There’s a 90% chance I will never rush anywhere again

I’m fast.

Not short mini skirt and red lipstick kinda fast.

The kind of fast that shows up 15 minutes early no matter how hard she tries to be late. The kind of fast that needs you to get to the point…now. The kind that grits her teeth when people here in Israel say to her, “L’at l’at.” (slowly, slowly)

It’s kind of ironic — when Israelis tell me “slowly slowly.”

Most of them are trying to be kind; encouraging.

But is this really authentic?

Israelis, stereotypically, are the last people with patience for doing anything slowly.

Especially driving.

Israeli drivers, notoriously, are maniacs.

“Yes, we know,” you say. Maybe you follow it up with the “Ain Ma La’sot?” shrug.

What can we do about it other than drive defensively? you ask.

It’s a good question.

The other day a man was killed during the afternoon rush hour in a car accident on the road I take to and from work.

It was raining. There was oil on the road.

It could have been me.

I don’t know if recklessness was involved or not. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

Every day I drive like my life depends on it. Not because it does. But because all of my fellow drivers seem to be so focused on getting somewhere fast, they are unaware of the fact that I want to live.

Every time I am on the road, driving the speed limit or a reasonable level over — drivers pass me at lightning speed. They take over the opposite lane so they can pass the tractor trailer. They drive up my rear as if there is a free gift in my trunk.

What are they rushing to?

Death, obviously.

In my humble opinion, there are only three non-life-or-death reasons to rush anywhere in your car — and they all involve an orifice.

You need to pee. You need to poop. Or you need to push a baby out.

Not in that order.

Yes, Israeli drivers as a rule drive dangerously, but there IS something we can do.

Be one less dangerous Israeli driver on the road.

Be mindful of how you perceive your deadline.

Do you really need to get to work exactly on time?

Will the world end if you are late to that meeting?

No, it won’t. So keep your rage at bay, your phone in your purse, and your eyes on the prize — living.

And — slowly slowly: be the change you want to see on Israeli roads.

Climate Changes, Culture, Terrorism

Experts say Israel safer than most

So I was thinking about the zombie apocalypse the other day afterreading the story about the Florida man who was shot while attempting to eat another man’s face. I was tweeting about it with comedian Rachel Dratch (okay fine, I was retweeting Rachel Dratch, who doesn’t know I exist…yet), and felt once again a sense of security in the belief that if the apocalypse were to happen, Israel would be the last sucker to go.

Since moving to Israel 18 months ago from New Jersey, I have slowly let down my anxiety-induced guard. Now it’s actually possible for me to walk into a Café Aroma and not worry about being blown up, especially at the Café Aroma in Karmiel, where I eat lunch every now and again and where I feel somewhat irrationally appeased by the fact that half the patrons are local Arabs and would make this particular Café Aroma a poor terrorist target.

Terrorism is no joke. I know this. Sarcasm is my crutch. Along with meditation. And 70% dark chocolate.

But just as some of you worry about terrorist attacks and the possibility of a nuclear attack from Iran, I worry about the zombie apocalypse.

Or  the pole shift phenomenon as dramatized in the 2009 Roland Emmerich film, “2012.” Or snakes crawling up my toilet and biting my privates when I pee in the middle of the night.

While there’s certainly a lot about living in Israel that exacerbates my anxiety, you might be surprised to know I actually feel safer living in a country that is prepared for the shit to hit the fan.

Israel is the place you want to be when Michael Crichton books start coming true. We have loads of creative scientists who can immediately turn their focus from investigating testes in a test-tube to finding the magical antidote for the zombie virus.

If an asteroid really does come super close to earth, enough to cause danger to human civilization, Israel can come to the rescue. Gather up all the engineers working secretly behind Rafael’s secured gates and hole them up inside Israel’s Space Agency until they come up with a plan for as asteroid destroyer, one that puts the “Armageddon nuke to shame. (Did you know that Israel is the “smallest country with indigenous launch capabilities?”)

I feel comfort in the fact that I don’t have to be a crazy prepper survivalistwith my own YouTube channel in order to feel comfortable saying out loud that I actually have my very own secured, hideout bunker stocked with canned sardines and a month’s supply of toilet paper. My MAMADcame standard with my house. So there, haters!

I may still get nervous boarding public buses, and watch my back on the windy Galilee roads I drive to and from work. Yeah, I still feel jittery about the end of the Mayan calendar, and notice with interest the billboards about the Rapture that occasionally pop up even here in Israel. But in a nutshell, I have faith that unless an advanced alien civilization (the one that secretly runs the New World Order) shows up on December 21, 2012, and tells us our time is up and that we need to be pulverized into dust for messing up this planet beyond repair — well, I actually believe that living in Israel is as safe as living anywhere else.

If not safer. (Or so claim the imaginary expert voices in my brain.)

This was originally published (with a lot of fun zombie pics) on The Times of Israel.