For the uninitiated, hitchhiking in Israel is called “getting a tramp” and a male hitchhiker is called a “trampist”, a female one a “trampistit”. Hitchhiking here has differenct connotations than in America. It is far safer, depending on the time of day and the neighborhood. For those of us living in Yehuda and Shomron without a car (or in our case, with two adults employed and with one car) tramping to work is a necessity.
I have read posts before from the perspective of those giving rides to others, and the etiquette involved. I’d like to write a post from the perspective of someone who gets these rides on a frequent basis (at least twice a week).
First, I am always grateful for those who stop to offer rides. That said, I have some pet peeves that I will express here – as I can’t really do that while riding in the passenger seat!
One, please don’t offer a ride if it is really inconvenient for you. I can’t count the number of times when someone stops and says, “ok, get in quickly, I am really late”. I then take a deep breath and know that I will be riding with someone who is going to channel their inner Mario Andretti. Even those who do not claim to be late sometimes drive so fast that I make a mental note never to accept a ride with them again.
I also dread riding with the multi-tasker. Sure, most people can handle talking on the cell phone and driving, especially if there is a “diborit” (hands free setup in the car). But most people can’t drive and use an electric shaver at the same time – especially when they need to check their progress in the rearview mirror every once in a while.
Another pet peeve of mine, which is not related to a safety issue, relates to the the radio/CD player. It’s your car, you can choose the music, no problem. But, please, choose the music or the radio station, and then STICK WITH IT. Like the person who has hundreds of tv channels and nothing to watch, there are people who can’t seem to find something good to listen to. They listen to half a song and then change the channel, over and over again. I personally find this so annoying I end up biting my lips until I can get out of the car.
Finally, I don’t like being put in the “hot seat” when it comes to news of my yishuv. Pleasant small talk is great – I’ve met some really nice people that way. But I don’t like being pumped for gossip, especially about sensitive topics.