My License Arrived

The Israeli Driving Tests article has been updated; my license came in the mail yesterday. Just 2-1/2 weeks from the time I paid the processing fee at the post office. They exceeded my expectations!

The process from start-to-finish took almost four months (17-Aug-2008 to 08-Dec-2008), but that did include several weeks of chagim (holidays) when they were closed so I guess we need to cut them some slack. Total cost: 1129 shekels (you can get the current exchange rate at XE’s Universal Currency Converter).

The license has my Hebrew name transliterated into English (in addition to the Hebrew spelling) and it’s not spelled exactly as I spell it but I’m not about to take another trip to Talpiot to argue with them about it. I suspect they’d send me off to Tel Aviv or Haifa to deal with it at least 2 or 3 times. More disturbing than that is the comment on it that reads “SPECTACLES OR CONTACT LENSES REQUIRED”. My Ohio license just displays “Restr B” on the front; to be deciphered using the key on the back that states “B Corrective Lenses”. I think that has a much softer ring to it. 🙂


A New Israeli Driver!

Preparing for my Israeli driving test brought back anxious memories of my struggle to obtain a New York license on a wet, overcast day in 1975. The elderly police officer was intimidating; it took every ounce of concentration to stop my hands from shaking as I clenched the steering wheel. Technically everything was going well until I tapped the curb while parallel parking. I recall to this day his loud lecture “if a child had been playing on the tree lawn you would have killed him!” A bit of an exaggeration, but it didn’t matter as it constituted instant failure. Continue reading A New Israeli Driver!


Driving Lesson

Today we accomplished Step 4 (scroll down the page to #4) of converting our Ohio driver’s licenses over to the coveted Israeli ones.

A few days ago I posted a request for instructor recommendations to the Nefesh B’Nefesh list and the overwhelming majority urged us to contact Eyal Ben Harush.

I called Eyal on Tuesday and was surprised when he quickly set us up for a 1:30 p.m. appointment on Thursday. He cautioned me that this was just the driving lesson; it could be 6 weeks before our road test is scheduled.
Continue reading Driving Lesson


An Unusually Cloudy Day – Ulpan, Driver’s License, Children

This morning started out like any other day except for the unusual cloud coverage over the city. I should have taken that as a warning and remained in bed all day… we missed the bus, had trouble at ulpan, visited the licensing bureau from hell, and were saddened by a little girl’s tears. Continue reading An Unusually Cloudy Day – Ulpan, Driver’s License, Children


Israeli Driving – I’ve Become My Mother!

Growing up I recall many New York/New Jersey car trips during which my mother would yell things like “Jimmy! Slow down!”, “Jimmy! You’re driving too close to the car in front of you!”, “Jimmy! Watch out!”

On a side note, my father (of blessed memory) was not legally “Jimmy”, his legal name was “Vincent Peter” and in his 60 years on this planet he was never able to explain why his mother called him “Jimmy” for as long as he could remember. Even stranger was that he had an older cousin whose legal name was “Vincent Leo” and he was also known as “Jimmy” (and he didn’t know why either)! So if anyone out there can explain this Italian phenomenon, please enlighten me!

So back to driving… During the past two weeks we’ve had the benefit of a borrowed car and every time we wind down the mountain from Ma’aleh Adumim, drive in Jerusalem, or on the highway up north, I find myself white-knuckled and screaming at Michael in a similar fashion to that of my mother’s frantic communications to my father (minus the “Jimmy” of course :D).

Driving in the heavy traffic areas of Israel is a sport, often a contact one that I find extremely stressful. In my younger days Continue reading Israeli Driving – I’ve Become My Mother!