Thursday, December 8, 2011

Surprises on the Jerusalem Tram

In September 2011, a new light rail vehicle line was innaugurated on the Jaffa Road in Jerusalem after many delays in the construction process.  For that first month, it was free to one and all.  We decided to board it near our hotel and travel to the end of the line in east Jerusalem.  As usual, no one queued for boarding public transit.  Those with the sharpest elbows got on the tram and found a seat first.  Then, to my great surprise, those of us who boarded last were evaluated for our seat worthiness by those seated.  Old people, pregnant women, mothers with small children, the disabled were all quickly offered the seats before the tram even started up again. It did not matter if you were obviously an Arab or a Jew or someone hard to place like a tourist, if you qualified, you were offered a seat.  The seats were offered by Arabs to Jews and by Jews to Arabs.  After the great push at the door, I was amazed.  At every stop thereafter, the same thing happened, sharp elbows boarded first, and seats were offered to the seat-worthy before the tram started again.  I love happy surprises.

1 comment:

  1. I like this! Gives a new complexion to the foreigners' habit of non-queuing that annoys us no end here in Her Majesty's sceptred isles (where no-one under 30 would give up a seat if they saw a pensioner close to death).