Whoever oversees such things in our part of Jerusalem recently began demolition of two iconic traffic circles in our neighborhood—iconic in the sense that nearly everyone who lives in the area has risked his or her life on them. The circles connect to each other in a near-figure-eight connection through a short, equally hazardous connector, and there has been no end to the adventures residents have witnessed and experienced while looping around in the chaos in hopes of avoiding a collision.
Their imminent end naturally prompted a flood of nostalgia. Even as I write, our charming little bumper car circles have nearly vanished, victims of small-minded local officials averse to cheap thrills. I miss them already. When demolition began, I immediately thought back to my first two forays onto the biggest and busiest of the two circles, each of which nearly resulted in an accident. Really. Upon reflection, I’ve decided that those two near misses and the horn honking, fist-shaking and ill-will that followed them were on me. I had ignored one of several unwritten Israeli driving rules, perhaps the most important of them, adapted from a well-known axiom of Euclidean geometry, simply stated…
The shortest distance between two points is the way to go.Archimedes