Waiting for bus last night with hordes of others eager to kick off the summer season with a massive fireworks display off the Jaffa coast, we shared the glassed-in bus shell with half a dozen teenage boys wearing football (soccer) uniforms and cleats.
Rapha gaped in fascination; They were enjoying a great time immersed in laughter and banter. Then without warning, one sneaked up behind another and pulled down his shorts. Full toochas view.
I held out with pretending not to notice for as long as humanly possible – 10 seconds, perhaps – to save the young boy embarrassment. But when the dam broke, it gushed: Full on, shoulders shaking, tears flowing hysterical laughter which, in turn, provoked a renewed round of gales from the boys. Score! And who laughed the hardest? The de-shorted kid. Teenagers are great.
About those fireworks, a lesson for urban rec department planners everywhere: If you’re going to run a massive ad campaign about the 1/2 hour fireworks display to end all displays, for God’s sake anticipate the masses.
Apparently some 1/4 million people drove, bussed, motorcycled, trained, bicycled and walked to the beach to see the spectacle. Many, however, never made it. Traffic was backed up to the airport (about 20 minutes outside of Tel Aviv), along the highway and inside the city where gridlock was hell.
The show was beautiful – we made it, thanks – but the post-show two hours spent walking home was not. Buses were stuck in traffic, taxis were packed and walking a few miles towards waiting pillows and soft sheets was the alternative we chose. At 11 p.m. after a full day of activity, a 4-year-old is not a pleasant hiking companion.