Just when I was beginning to think I had seen everything on the roads in Israel, I realised I was wrong. Dead wrong. One of my routes home from work takes me through a busy junction at which there is a reasonably large roundabout; a big concrete circle with various bits of foliage in the middle – a mini jungle – strategically blocking the line of sight through the junction.
I approached the junction with my usual fear and trepidation, and the first surprise was that there was no traffic coming from the left. So I could enter the junction and start driving round the roundabout. I made it about one-third of the way round when I was faced with something I had never seen before: a medium-sized van was reversing round the roundabout, towards me and my car. Yes, he was facing the wrong way and going the wrong way – quite a combination. Fortunately, I wasn’t going fast and was never in danger; there was plenty time to stop, and a short blast of the horn warned him of my presence. Of course he kept going a bit longer. However, by then other traffic was backed up behind me and there was nowhere for the van driver to go. I assume he had missed his turnoff and, for some reason, decided it was easier to reverse round the junction instead of keeping going.
He finally (thankfully) stopped and drove off in the right direction, taking the first exit. I resumed my journey, musing that this country is still full of surprises. And I reminded myself that when driving in Israel, I need to be extra specially attentive. Nobody knows what’s round the next corner. A bit of a matching metaphor for life, really.