Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Angry pt.2

The World's Worst Drivers
I've seen it first hand. I've seen the psychotic-ness of Israeli drivers. And he takes the form of my dad. Ever since I was little, my dad was the type who drove in very fast and very jerky manner. I mean, he's a safe driver and hasn't killed or run through anything, and he's always the one driving on trips, but when there's road rage. He's the epitome of it. It was during a drive back from the dentist when we encountered really bad rush hour when he nonchalantly comments "This is why I wish I had rockets attached to the car. So I can blow them up and drive right through..." I joked about how I would just use a flying car to which he goes "...A flying car with rockets."

So imagine my reaction to the crazy Israeli drivers that roam the sidewalks. My mom even pointed out that she would never be caught driving in Israel BECAUSE of said crazy drivers. While my dad simply mutters with annoyance, occasionally honks, and grunts in frustration, Israeli drivers are like that. Only a million times worse. Ranging from trying to run me over, claiming it's their right of way even though I'm the one with the green light and they are the ones on red, and god forbid actually using the the sidewalk. Israeli drivers, are, bar non, the worst things to have happened in Israel. There is nothing good about them aside from road rage. In fact, Israel is the only place where if you fender bender someone, it's perfectly normal, but using the crosswalk to get to the other side of the road? You're just being selfish and stupid.

One night after Ulpan, a bunch of us were heading to the bus stop to take from home (you could walk and it would take roughly the same amount of time), we looked to see if any cars were coming our way but it was almost a dead street, as we were walking, we noticed a car coming by, and we were thinking that it was probably going by the speed limit. Until we heard it stepping on the gas pedal, causing the engine to roar. We whipped our heads to the car and noticed it was speeding at a dangerous speed and aiming at us, not even thinking twice we ran for the side walk and jumped as fast as we could away from the car. What basically happened was the same treatment we were giving to the stray cats, only instead of kicking with our feet in the air, the car tried to run us over. 

Israelis' also don't believe in the concept of turning around for anything. Like backing up. The building where I work, as mentioned before, is on a street of nothing but car shops, so naturally there will be a lot of cars going in and out either backwards or forward. So when I'm walking, I usually have to keep 100% attention to where everything is, because all the cars love to backup and not even look behind themselves, I got bumped, honked, and yelled at for walking by them and for yelling at them to watch where they're going for once in their stupid life. One day in particular I was coming back from the mall to grab some food (something other than pasta) when I noticed there was a lot of traffic. Meaning I can walk between the cars without the fear of being ran over, if I went quickly enough. As I was making my way through, I see a car ZOOMING at me (convinced it's the same guy who's trying to run me over or back up into me) when he screeches and honks, his window being rolled up, I only hear the muffle yells from his angry red face. I turn around and just shrugged at him. He shouldn't be driving like Evil Kanevil and expect me to move out of my way for him. And there isn't exactly a big enough sidewalk. In fact there's only ONE sidewalk. And it was the one I was trying to get to avoid people like him. He zooms to the building I pass by, slams the door open and proceeds to yell to a stranger about "THE STUPID FUCKING [word too vulgar to be online] WHO HAS THE FUCKING HEADPHONES!" Although in my defense, the headphones were around my neck so I can hear the honking. So I smiled, flicked him off, and made my way back to the building where I work.

Hey, when in Rome...

And speaking of sidewalks! Scooter and Motorcycle riders. They believe that just because the vehicle they are riding is two wheels and in the open, justifies the reason why they are allowed to ride the sidewalk like a normal cyclist. I get honked at for being on the sidewalk and blocking their way. Any other time, if it was in the movies for example, I would think it's cool that they defy the law and ride on the sidewalk. This isn't the movies and it sure as hell is a pain to hear them honking and yelling at you to get out of the way. Granted, their yelling is just them putting more pressure on the gas and the smell is a dead giveaway, but never the less. Nothing is safe and everything is trying to run you over.

I honestly believe if we send the Israeli drivers to war, preferably in their own cars and guaranteed with full on road rage, we would win hands down every time. Every time.

Kids, Shut Up!
From what I was told, parents put their kids on pedestals. And who can blame them? It's their flesh and blood, it's their livelihood, it's their branch to the ever growing family tree. Any parent around the world, no matter what, will always look at their kids at theirs. Now what makes Israel's kids different is the fact that they are, to put it bluntly, spoiled. They get everything by throwing a tantrum, calling their parents stupid, disobeying authoritative figures (e.g. teachers), and basically thinking that the world is theirs and there by they deserve everything. It could be theirs, if they knew the right tone of voice to use. But sadly, they don't, and they look like a great big bag of crap while doing it. To put it in perspective, if the show "Keeping Up With The Kardasians" married "Toddlers and Tiaras" and had a love affair with "Jersey Shore", that would basically be Israeli kids. In the states (or any other country in the world for that matter) had spoiled kids, they wouldn't take it, they would punish them (be it physically or vocally) and nip it at the bud. Parents are your friends, but you had to know the line which not to pass; refusing the chore you were given was right there a sure guarantee for a scolding. Calling them stupid, idiots, and telling them to stop being parents however? That was earned with a nice smack and a "go to your room and think what you've done." 

