Sunday, April 1, 2007

Going Around in Circles

Israel is dotted with rotaries. These are small traffic circles (about half the diameter of the ones in Boston) around which four to six streets radiate in different directions. They are great for forcing cars to slow down but can be confusing to the uninitiated.

Walking to synagogue on Friday night I arrived at a rotary that bore little resemblance to how it was depicted on my map. Stopping to get oriented, a tall crisply dressed man with a kippa atop his graying hair asked me if I needed help. I asked him how to get to a particular street and he pointed the way. Thanking him, I walked on.

Returning after services, I came to the rotary and was determined not to get lost. It was now dark and I was wearing heels so I didn't want to waste time going around in circles. Just as I was about to give up on my (apparently failing) sense of direction and take out my map, the very same man appeared. I caught his eye and he asked me if I had found my street.

"Yes, I did," I said, starting to laugh, "but now I'm looking for another one! Where is Ha Lamed Hei Street?"

"Which number are you looking for?" he asked.

"34," I told him (that is where I live).

Again, he pointed me in the right direction. We wished each other Shabbat Shalom.

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