I wrote a bit before about driving around and about in Tel Aviv (here), but I knew that I had to give it another try and that it would get easier with more experience. I have since been back and forth, on the scooter, to TA a few more times and have really started to get more comfortable with the amount of traffic and with driving on the highways to reach Tel Aviv from Rehovot. I’ve even found a rather enjoyable route, via vespa (hellish for cars), to get into the old Jaffo area that is beyond rewarding in views and sights. (There shall be a post about this route later, that explores area around old Jaffo.) I must say that once you get use to the flow of the other drivers around you, TA can be a really fun place to zip about on your ‘pa with. Especially if you plan on moving beyond the central areas and out towards places where walking no longer makes sense.
As are with most cities, public transportation and walking are the most sensible ways to get from one place to another. Having a car to fuss with becomes frustrating fast, even if you know the area really well, as traffic and traffic jams will get you every time. Bikes are also the preferred way to get about in Tel Aviv, as the weather and geography of the place suit this means of transport. (Plus biking is the greenest of green! And Tel Aiv is a pretty bike friendly city.) They have set up a bike sharing program, Tel-O-Fun, that more cities around the world should think about investing in. (Although, there have been a lot of headaches reported over the logistics of actually getting a bike to ride: Haaretz article here.) While having a vespa is a great alternative and zippy way to get between places that are further distances, if you really want to get a true sense of the this city you are going to have to put some leg work in.
This guy is the epitome of cool.
The two main reasons for our journey this time was to take in the ‘pa for a check up and make sure everything looked good. We also had to drop by the American Embassy for my partner’s visa ects. I have noticed that the vespa was running a little different and just wanted to see what the Piaggio people thought. It turned out that everything was working okay and that I needed to bring it in again next around the 10,000kms mark. (I also want to do an upcoming post about owning a vespa and the maintenance work. This is one area I wasn’t really aware of myself when I bought mine.)
On the way to TA, while driving on highway 20, I was zipping through the congested traffic and sometimes riding along on the emergency lane. All of the sudden I noticed up ahead of me were cars parked in the emergency lane and then noticed which type of cars they were: police cars. Sooner than I knew it, we were park over on the side of the road with one of the woman cops. Luckily, my partner was with me for my first encounter like this and she mostly spoke with him in Hebrew. I only have an American license and though she tried to figure out a way to give me a ticket, she couldn’t find a way to do it with a non-Israeli passport nor license. YAY! No ticket today! It was kind of the best part of my day: finally beating the system. (Most of the time, not having either of those here has proven to be very frustrating and stressful, but today it got me out of a ticket! Hehe.) The cop didn’t look happy, but soon we were well on our way and driving in between cars again, since I knew that I could get away with it legally now. That was a pretty awesome “win” moment for me that day and I’m still pretty happy about it. The other scooters, and there were tons that were pulled over that day, were not so lucky.
I liked that as I shot this, my partner said I became part of the piece. The item being shot below is feces with flies flying over it.
Throughout the day, I took some shots of various details of city life that I thought were worth capturing and wanted to share them here with you. It must be said that Tel Aviv is one hell of a city for street art and graffiti art. You cannot walk anywhere without seeing some work or tag somewhere around you. I really like cities like that. It is like a hotter, sweater Berlin. I also took two shots of my notebook that I wrote in while I was waiting for my partner to get out of the US Embassy. I always keep notebooks around me and love knowing that anytime I have an idea, a piece of paper and pen are waiting for me.
Enjoy the various photos of Tel Aviv in the early Summer,