So I was pleasantly surprised the other day with a particularly Jerusalem parking experience. We had cautiously parked in a rock-filled lot that was being used by several venues, Theatre in the Rough, Chutzot Hayotzer and probably some other summer event. It wasn’t even really a lot, just a roughly cleared space that dozens of cars were using for parking because the other nearby lots were mysteriously closed. (Why the city plans events and then doesn’t plan parking is another question.)
We were done early — having attended the wonderfully clever performance of Romeo and Juliet in Gan Bloomfield — and headed to our car. As we began pulling out, another car headed down toward our spot, clearly planning on taking it once we left. But that meant we couldn’t pull out.
And then our parking angels appeared. One was a jovial Israeli guy who told my husband — pleasantly — that his best bet would be to pull out, let the other car back in and then back out himself. You have to understand that very often when Israelis — usually men — give parking and driving directions, they’re know-it-all and you find yourself not wanting to do what they advise. Then another guy appeared, and began giving excellent directions for the exact maneuvers necessary.
“Turn the steering wheel 30 degrees, then straighten your wheels,” he said. “Great, great.” “What about that big olive tree he’s about to brush up against?” said the other guy. “I see it, I see it,” said the second guy.
Meanwhile, my husband and I were starting to laugh, because these two — who didn’t know each other — were making what could have been a tense situation much more pleasant, and, they knew what they were doing.”
“I’m the national directions-giver,” quipped the second guy, using the word ‘mechaven’, which means to direct, as in traffic. “They hire me out.”
He got us out, and the other cars in, with nary a scratch. We drove out, commenting that was the last time we would park in that lot. Until we exited onto the street and were confronted with a tow truck smack in front of us, and no where to go unless onto the truck bed. Turns out the tow truck driver had parked in the middle of the street and run into the local gas station store to grab a cup of coffee. Hey, there was no place to park! What’s a guy to do?