Marie took pictures around the bus stop next to our apartment. Ah, the buses.
Bus Blues Revisited: After a few setbacks, I have been getting pretty good at deciphering and navigating through the Jerusalem Egged bus routes. The first time that my wife and I visited the Israel Museum, Bus 9 got us there routinely—at the time and the spot as the bus route stipulated. But our second outing to the museum on a very hot day was surrealistic.
After we exited Bus 18 to transfer to Bus 9, I spent a few misguided moments searching for the bus booth on the wrong side of the street. My wife gently reminded me that the correct access was across the road, as it was a week ago. Just as we backtracked and sidetracked, Bus 9 passed us. Because I got careless, we got stuck in the heat for twenty minutes until another Bus 9 arrived. My wife didn’t mind the delay: she was merrily listening to some upbeat music on her MP3 player. I, on the other hand, was glum, berating myself for my blunder. Going in the right direction has never been my forte.
My funk dissipated when another Bus 9 finally arrived. I was delighted to be moving forward in cool comfort, but my good cheer was short lived. As the driver approached the Israel Museum stop, he turned around, unaccountably bypassing our destination, disregarding the scheduled route that I had once so meticulously plotted. I managed to calmly ask him “Israel Museum”? He didn’t say anything: his only response was a slight shrug, and he perversely continued on his way. Then after ten minutes, he motioned for everyone get out at the last stop, Hebrew University, a good sweaty half hour walk to the museum. When he noticed how distressed I appeared, he gestured at a nearby booth labeled Bus 9. Evidently, there was an alternate unlisted Bus 9 route.
Not sure that the bus driver had given us accurate information, we consulted an Israeli student who was milling about the bus stop area (he, unlike the bus driver, spoke English). It turned out that he too, expecting to arrive at the Israel museum on bus 9, had been deposited at Hebrew University instead. After we exchanged grievances against the arbitrary bus system, he did some reconnaissance work at the next stop: when another Bus 9 approached, he immediately boarded it, interrogated the bus driver, and then waved us aboard, assuring us that we would indeed shortly reach the Israel Museum. He was right, and after an hour and a half, my wife and I finally reached our destination, a bit weary and very much wary of trusting the bus schedule. From now on, it will be hard for me to take the Egged website at face value. In fact, Egged deserves to have egg on its face.
Today, we toured the Israeli Supreme Court and the Knesset. First, we strolled through the vibrant Wohl Rose Garden on the way to the Court. The architectural symbolism of curves (compassion) and straight lines (unmitigated justice) governs all of the vast spaces of the Court. An amazing configuration!
The Knesset had its own treasures: Marc Chagall’s three Biblical tapestries and the Knesset’s inner sanctum, the legislative chamber where the public three days a week can listen to (on headphones geared to your language) and watch (behind glass partitions) the often heated debating.
While Marie snoozed on a park bench, Stan took some random pictures of people enjoying themselves in Sacher Park.