Getting Towed in Ramallah

What a day! It started off OK. I picked up my friend Tamer in Azariya and drove to Ramallah. As usual the downtown area was chock-a-block with traffic, and I suggested we park before we arrived at the usual gridlock around al-Manarah square. We were lucky. A van pulled out of a spot and I slipped in to the curb. I noticed that it was a red and white zone but Tamer assured me that:  "cars never get towed in Ramallah". Famous last words.

We paid a visit to my printer in Ramallah to pick up some new business cards that were waiting for us. Of course this is Palestine. Picking up an order also means having a cup of coffee and some conversation, and since it was close to lunchtime our host insisted that we stay and eat. He disappeared for fifteen minutes and returned bearing some delicious humous, fu'ul (bean stew/soup), salad, and some of the hottest peppers I've had for a while. The food was eaten and mopped up with some fresh pita bread, not the diminutive kind but about 40 centimeters (16 inches) in diameter.  After some tea and more conversation with fiends of our host who stopped by and also apparently did not have any pressing work to do, then we were ready to leave.

The small business transaction had taken about 3 hours. Life in the slow lane :-)

Of course I had forgotten which street we had parked on in the maze around al-Manarah. However Tamer assured me he knew the exact location, and off we went.

But the car wasn't there. Another car was in the spot so there was three possibilities. either Tamer had forgotten which street, the car had been stolen, or it had been towed despite his earlier assurances. I started going into slow meltdown as Tamer sauntered across the street to talk to a man lounging on a chair outside a shop. The man smiled and nodded, then pointed up the street. Sure enough the car had been towed and we found it sitting all alone in a huge lot.

A quick fifty shekel fine was paid to a couple of policemen in a run down shack, a receipt was written, and off we went. I sure learned my lesson. Murphy's Law was at work.


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