Winter Has Returned (and so has the traffic)

An extra hour of sleep and a fresh morning rain. Winter has returned!

Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Have you set your clocks back an hour? The winter clock came into effect here in Israel last night and we all gained an extra hour of sleep. Always nice after a long weekend. Our youngest was in particular pleased after returning from the movie theater at 1 am and realizing it was actually only 12:00. “Yesh!” he exclaimed enthusiastically. Translated literally, this means “there is,” but is also said when one is excited about something. Yesh!

For some reason my lack of trust for modern technology still makes me wary about my phone automatically switching to the correct time. So whenever it comes time for daylight saving to change our clocks, I still set an analog alarm clock just to be sure I am woken up at the proper time the next morning. But the technology worked, as I noticed in the middle of the night. Somehow I always sleep a little worse that night, probably out of fear of a breakdown during the transition into winter time.

Accompanying the clock change this morning was the obvious start of winter as we were greeting by dark clouds and the first rains. Somehow this too surprised me. I had gotten used to the constant warm weather. But, we do live in Israel, and it will be some weeks before it really gets colder and more wintry here. Still, the first rains of the season are always a pleasant experience.

Hard to see, but it was really raining this morning. The view from our garden.

So after our extra hour of sleep, everyone of course needed to be taken somewhere out of the house. Our son had to go back to the army, our daughter to college and my wife has a lot of errands to run. Sunday morning’s are always a challenge. The bus stops are full of people waiting, the roads to Jerusalem are congested, and the train to Tel Aviv was overcrowded, according to my daughter’s report. Corona? What was that again?

Sunday morning congestion.

Yes, traffic is once again THE major challenge facing our country. But the situation can only get better. In about a year the first tram line is due to go into service in the greater Tel Aviv area. The line runs above and partly underground from Petach Tikva via Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv and Jaffa to Bat Yam. In the coming year the trams (or subway, if you prefer) will run empty to ensure safety. Hopefully then we can really tackle the congestion problem on the roads.

And now a little bit about the cover picture at the top of the page. On Friday, after a two-and-a-half year break, the normally-annual marathon finally took place again in Jerusalem. It is usually held in spring, but everything is different because of Corona. More than 17,000 people participated and ran through the streets of the Holy City. And we should be getting some more normalcy this month with the return of tourists. See: Yes! Israel is Officially Open for Tourists (But Read the Following Carefully)

More than 17,000 people participated in the Jerusalem Marathon on Friday.

I want to wish you all a pleasant Sunday and a healthy week.

Shalom from Modiin!

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