I have never taken more buses as I have in the last 5 months since moving to Israel. Living in Jerusalem, in a city, without a car, it’s really the first time that I’ve needed to count on public transportation. Luckily, the buses are punctual and efficient. And I’m happy to say that I’ve encountered many pleasant and helpful bus drivers. There have been some funny and interesting ones too. So, I thought I’d list the top ten personality types I’ve met up until this point.
10) The “I will talk to every passenger and find out their life history” Bus Driver.
It’s a long bus route and it could get boring so he will start chatting with each person as they enter his bus until they exit. These bus drivers are especially sweet and sincere. They go above and beyond making their bus feel like your bus.
9) The “I’m just doing my job without giving a passing thought to the passengers on board” Bus Driver.
It’s been a long day and he just wants to finish his route and go back home. So, I like to make sure I always smile and say hello, goodbye, and thank you, to make sure I show them that I appreciate them driving me from one location to the next. Usually I end up getting a smile in return, other times, a distinct grunt. Oh well, I tried.
8) The “I don’t have small change so don’t even think of handing me anything larger that a 20 shekel bill” Bus Driver.
You’d think a bus driver handling cash all day would have small change and not make you feel bad and uncomfortable for expecting change. We’re paying, aren’t we? Just accept the money and give us change. Please. Thank you.
7) The “Yes I will help you figure out which stop you need to get off at” Bus Driver.
This bus driver is so helpful that when you ask about which stop is closest to your destination he will make sure to remind you and show you where to go. Even if you forget to press the button to signal the bell.
6) The “I will smile and wink at you and keep checking on you through the rear view mirror” Bus Driver.
He’s the one that is hoping you’re single. Or doesn’t care that you’re not. He wants to find out all about you. He’s usually kind of cute. Nothing more to add. 😉
5) The “I’m so happy I’m your driver again” Repeat Bus Driver.
He’s the one that recognizes you each time you get onto the bus. He knows your route. He answers you with a big smile when you say good morning. And he says “see you next time” when you get off at your stop. And you’re glad that he was your bus driver for the 18th time.
4) The “I’m in a rush so I’ll pretend I didn’t see you an inch away from the door before I drove away” Bus Driver.
He’s the one you don’t actually get to encounter face to face because he drove away as you rushed to the door banging on the side of the bus trying to get him to stop. Unsuccessfully.
3) The “I’m a professional multi-tasker” Bus Driver.
He’s the driver maneuvering through traffic while collecting payments and searching for change. How does he do that?!
2) The “I’m in a huge hurry so I’ll speed over every speed bump sending you flying from your seat into the air causing all the contents of your 20 bags to spill all over the floor” Bus Driver.
He’s the bus driver that you wish would drive more slowly and safely. You hope to make it to your next stop without getting into an accident. And this time you’re happy you’re in a seat because the last time he was your driver you were balancing yourself in the aisle. Falling all over the seated passengers.
And the #1 Bus Driver in Israel is:
1) The “I’m a Tzaddik but don’t view myself as one” Bus driver.
He’s the bus driver that is truly a Tzaddik, righteous. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. He parks at the bus stop, jumps out of his seat to help the elderly passenger with his packages. Or the time he jumped out of his seat to help the aid with the wheelchair bound passenger. He’s the one that when you call him a tzaddik on his return to his seat, he scoffs at you, dismissing the compliment. But he is. Even if he doesn’t believe it.
I’m sure there are so many other Bus Drivers with a multitude of personality types. They are all heroes to everyone that counts on them for transportation. And without a car, I’m one of those that are very appreciative to them for their service. And if you’re ever on a bus and have Matan (as seen below) as your driver, consider yourself lucky!
Feel free to add more types of drivers you’ve encountered below in the comment section! But be nice! 😉
10 thoughts on “Driver! Nahag! Israel’s Top 10 Bus Driver Personalities”
Many years ago I met a driver of the #1 in Jeruslaem that goes thru Mea Shearim and to the kotel. The entire route he sang tehillim (Psalms). As I exited I complimented him and he proceeded to hand me his business card – he also does his singing at weddings!
That’s amazing!! Thanks for sharing!
How about the driver, also a Tzadik as far as I’m concerned, who will open his door at a light, after leaving the bus stop, to pick up a soldier who is running like crazy to make sure he gets on.
So many drivers have helped me figure out how to get where I’m going, but one that went above and beyond the call: I was on my mobile with a friend who was picking me up in an area I’m not familiar with, and we were trying to figure out where I needed to get off so he could find me. I asked the driver for help, and he said, “Let me talk to him!” I handed my phone over and he and my friend started talking, quickly joined by the first five rows of passengers, all debating the best strategy. When the decision was made and I got off with my suitcase, the driver waited to be sure I got into my friend’s car safely, and the whole bus waved goodbye as they drove off!
That’s an amazing story Ruth! Thanks for sharing!
this is amazing!! i always say that the jerusalem drivers are the most amazing ones. they are the true heros of the city. so so true!!
So glad you feel that way too! Thanks for your comment!
The other day I rode with one of my favorite types – the party DJ driver. He always has happy music on. My ride is an hour and a half. Towards the end there will be less than 10 people on the bus all doing karaoke to his bouncy Sefardi music. If he doesn’t know your family (unlikely) he will find out about them. He chats with all of the passengers about whatever interests them. Takes enjoying your long ride as his responsibility.
What an amazing adventure it must be to ride on his bus! Enjoy!!