Friday, February 11, 2011
An Interesting Night on the 106
Ok so now it is story time. I am going to tell you about what happened to my yesterday while riding the bus with Mohammed. But first... I am providing you all with a picture of Mohammed and I so you can all finally see who this man is. The comments I have received thus far are "He is a lot cuter than I imagined." "He's Arab?" So please feel free to leave your comments as well :D
So yes, this is my friend Mohammed.
The story of my adventures on the Bus. It started at 4:00pm on Thursday. I called Mohammed earlier that day to see if he would be driving that night so I could come on the bus and hang out with him. So he called me back saying he was leaving the beginning of the route at 4:20 and would be driving the 18 as usual. I said "great! I have nothing to do right now so I am going to come join you!" He was very excited. So I started getting out of my PJ's and getting put together when he called at 4:25 to tell me that he was going to be driving the 49 and not the 18 so I can't get on the bus with him. (only because he wasn't going to be coming by my street). Bummed of course, I told him to call me when he was going to be driving the 18 so i could see him. 5 mins later he calls me again frantically saying that the 49 comes to my street and to meet him there in about 10 mins. So I rush and grab my purse and wallet and run to the bus stop to meet him. I was so excited because I had never ridden on the 49 before and I am always excited when I get to go on a new bus because I get to see a part of Jerusalem that I haven't seen yet.
So I get on the bus and ask him where we are going. "I don't know" he says. The bus company didn't tell him where the route went so he was relying on passengers to tell him where to go. I was very excited for our adventure and told him that if we were going to be lost at least we would be lost together. So a rather uneventful bus ride led us to a place that I don't know the name of. The 49 now was the number 19. I was very excited about the 19 because it goes to Hadassah Hospital with the Chagal Windows. (for more details regarding the Chagal windows please reference mom and uncle dennis). So we made it up to the hospital and it looks amazing. We only had about 15 mins until we would start the route as the 42A so Mohammed ran inside to use the bathroom and to buy some goodies for the drive.
The 42A was very uneventful. Only one person got on, because it is a bus that goes to Hebrew University, but not the main campus. As we pull up to the gate a security guard walks in and asks for our ID's. Luckily I had my passport on me or else I would have had to give him my CA license and I don't know if that would have been ok. So we go through the campus and that was it. We then had about an hour and 15 before he was going to become the number 18... so we decided to hang out and smoke Hukah!
It was so much fun. He went and got all the stuff for Hukah, and we drove the bus close to where the beginning of the 18 is and smoked Hukah on the bus. That is where this lovely picture of the 2 of us is from. So then from there we did the normal 18 route. A ticket checker guy came on the bus, and i was glad that I made Mohammed give me a M'avar ticket. (it's a transfer ticket) with his punch on it, that way he wouldn't get fined.
Now, somewhere between all this bus changing and what not we were on Agrippas (it's a streek that goes perpendicular to the Shuk) and were in completely stopped traffic. All we saw were siren lights. Eventually we are able to pass after the ambulance drives away and we drive by a bus that has a huge crack in the windshield. (i will be coming back to this shortly...there is a purpose).
After smoking Hukah on the bus we had to get started on the usual route. Nothing exciting happened just the usual. But what was in store for us that night neither of us had been prepared for. After about 1 am the buses become night buses and have different numbers and go to different places. So again that night, the bus changed numbers, this time to the 106. Mohammed had told me that for these bus routes and times he needs a bus with cameras in it and with security guards because, especially on a Thursday night, the buses just get filled with drunk people. I said ok, I am sure that's just because Egged (the bus company) is trying to be as cautious as possible. So we do the first route. Very boring, nothing exciting at all. I even asked him how long the next route would be because i was getting tired and I didn't know if I could make it all the way till 3am. (yes, I was on the bus for almost 12 hours). He said if i needed to get off when we passed my apartment that wouldn't be a big deal. So we had about 30mins before the next route began so we went to the place where the buses live and I got to meet one of Mohammed's bus driver friends.
He told me how it was his dream to learn English (in Hebrew). He then told us about the accident that happened on Agrippas. He said that someone had slipped on the street and the bus drove over her!!!!! He didn't have an explanation as to the shattered / cracked windshield. So after a while of talking and drinking coffee we were off on the last run of the night. The security guard, Mohammed, and I are all talking and cracking jokes as no one was yet on the bus. Then we get to this one bus stop and there were probably about 50 teens there. They were all drunk and smoking and needed to get on the bus. They're all pushing trying to get on the bus because it's raining outside. One kid once he gets on the bus walks all the way to the back to try and let his friend in. So he tries to pull open these automatic doors and Mohammed stands up in his chair and yells at them to stop and to sit down. Once all the kids are on the bus they are making a bus and yelling and being very obnoxious. So, the security guard walks back there to tell them to settle down. Apparently one of the kids told him that if he doesn't come back up to the front of the bus he will stab him. So the security guard came back up and that's when the kids start to smoke on the bus.
Immediately the security guard calls the cops. In the mean time other passengers and I are trying to open windows in order to get the smokey smell off the bus. Then Mohammed drives by one bus stop, and another, and another and the kids start swearing at him and yelling at him. These two kids (the ones that threaten the security guard) came storming up to the front furious! Once Mohammed gets the opportunity to stop the bus he does. He then stands up with his ticket puncher in his hands. I have never seen someone look so mad and furious in my life. I literally thought that he was ready to kill one of these kids. They were yelling at him, swearing at him, trying to pull the doors open. This is the point at which the cops showed up and stormed onto the bus.
The kids all saw the cops come on and they all quickly took their seats and got quiet. The cops chose a couple of the kids to pull off the bus, but since no one of us could tell them exactly who was smoke there wasn't much the cops were able to do. So two of the cops stayed on the bus to make sure that nothing else too crazy happened. The two kids that had stormed up to the front of the bus started getting into it with the cop. The cop told Mohammed to stop at the next stop so he did and he opened the door. This one kid and the cop were yelling and the cop was telling the kid to get off the bus. The kid refused to listen so the cop took the kid by the collar of his shirt and pushed / threw him off the bus. The kid went flying. He hit the ground and lost a shoe in the process. Mohammed started to drive again. Now the other kid starting getting into it with the cop. Mohammed stopped at the next bus stop and the cop told this kid to get off the bus. After a while of arguing, the kid got off the bus on his own.
At this point I started talking with the people around me about how we couldn't believe that these kids think it's ok to talk to the cops the way they are and how they are drinking and smoking at the age of 14 and 15. This guy behind me who was wearing and Indiana University hat starts to yell at us saying, "these kids drink because they don't think they are going to have a tomorrow! They are living in a country that no one wants to exist. They are drinking because they want to live life so why do you all shut up!" We all didn't know what to do. The girls started laughing because they are Israeli and told the guy how wrong he is about why they do this.
After about 5 mins after the cops got off the bus the kids that were left on the bus were smoking... AGAIN! so again, the security guard called the cops. Since Mohammed can't hold these kids on the bus they were able to get off the bus before the cops made it to us again. We finally made it to the end of the route. I obviously asking Mohammed if he was ok and made sure the Security Guard was ok too. They both said they were fine. Mohammed and I got to the place where the buses sleep and he drove me home.
That was my adventure on the 106. Mohammed says he will never again drive this bus, and I told him if he does, I want to come on again!!!!