It’s a common scenario when olim hadashim earnestly begin their quest for their first car in Israel. They are all taken aback by the minor scrapes and bruises to the body of most every used car, and the fact that no one is saying “oh that can be buffed out”; no one but the oleh even notices the scratches. Of course this reaction is exacerbated by the high cost of autos here.
I’ve become accustomed to the scrapes and bruises over the last 10 years though it still bugs me to see a 2009 model car with the right front fender slightly scraped and not on the way to the body shop any time soon; that car would have been in a paint booth within two days back in the US. Here it is what it is, a scrape on the fender, nothing to bother with.
Maybe it’s our driving conditions, the narrow streets, absence of decent parking areas save for sidewalks, or my arch nemesis the kamikaze motor scooter drivers. Where do these guys and gals come from?
Several months ago I failed to complete my left turn to the inside lane while driving my car. I opted to move over to the right lane quicker than the police like, and received a ticket and an invitation to driver’s education class. Yet these 2 wheeled magicians bob and weave at will creating lanes between lines of traffic or on the shoulders of the highway while police sit in their cars and watch. And at stoplights it’s not enough for scooter operators to drive inbetween cars they cut in front or right behind your bumper to go from the right lane over horizontally 2 lanes to the left turn lane. They even have the audacity when they cannot pull off this stunt without having to take their feet off the pegs to look at you like “why are you so close to the guy in front I had to put my foot down”? Enough about the scooters.
I guess in a way I should be glad we are not so obsessive compulsive about the appearance of our cars as in the west. But as an auto consultant it’s a challenge to present a car to an olim and say yes this car is in excellent condition, and they are only asking 50k, and as for the scrapes on the corners, here we call that “character”.