The Big Felafel

Israel the Airhead!

This country is funny. Have you ever met someone who is an airhead yet somehow they have a full scholarship to a top university? They can figure out math problems that use numbers and letters but they can’t remember to look both ways before crossing the street? That airhead is Israel.

light rail 1It seems weird but after I tell you what I tell you, I think you will agree. Here’s why Israel is such an airhead: Trains. It comes down to trains.

In Jerusalem you have the light rail, or you have the tracks, dirt and mess of what is supposed to be a light rail. It’s been in the process of being built for about 10 years and who knows when it will ever be ready. In fact it was recently reported that practice trains will begin to ride some of the tracks- which means they will find all sorts of problems and have to rebuild, remodel and restart the whole train game. The light rail has literally eaten up the center of the city and left its remains like a toilet. You know it’s true even if you don’t like the analogy. Stores and cafes have shut down due to lack of commerce, buses travel down narrow one-way streets which are used as two-way streets and sometimes even three-way streets (dirty). My favorite people-watching cross walk at King George and Jaffa has disappeared along with the businesses and bustle of everyday life.

Yet all this said something so innovative and brilliant is also happening on trains in a different part of the country.train Israel Railways is offering a lecture series, from top Professors while you ride your usual morning commute. This is pure genius. Where did they come up with this? Rather than staring out a window, listening to your iPod, or trying not to fall asleep and miss your stop, you can now have a refreshing cup of morning coffee and refreshing lecture from top Hebrew University Professor Chanoch Gutfreund on “Einstein’s Love Letters.” I mean could you think of a better way to start your day?

So there’s my point in case. The Jerusalem light rail makes this country an airhead, twirling her hair around her finger and staring into space. Yet, while she may look like no one is home, the sheer genius of train lectures makes you realize that indeed the lights are on and only getting brighter.


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  1. * Mari says:

    It’s too bad I’ll be riding the light rail a lot more often then the regular one. They should start giving out free coffees to people waiting for the bus at the shuk or something…

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 7 months ago
  2. * Mari says:

    P.S. You forgot to mention that the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv route is at least twice as long by train than by bus.

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 7 months ago
  3. * Molly says:

    The train does take longer- but it is a much nicer ride and there’s no traffic!! The coffee idea is amazing! Maybe they wouldn’t do it for free, but what about Shekel Coffee? That would be awesome!

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 7 months ago
  4. * traintalk says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could together start providing passenger-initiated announcements of train delays? Think of the personal and national savings and extra time to do other things instead of standing on the platform waiting for the official announcement when the train hasn’t come on time.

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 7 months ago

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