This month I decided to rent a car for the entire month – I have family and friends here for Passover and realized that life would be that much easier (albeit much more expensive) if I had a car.
I ended up renting a car for a few days to help out the family (it was unexpected) and a few days later picked up another rental car plus my mother at the airport and we drove to Jerusalem.
Unexpectedly I returned the rental car since I had an offer I couldnt refuse- a company car until April 20th.
A few things I have noticed now that I have been driving for over a week.
1. There are no drive-thru’s in Tel Aviv or nearby. No cawffee drive thru, no bank drive thru and definitely no fast food drive thru’s.
2. There are no shopping centers where you can park your car and shop. Here you need to find parking either on the street or in a lot (which is not free).
3. Overnight parking in a parking lot ends at 8am. If you leave the lot at 8:05 you will get charged the day rate. Those 5 minutes can be quite expensive.
4. Street parking isnt worth the aggravation when one does not have a resident permit on the car. The spots that one can park in as a non resident means you have to move the car by 7am. It is worth the money to park in the lot and have one more extra hour of sleep.
5. Tel Aviv and Rishon L’Tzion are * really * close. It takes me 20 minutes to get to work as opposed to an hour by bus.
6. Not enough radio choices in this country. I miss the different options – hip hop/pop/talk/classic music and especially the morning shows.
7. People here really only use the left lane as the passing lane. You almost never see “undertaking” (when you move into the right lane to speed past a car in the middle lane).
8. People sit on their horns. Doesnt matter why – they just do. Everything deserves a loud honk. The biggest issue in Israel isnt the peace process but Noise Pollution!
9. If you miss your exit you can end up driving another 20 minutes until the next exit and then there is no simple way to turn around and head back. I can understand the lack of exits when in rural areas, but where are the signs directing drivers back onto the highway in the correct direction?
I feel a sense of “tick off another box of things I’ve accomplished as an olah”. I can drive around and not get lost, listen to the traffic reports and know where the congested roads/junctions are.
And driving is like getting back on a bike – you never forget. Especially this New Yawkah.