Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Haifa morning story

Why did it take almost 2 hours to get to the office today?
- Get to car in parking garage. Key will not fit in lock. Struggle with key long enough to make the other patrons start considering calling for police backup. Finally key opens the door.
- Set up iPad mini / GPS, enter office address into Google Maps. Google Maps cannot find location. Switch to Waze. Waze suggests a location in North America. Re-enter address with country postpended.
- Turn key. Nothing happens. Remember that this car has a 4-digit security code that must be entered before the key is inserted. Search for code on phone, certain that it is there somewhere. Find a photo of the code in the photos section. Enter code. Start car.
- Drive to exit. Realize that exit wants some card or piece of paper to open the gate. Realize that said piece of paper is not in the car. Push every button on the machine and insert every card with a magnetic strip on it into the various, unreadable machine slots. No response. No attendant present. Eventually give up and back up the ramp. Re-park car. Gather up belongings.
- Key will still not fit into the lock. Leave car unlocked.
- Ask at hotel lobby about missing parking pass. Discover that garage is not operated by hotel and that attendant should be present. Hotel shocked to learn that this is not the case.
- Return to room and search through piles of receipts discarded the evening before in jetlagged stupor. Find small white ticket.
- Down one elevator, through the lobby, into the shopping center, down another elevator. Car has not been stolen.
- Forget the ^*&#^%@* 4 digit code again.
- Drive back to exit. Put little paper tag into machine. Machine responds cryptically in Hebrew. Suspect machine wants money. Put a variety of money-associated cards with magnetic strips into a variety of slots. No results. Back car up ramp once again. Ignore stares from cleaning crew.
- Go to little yellow machine that has a picture similar to the little white paper tag on the front. Put tag into machine. Machine responds cryptically in Hebrew. Put a variety of cards into a variety of slots. One combination causes lights to change and the ticket to be returned. Hope that this is a good thing.
- Remember the ^*&#^%@* 4 digit code and start the car.
- Drive to the exit. The gate is up. No need to do anything with the machine - just drive through. Throw little paper tag out of window with extreme prejudice.
All this before getting into rush hour traffic. It's amazing I arrived with any sanity remaining at all.

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