Top five people you'll meet on the bus

Written by
Kayla Levy

1. The bus driver

Well known in the commuter community by every passenger screaming their name, “nahag” is not merely a job description as much as it is a lifestyle. Whether 30 or 80, your driver is determined to finish first in whatever make-pretend action racing game they are playing. They also know the city streets like the back of their hand which is probably why they deviate from the prescribed route on Moovit. As you blow through three red lights in a row and nearly hit a pedestrian, take solace in knowing that your nahag probably operated a tank in the IDF and despite what it seems you are (mostly) safe.

2. The crazy cart lady

Just when it doesn’t seem possible to cram more people onto the bus, this passenger arrives. She gets on with an overflowing shuk cart, at least two plastic bags of food, and won’t be stopped until she finds a seat – don’t doubt the power of a crazy cart lady on a mission. Once settled in, it’s clear that she actually knows half the people on the bus and you begin to question what other secrets lie within her kilos of fresh produce.

3. The bewildered tourist

From the minute they step on the bus and try to pay with a 200 shekel bill, you know this person is not a local. Armed with a predictable slew of questions (which is the stop for the Carmel Market?) and a knack for running into people (I’m sorry, the bus stopped so suddenly!), this tourist is more of a hazard than your driver’s need-for-speed mentality. Little do they know, there’s no tour book or app to help them properly navigate this ride.

4. The telephone talker

In the spirit of Israel at large, privacy is not a commodity for this passenger. What begins with a simple “allan” rapidly escalates into a conversation better suited for their office, living room, or maybe even bedroom. As the ‘he-said she-said’ increases alongside the volume of their call, get ready to have a front row seat to whatever business or personal matter simply couldn't wait the 20 minutes for them to get off the bus.

5. The flirt

After running to catch the bus and getting on feeling sweaty and disoriented, this character is the last person you’re ready for. He has a knack for finding the one American on a bus of 100 people, and isn’t going to let up until you’re connected on Whatsapp – or you get off the bus, whichever comes first. Sure he’s got the tall-dark-and-handsome look, but trying to stay standing while lurching through traffic is not the time or place to make flirty small talk about your day or see a picture of his dog. Someone should let him know that the number 4 bus is not Clara.

By Kayla Levy, who would rather walk for an hour than take the bus.

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