15 minutes.  OOH, I thought, this is easy, take 431 to 412 and that is the street that the garage is on, Derech HaMaccabim!  What could be so hard?

After Gila and I lost each other on 431 for a bit, we ended up at the same light when we got off on 412.  We gave each other thumbs ups (what is the plural of that - thumb ups?) and were so proud.  Well, I thought, the first sign I see will be Derech HaMaccabim, just like on the map!

There's the street sign!  And it says...."Derech Herzl."

Uh oh.

Well, the GPS lady told me to turn onto it so I did.  And then, after a while, she told me to make a right.  Into what, exactly?  This tiny driveway?  I don't think so, lady, you must be wrong.


She was right.  Had I turned into the little alley I would have found the little tiny street I was looking for. As I was passing it, I saw the Hyundai sign.  Huh.  Shoulda turned there.

You know those times when you pass where you were supposed to turn?  Bad feeling. Instead I kept driving, and almost reached the Golan.  Then I turned around and, of course, could not make a left into the little tiny street.  Oh no, of course not, one has to turn into another street and suddenly you are in a neighborhood whose streets were originally sized to fit a small horse, but not the humongo truck that is, of course, just ahead of me.

I finally make it out of the little neighborhood and am thinking I'll go back on this Herzl street, but my GPS lady tells me to turn left.  Hmmmm, I think, remember the adage about trusting her.  So I turn left.

And then she tells me to turn left again.  And again.  Going in a cirlce. 

So these GPS ladies?  I think they are real.  And I think they work with the Mossad and probably have lunch together. 

So I use my awesome sense of direction and get myself out of that neighborhood and back onto good old Herzl, which now seems like home.

I slowly work my way up Herzl and GPS lady is telling me to turn right soon.  I do.  I look for that Hyundai sign I'd seen earlier. I do not see it.  I call Gila.  I keep trying.  Finally I see the Hyundai sign!  I pull in and miracle of miracles the nice woman is there and is very helpful.

Best news of the day?  I won't ever have to drive there again, because if your car needs just the usual kind of tuneup, they will come to you, give you a loaner, and take your car away, then bring it back to you.  I almost kissed her when she told me that. 

So my driving confidence was really good for about 12 hours.  But it'll come back again, right?

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