Let’s talk about bus etiquette.

Public transport is just that, public. This means that I get to travel with the (literal) unwashed masses. It also means you should have a little bit of respect for the strangers in or near your personal space.

Personal Hygiene

Yesterday, my afternoon bus was almost completely full when I got on. I was one of the last people to get a seat. The driver can allow up to 10 people on the bus standing. So the next few stops we picked up a bunch of people.

Naturally when standing on a bus, you reach out to hold something to steady yourself. Now I’ve had to stand on a long journey home before. I grab the conveniently located handles on the sides of the seat. Not Smelly Armpit Man, oh no, he had to stand reaching up, holding onto the baggage rack above me.

I get it, its summer, we sweat. But please for love of all human beings, spray or roll on some deodorant when you leave work. I do. Its the last thing I do before leaving my air conditioned office where I don’t even really sweat. I roll on my deo so no one has to catch even the faintest whiff of me. Its just polite.


(Wo)man spreading. The seats are not big, not small either, but we are not riding a 1st class ticket with extra leg room and champagne to work.

So when you sit down, try not to rub thighs with the person sitting next to you. Don’t try to mash your handbag into the tiny gap between you and me. Put it on your lap. If you are sitting in the window seat, try not lean across the person in the isle seat to greet your long lost friend who is walking past. 

Oh, and if you are in the isle seat and the person in the window seat needs to get off the bus before you, stand the F up and move into the isle. Don’t just swivel your legs to the side and force me to practically sit on your lap to get past. I’m so tempted to fart on the next person that does that.


There are these amazing newfangled inventions. They are called headphones. You can get them in comfortable, over ear models or even in discreet, in ear models. You even get ones that have a built in microphone in them. The common feature though is that no one needs to listen to your crappy music, horrible canned laugh track sitcom, your grandchild screeching at the top of their lungs or your Very Important work call.

Or your loud, repetitive games. Those especially annoy me. No one wants to hear your rat a tat tat 1st person shooter game or your ching ching ching Candy Crush. If you don’t have headphones then put your phone on silent. You do not need sound to play a game.

Smells (unrelated to personal hygiene)

Hard boiled eggs, tuna, garlic. These are all yummy and delicious foods. But not on a closed bus. Certainly not at 06:45 before people have had their coffee and even worse, at 17:30 after being in your bag for the entire hot, sweaty, summer day.

Just don’t. You can eat before you leave home, or while you wait for the bus to arrive or wait until you get off the bus. But please, I beg you, do not eat your stinky food on a bus where all the windows are closed. Especially if you are practically sitting on my lap or standing over me.

Before getting on the bus

While waiting for your bus, allow older people, pregnant women or women with small babies to sit on the bench under cover. Especially when its raining.

If you really need to have a cigarette, could you maybe walk a few metres left or right of the stop and light up there? You know, away from the elderly people, pregnant women, and the children. If you are really nice, you could even see which way the wind is blowing and smoke down wind. That would be really pleasant.

Oh, yes, last thing. Get your money or your bus pass ready. Seriously, we all need to get to work or home. No one wants to stand around waiting to get on the bus because you insisted on getting on first and now cant pay. Either stand at the back of the line or be ready.

So, yeah, some of my pet peeves that really should just be common courtesy. And now, I’m going to shut down my computer, roll on my deo and I’m going to catch my bus. Wish me luck!

Smile (again)

We are still in summer holidays and the kids are at their last day camp this week (the next two weeks are a whole other story, school only starts on 1st September).

This particular camp starts at 08:00 and ends at 16:00. So I have been going to work early while Paul takes the kids to camp and then goes to work and then I leave work early to fetch them and Paul comes home a bit later. It all balances out.

But, since I leave for work early (06:30 to catch the 06:45 bus), I am not catching my regular bus and driver. And while the driver I do have is very nice he isn’t my happy go lucky regular driver and I’m definitely not getting my usual happy start to the day.

But not today! Today, as I got off my early bus and started crossing the road to get to my office, a bus at the opposite stop honked his horn at me, I looked up and there was my regular driver, madly waving his arm out the window and grinning at me.

Day made!

These two make me smile too!
These two make me smile too! *photo by Paul

That time the kids locked themselves out and the bus never came…

Ja, yesterday was fun. Not.

Got a phone call to say that the both the babysitter and Aaron had forgotten their keys so they were locked outside the apartment. I had about half an hour left of work before catching a 30 minute bus home. So I left a bit early hoping to catch the earlier bus. In the meantime it was super hot yesterday so they couldn’t really play in the park until I got home, so they camped out in the hallway/stairwell of our building where at least it was a bit cooler than outside.

