Part 2 Israel

I’ve decided not to take you day by day through my journey in God’s Promised Land, but in each post I’ll give you just a few highlights or what struck me the most.

In my eyes it takes great skill, courage, and innovation to be a tour bus driver in Israel. Maybe it’s the same in other European countries, but I’ve haven’t been to them since I was four years old. That would have been my parent’s problem, I was just learning to ride a bicycle.

Have you ever watched a documentary or movie that showed big trucks or buses passing each other on narrow, windy roads especially when there is no other way but forward? Did you hold your breath wondering who was going to go over the edge or scrap the whole side of the truck just to get by?

Well the roads in Israel aren’t cliffhangers, but they are very narrow and windy especially in the small towns and villages. I salute all tour bus drivers and you couldn’t pay me enough to do that job.

If you’ve been to countries like Israel that have modern buildings next to historical ruins or on-location archeological dig sites with roads no wider than 2 cars, not including the cars parked on either side, then you know what I mean. Some towns like Bethlehem or Nazareth have very narrow streets and getting a bus down some made my hair curl.

Loui pronounced Loo-I was our Arabic driver and he had to have the agility of an obstacle course driver in just passing another bus with just inches to spare. Now I understand why the side mirrors are positioned more in front of the bus than stretched out on either side.

I drive a pickup as my choice of vehicle. I love riding high to see over the other cars in front of me. What a power trip to a 4’9” woman. But parking lots are the most unhappy (trying to stay nice) zones for me. I’ll park at the outermost edge just to get a pull-through because I don’t want to back out.

But take Loui—he could whip that bus into a tiny parking lot that already had several buses, maneuver into a car-size spot, and he did it with ease. Several times he had to back up from a downhill slot between two decrepit  buildings into oncoming traffic. I closed my eyes and waited, but as usual Loui did a wonderful job.

Now let’s talk about speed. When I am driving down a particularly narrow street say in the old parts of Denver where you are squeezing between an oncoming car, a parked car and a bicyclist I tend to slow down. Not Loui, he took it as a challenge to see if he could make it to our next destination on time with minutes to spare.

But in those two weeks I never felt safer. Besides his driving, he was friendly, always stocked with water and kept his bus sparkling clean. So a salute to you Loui!



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