Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A helping hand

A good friend of mine is in Miluim. He's a paratrooper, a couple years older then me, his late 30s. He's in a pretty elite unit that specializes in house to house combat with years of experience fighting Palestinian terrorists. In his civilian life he's a Rav in a Talmud Torah in one of the yishuvim near ours. His youngest kids (3 year old twin girls) and my youngest (3 year old boy) are best friends and were in a playgroup together this past year. He's up in combat now.
I'll throw in a little bit of background which may seem out of context but will make sense in a moment. Car in Israel need, to get their yearly registration, need to pass a road saftey test. Breaks, lights, tires, steering etc. are all checked. It takes a 10-15 minutes and generally isn't a big deal. Except when you have to have something fixed, which can be a pain.
In any event, we got a call Saturday night from his wife. She's not a big driver and only uses the car to drive to the pool or the local store, but it was time to get it's yearly test, could I please take it in for her.
No question, of course! So I called yesterday morning to tell her I'd come pick it up and take it in. She them mentioned, no AC. Fine, I can deal with a bit of heat.
So I take it in, figure I'll run out at lunch time, it'll take 30 minutes including getting to the place and back. Boy...was I wrong.
Part of that is my fault, actually. I was a bit unclear of how to get to the place, but since I new the general area pretty well I figured it would be easy to find. Nah, wasted about an hour, driving around in the heat of the day with no AC. So I finally get there and show them the papers. Well, if the car is older then 15 years it needs a special break test, which you have to go to another place to get. So, around the corner to the garage for the break test. 30 minutes later I'm back at the test. Everything passes. Well...except for one front driving light. You know, the ones you never ever use. Ever. But...still, no go. Didn't pass, have to go get it fixed. Back to the garage, I go. 20 minutes later, it's fixed. Except that it's now 2:02. The test place is closed and shuttered at 2:00 on the nose. Locked up. So, I have to go back.
Anway, I pick up some lunch (mmmm...charbroiled chunks of beef in a pita with fresh salad and schug (Yeminite hot sauce), and head back to work. It's all good. Tuesday's I normally work late, to catch up on outstanding stuff. I had with what to do, since one major project I'm working on is taking up almost 100% of my time so I've set aside some non-critical projects that I've wanted to do. So here's my time. My wife knows I'm going to be late. Noone is going to bother me. I'll work until 11 and get a lot done.
11 comes around and I start packing up to go. Wallet check, PocketPC check, iPod check, car keys. No car keys. Unpack, check all the pockets, bag, etc. No car keys. Look inside computers I opened up. No car keys. Rearrange desk. No car keys. Maybe I left them in the car door, check car, nope. Trace my steps from the time I got back from lunch till 11. Nothing. Nada. I even went through the trash, thinking maybe I tossed them with the remains of lunch. Nothing. I call and arrange for a car service to take me home and get back to looking. Nada. I'm a bit stressed here, these aren't my keys. It's an old car, so no telling if there's a spare set even. And...well IT'S NOT MY CAR! ARGH! I get home around 1:30. To stressed to sleep, finally doze off around 2:30. Get up at 5:15 for Daf Yomi and Shul. I call my friend's wife at 7:40, totally frazzled and apologize profusely. She's not sure about a spare set of keys. Maybe they're by her in-laws in Ramat Gan. 7:50 she calls back, she has them. Whew. At least there's that.
Meanwhile, I get to work and stop in to say hello to a co-worker 2 doors down. Lo and behold, there are the missing keys on his desk.
Now I just have to get the re-test done.

In another related story. My wife spoke to my friend's wife this morning. She had gotten a call from the army, and she started panicking. The fellow she was talking to was obviously a very recent immigrant from Russia. His mastery of Hebrew was limited, but after a while he finely was able to be understood. Everything is fine. Since soldiers aren't allowed to bring their cell phones and make calls from Lebanon the IDF has a bank of people getting reports from the field and calling families to tell them everyone is safe and doing well.

Wonder if Hizbullah does the same thing.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


queeniesmom said...

Glad you found the keys. Especially glad that your friend is fine. Hopefully next time the person calling will be more fluent and not give your friend's wife heart failure. Will continue to pray for his and everyne else's safety.

projgen said...

Yeesh, did you ever figure out why the keys were on your co-worker's desk?!

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