Now, I hoofed it to the bus stop with 5 minutes to spare before the bus was due. Except it never came. Turns out the bus before that also never arrived. I know this because at least 3 other people had been waiting for it and now 2 buses never pitched up. So we waited, hoping the next bus would arrived.

Anyone want to guess what happened? 

After 3 buses failing to arrive, we decided to call a taxi. 4 of us, all going to the same place, makes sense, no?

Pomegranates cause my husband takes awesome pictures.
Pomegranates cause my husband takes awesome pictures.

Except the 1st taxi didn’t want to drive all the way to Modiin. And then there were no other taxis.

Eventually a taxi came past and stopped. So 4 strangers took a taxi home together. I got home at 17:55 (instead of the projected 17:30). It worked out well in the end. Driving via taxi is faster than the bus, only took 15 minutes. And because there were 4 of us it wasn’t that expensive, only ₪20 each. Still, it was an extra expense since I have a monthly bus pass and I shouldn’t have had to pay anything to get home.

This seems to happen every time there is a holiday, either school holidays or Pesach/Channukah holidays, my bus in particular decides we don’t need to go home.

I’m really hoping I manage to get home tonight!

Oops, I did it again…

…kind of.

I didn’t lose anything this time but I did mess up my monthly transport pass.

So a few weeks ago I wrote a post about the fact that we are not buying a car anytime soon and that public transport is cheaper and that I only pay ₪299/month for all my transport (buses and trains between Modi’in, Lod and Tel Aviv).

Well, yesterday, I wasn’t really paying attention when I asked the bus driver to give me a monthly pass. He asked if I wanted the pass to Ramle (which includes my office in Lod) and I said yes, when I meant to get the one to Tel Aviv (which includes everything between Modi’in and Tel Aviv AND my office).

I only realised after I got off the bus. When I promptly kicked myself. I mean really, it was almost ₪50 cheaper than normal and I didn’t notice. Really wasn’t paying attention.


What this meant was that I then had to pay separately for my transport to Tel Aviv for ulpan as well as my transport home. That’s 3 buses and a train which came to roughly ₪40! For just 1 day. Its almost the same as the difference in the monthly pass! And I make that trip twice a week! That would be ₪320 a month!

So this morning I stopped off at the Kavim office (again) in Modi’in and asked them, in Hebrew (yay me!), if they could refund me and then give me the correct pass. And they did. Thankfully they allowed me to get the correct pass and I am only out of pocket that ₪40  from yesterday. It would have been a crazy expensive month if I couldn’t fix my silly mistake.

Lost & Found

I’m on a bit of a roll.

Lost & Found

Last week I lost my bus pass. I only realised that it was lost when I couldn’t find it on the way home. It’s a good thing I had some cash on me or I would have been stuck at work.  I went the very next morning to the bus office in Modi’in to get a new one and transfer my balance and there it was sitting on the desk. The driver must have found it when he cleaned the bus and handed it in.

Then, yesterday was an ulpan day, which means I take 2 buses from work to Tel Aviv. I got off my first bus and reached into my pocket to get my phone so I could check the app to see when my next bus arrived and my phone wasn’t there.

Okay, let’s not panic. I checked my backpack thinking maybe I popped it in the bag when I put my charger away (I had been charging the phone on the bus). Nope, not there. Okay, now start to panic. One of two things could have happened, I left it on the bus or I was pick pocketed. I had my iPad in my bag but no connectivity until I reached ulpan, some 20 minutes away. The longest 20 minutes ever!

As soon as I got to class I messaged Paul who told me that he had spoken to the bus driver and he had my phone! Long story short, someone called Paul who then called the driver who confirmed he had my phone. After some back and forward  it was established I work in Lod and that the driver would leave the phone at the bus office at the central bus stop in Lod. Which is where I went this morning on my way to work. #OnlyInIsrael

After some very stilted Hebrew on my side and some charades (thanks for the word Shani!) from both sides I received my phone back. The guy at the office thought I was hysterically funny and asked for a selfie with me. Who the hell knows where that picture is going to end up. Please let me know if you see it.

Both times I lost things I was on a Kavim bus line and I have to commend the drivers and staff in the offices for their honesty, friendliness and hard work.

So, 2 lost things, both returned. I’m hoping I don’t lose a 3rd thing!

Oh yes, not technically a Lost & Found thing but on the weekend I dropped my iPad and cracked the top of the screen. I taped it together with clear packing tape and it is still usable but it needs to be fixed soon. Maybe the iPad is the 3rd thing and my streak is over? One can hope!