I wasn’t going to re-up my Jdate subscription. I mean, life is disappointing enough. Why add insult to injury by paying for it?
But this one fellow caught my eye. He, with his 1970s moustache and unabashed quest for “love and couplehood and partnership for life,” although since he wrote in Hebrew it is entirely possible that he was actually seeking a lovely roommate who doesn’t mind living with a couple.
But I did know beyond a shadow of a doubt that “mehandas” meant “engineer,” which he listed next to his education, and that Egged is Israel’s bus company, which he put next to his profession, so being no dummy, I put two and two together and figured he was an engineer for Egged.
“An interesting job,” I told my co-worker.
So I handed over my millions of dollars, sent him a note, and stepped back to wait.
Would he respond or would he, like the majority of his male comrades online, ignore the likes of little ole me, preferring, I assumed, younger options?
He broke the mold and not only wrote me back, but immediately sent me his phone number.
So I called. And found out that the guy may have gotten an associate’s degree in engineering but because of some very complicated explanation that had to do with a war in Israel and no jobs, he turned to bus driving. And stayed for the past ten years.
In other words, my date was an Egged bus driver. Bus line number 21, to be exact.
I scanned my memory. Had I seen him before? I took that line all the time.
Before I could wrap my mind around it all, he had a suggestion.
“Let’s be spontaneous,” he said. “why not meet tonight? Around 10.”
“But it’s Shabbat and nothing’s open,” I said.
“Oh, leave it to me,” he said. “I’m a Jerusalemite. I know where to go.”
It was a date. he asked whether I needed a ride. I did.
“Will you come get in me in your bus?” I asked, thrilled.
But he couldn’t take the bus for a spin on Shabbat so he broke it to me that he would have to come in his regular car. He asked where I lived and when I told him he said, “Yes, yes, there is a number 4 bus stop right there.”
He was right. And so it was that I sat at the number 4 bus stop that very evening, waiting for my bus driver to pick me up and take me on a date.
The bar he chose was cute and hopping, which was surprising for me since I had thought of Jerusalem as so quiet on a Friday night.
And the date?
Well, it was pleasant albeit a bit stilted since we were so different and came from such different backgrounds. But he was a friendly guy, my bus driver, and warm and gracious. He was also interesting. He told me so himself. “I have lived an interesting life,” was how he said it. Even his mustache, which was pencil thin and reminded me of Clark Gable, was interesting. As was all the jewelry that sparkled from his fingers and neck and ear. As was his man purse.
But I genuinely liked the guy. He was forthright and friendly and warm. And I thought he was cute. I just worried that there were too many cultural differences between us.
But it seems, I worried in vain.
Because even though he was very chivalrous throughout, it seems he also felt we were not a match.
When he dropped me off at the number 4 bus stop he paused to let me out, and as he floored the gas he called through the window, “Good luck to you, Avigail!” and he was off.
Maybe I’ll see him on the Number 21 headed to town …
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