When I was in graduate school, I had a friend from Greece. It was 2004, the summer that Athens was hosting the Olympics. In the weeks nearing the opening, much was unfinished. As in: no stadiums had been completed. My friend was unperturbed: “It’ll get done.” He didn’t explain what steps were in place to ensure this. For him, this was business as usual in Greece. Somehow, in the end, it gets done.
When it comes to Israel, however, skepticism seems to abound with regard to infrastructure projects. Despite the Minister of Transport announcing last week that the new bullet train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will launch on its intended date, March 30, locals weren’t buying. When I asked my brother, a resident of Bet Shemesh, his reaction was: “First of all, don’t count on it happening.”
I’ve decided to take the Greek approach: Somehow, come March 30, the train will be in service. I can’t wait for my next trip to Israel. They say the journey will take just 30 minutes, with the train reaching up to 160 kilometers per hour. I’ve been on trains in France and Germany that travel at 300 kph, and it’s quite a thrill — although it can be slightly nauseating, too. But what an experience: Breakfast at a Tel Aviv hotspot, followed by an outing at the beach; then, evening services at the Kotel. No traffic, no hassle.
But am really I brave enough to book a ticket for March 30?
Shana Goldberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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