I experienced the spoiled kids with my cousins for the few times I was around. The oldest one played this online game constantly, ever since I came to Israel, she was caught playing that game and would cry her eyes out whenever she was told to stop playing. Neither of the girls would listen to their dad and would blatantly ignore him when he called their names, showering the newborn with affection. I figured it was them being sisterly and loving the new born, but at one point it got way over board. The middle child just follows what the oldest one does, and the oldest one is spoiled rotten.

One day I was changing clothes, (had to go to the bathroom because she practically stole my room to play her online game), I hear the youngest one is crying like crazy with my uncle trying to calm him but needing to do other things. The middle child was trying her best to help my uncle out while he was calling for the oldest one to come and help as well. The sisterly affection thing, I pointed out earlier. She didn't even bother saying "what", so when my uncle told the middle one to get her, she went into the room and told her to come out and help, still, ignored. My uncle then put the baby down, and told the middle one to keep an eye on him and to try to cheer him up while he went to scold the oldest. What ended up happening was him threatening to take her computer away and her bawling her eyes out, begging, not to have the laptop taken away, as if child services came to take her kid. So when my uncle ask if she was going to help and actually answer him when he asks for her, she answered back:

"I don't have to... stop it dad."

Laptop privileges revoked. Hysterical crying ensued.  

Don't get me wrong, the middle child has her moments as well, but they aren't as severe as the older child, usually the whines from the middle originate from an action the oldest has done. The worst she's done (from what I've seen) was her trying to clean the tent one picnic and the oldest didn't do anything, so the middle one, feeling unjustified, begins to yell at the top of her lungs about how her parents are worthless and aren't helping her. When the dad and mom insist she's doing a wonderful job, the middle one just simply yells and cries. I'm guessing she would rather see the older one do her fair share over her parents' approval.

Doesn't help that across the street from me there a family with, what I assume, a single mom and three kids. They look roughly the same ages of my cousins, and are bad, if not worse. One night I was dreaming I was on a train touring Switzerland, it was nice, coach, and very luxurious, when suddenly the room points focus on a little girl screaming at the top of her lungs as she is holding on as long as she can to the carpet so as not to fly off the train to the barbed wire for tracks below as the female train conductor came yelling at the girl in a language I couldn't understand as the girl screamed louder, crying. I got scared, I had no idea what was going on and jolted myself awake with the scream of the conductor and the girl still going on. But I wasn't dreaming? How is it possible that I still hear them? I shuffled out of my bed and to the source of the sound which was by my window and lo and behold. The woman (conductor) yelling, holding the baby in her arms and the middle child on her leg, while the (what I assume) oldest is yelling and crying at the woman. The subconscious works in weird ways. One of things I noticed was in my dream, I didn't understand the language they were speaking in, but looking at them, I realized they were refugees, and were speaking the language of their homeland. The mom was yelling at the boy and walked in big strides to him as the kid ran another ten feet away from her, keeping a distance between them. He then came running back and proceeded to smack his mother with his hand until the mom yelled (I admit, I was terrified myself) and the boy ran again, only five feet instead of ten). They stared at each other as the middle child stayed by his mom when the oldest charged at them and proceeded to whip them (and by extension, the baby she was holding) with his blanket. Fortunately, the mom caught it in the first swing and with one powerful tug, yanked it out of the boy's arm and did a gesture I thought was extinct in Israel:

She raised her arm up, clearly ready to bring it down hard.

The boy cries, and runs away as fast as he can as she takes quick stride hand still ready to collide with the child's face, calling the middle child to follow suit so she can, what I assume, take them to school (their school bags was a give away).

But with every bad kid, there are good ones. One of the people's kids at my internship came by twice since I was here and both times she say quietly watching whatever movie her dad had at the time. She had amazing taste for she picked Mary Poppins over a Barbie movie, resulting with her dad going "Again Mary Poppin?" She just nodded her head, grabbed a coloring book, and proceeded to watch and draw at the same time. And then there's my baby cousin, I mentioned him before in a previous journal how his smile and laugh can steal your heart. I just hope he retains that good nature as he gets older, only time can tell.

See you guys in my next journal entry.

"Don't Panic."
     -Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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