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62 {(Un?)Official Police |(非?)公式の警察}

October 21, 2010


I was driving back from the gym when I noticed the car’s thermometer rising at an alarming rate.

Our car, which we affectionately call Gruti (“Grut“=Hebrew for junk, plus a feminine “i“) was slowly reaching her end. She overheated last week while Yuval was driving back from a martial arts class. Right next to a graveyard out of all places. He had to wait in the dark for about 20 minutes for his brother to come pick him up. Since then the furthest destination we drive Gruti to is my gym, less than 10 minutes away.

When I saw the thermometer rising higher and higher, I turned in to the kibbutz right before ours. I went off the road immediately and stopped the car. After a few minutes I started her up again, and seeing the thermometer was back down, I started to u-turn back towards the road. As I shifted the gear to reverse, Gruti abruptly shut down with a soft whimper. I felt her sliding back down in to the ditch, crunching leaves and tree branches underneath, before coming to a final stop with a soft thump.

As I whipped out my cell phone to call Yuval, I saw a car stop slightly past the entrance to the kibbutz road. They reversed and took a sharp turn towards me. I assumed they were either residents of the kibbutz or concerned people coming to see if I needed help. Before I knew it a guy stepped out of the car and aimed a flashlight right in my face.

“Police,” he said, shining his flashlight on an ID card he took out of his pocket.

He continued to speak to me in Hebrew, cutting right in to my conversation with Yuval on the phone. As I was explaining to Yuval what was happening I gestured to the “police” guy that the car was dead. Car (pointing to the steering wheel), DEAD (my hand slicing my neck).

“Don’t you speak Hebrew?” he asked in English.
When I shook my head he ordered me to get out of the car.

Once I was out of the car he gestured towards my phone, which I handed over. He spoke with Yuval for a minute then handed the phone back to me. Yuval assured me he was on his way (about a 7 minute walk). “Is everything okay? What’s going on?” I asked. He told me it was okay, and that he will be here soon. His voice was hard to read.

I noticed there was another guy in the passenger seat of their car, to who the first guy gestured something and shook his head. I also couldn’t help noticing that their car didn’t look like a police car at all. A regular white car with no siren, logo, nothing. The guy who was interrogating me was wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops. He asked me for my passport, to which I replied that I didn’t have on me. I dug in to my purse for my international license instead, which should be enough and perfectly legal. Once he was finished examining my license, he went in to Gruti and tried to start her back up again. After a few failed attempts Gruti grumbled then roared back to life.

Oh great, I thought. Is this going to make me look suspicious? Like I was faking it?? Like I was lying???

The guy drove Gruti out of the ditch and started driving a little further towards the main road. This is when my suspicions exploded – is he going to hit the gas and drive away? Or are they going to kidnap me?

But after only a few meters the guy put Gruti in to parking mode and stepped out.

“You have to carry your passport at all times, okay?” he said, before walking back to his “police car”. They drove past me as I was getting ready to drive, and the guy in the passenger seat yelled, “Seat belt, seat belt!” But he was smiling, flirtatious almost.

This day happened to be the day the Israeli Cabinet sat in Deganya Alef, the very first kibbutz in Israel (and where my gym is located). This was in honor of the 100th anniversary of the kibbutz. Understandably there was heavy security during the day, but this was about 7 hours after the Cabinet had closed.

Yuval thought that if they were indeed police in civilian clothes, they were searching for anything out of the ordinary, and I guess I was a pretty good candidate. Gruti, as much as we love her, is 24 years old and pretty rustic on the outside (in another words an “Arab car”, in Yuval’s words) . Combine that with the fact that the car was stuck in a ditch in a pretty awkward position, well, that’s not exactly ordinary. I may have been suspected of being a terrorist, but I suspected them just the same or even more. Maybe I just got lucky. I will never know.



















Much love,

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Yuval permalink
    October 23, 2010 8:37 am


    I can’t believe you actually though somebody would like to steal Grutti!!
    Its so old even the Arabs wouldn’t want it 🙂

    and as for the phrase ‘An Arab car’, it is said with respect for their approach to cars >> an old, reliable, mechanical car is better then all the new modern computerized cars (and much easier and chipper to maintain).


    • October 25, 2010 12:31 am

      In a threatening moments stranger things have passed through people’s minds, I’m sure…
      And thanks for that clarification bebe!

  2. miko permalink
    October 24, 2010 2:45 am

    その場面を想像しただけでも鳥肌がたってしまうよ。 こわーい。テロリストに気づかれないようにわざとそんな格好で警備をしていたんだと思うよ。車のこともあってダブルパンチな一日だったね。 お疲れ様でした:)

    私も実はニュージーランドに住んでいたころ、ポンコツ車に乗っていて、仕事の帰り道いきなりバンパーから煙がモクモク、なぞの水がポタポタで、大きなメインロードで立ち往生したことがあるよ。みんな見てるし煙はモクモクだし大パニック。近くのガソリンスタンドに半泣きで助けを求めにいったよ。 今ではいい思い出になっているけれどね。

    • October 25, 2010 12:37 am


      • sammi permalink
        October 25, 2010 2:19 am

        Hi! Please be careful out there in the the big world! We in out little sheltered world of NH worry about you! (OK, that was the mom in me!) Guess you should take your workout to a new level and run or walk to the gym. 🙂
        Your blog is still delightful! Keep it going for us!

      • October 25, 2010 8:45 pm

        Thanks for worrying about me all the way out there in NH! 🙂
        I really think it was the extra security for the Cabinet that day, this kind of thing never happens.

        But I do plan on biking to the gym… soon… I’ve been meaning to… 😀


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