Saturday, September 01, 2007

My New Career as a Criminal

After 19 years I'm beginning to master the way to get things done according to the local mores.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself lugging home a new scanner which I had bought while walking my dog. The combination of heat, humidity, dog, and scanner was wearing me down, when I saw a bus that stops practically on my doorstep approach the bus stop I happened to be near. Doggie is quite accustomed to riding on buses, cars, and trains, and hopped on unhesitatingly. As I was paying my fare (and hers - dogs pay full fare!) the driver asked me if I had a muzzle for her.

American Savtadotty: Oh, yes but I forgot to bring it with me. [Gets off the bus and walks home, sweltering and fuming.]

Newly-Israeli corrupted Savtadotty: Yes. [Technically this is true.]

Bus Driver:
Be sure to put it on her as soon as you sit down.

Israeli Savtadotty
: Yes. [Lying through her teeth. Chooses a single seat directly behind the driver, dog sits down between savta and closed side of bus, seen by no one and bothering no one. Savta carries dog off bus from rear exit at her stop.]

It took me 19 years to learn that:
1. Most bus and train riders in Tel Aviv practically swoon when they see my dog.
2. The bus driver was reciting a script and didn't have his heart in it, so one could assume he was just going through the motions.
3. I wasn't risking anything except my own self-righteousness.

22 comments:

Terri said...

Oh I LOVE this!! LOL Bravo to you! For having the spunk to carry it through.
I've seen a photo of "doggie" and she sure does look sweet. A muzzle? Talk about insulting!
This was a great story!

Savtadotty said...

Terri - "Spunk" is the perfect translation of "Chutzpah" in Israel!

Lioness said...

Oh how excellent! I too would have stepped off the bus - and to think I actually lived there, but I have never been very good with the hutzpah bit. You give me hope! Way to criminalise yourself, S.!

nominally challenged said...

Tony Soprano, eat your heart out. Savtadotty is here, and she doesn't have her muzzle with her!

HAH!

:)

Claude said...

Way to go, Savtadotty! Go on like this and you'll be ready to become an ordinary French citizen. I'll vouch for you :))

Savtadotty said...

Lioness - It's never too late to go down the slippery slope!

NomChal - And I used to live in New Jersey, so I can drive like a mafioso too!

Claude - I don't know about becoming a French citizen, but there are so many French-speaking people wandering around Tel Aviv this summer that I feel like I'm already there. From what you say, they'll have no trouble adjusting to local customs.

sparrow said...

Gorgeous post. I can just imagine someone doing this in Israel. Way to go!!!!

Savtadotty said...

Sparrow, welcome! Imagine everyone doing this in Israel, except for Americans and the odd Portuguese vet student.

jennifer said...

Kol HaKavod! *Now* you're an Israeli.

Udge said...

Well, I think it's quite fair and legitimate. Had the us driver asked whether she had a leash with her at that very moment, Savtadotty would of course have answered "no." It's not her fault that he expressed himself inexactly.

Maria said...

Great story and you are a lady of spunk.

Chancy said...

You go girl!!!!!

And doggie !!!!!

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