I grew up in Houston, which always seemed to have relatively cheap gas to
anywhere else I travelled. We used to joke that it was so cheap because
they hauled it from the refineries to the stations in the back of pickup
Anyway, now I live in Tel Aviv, and 95 octane leaded (!) petrol runs me 4.10
shekel/liter, which translates back to about $4 a gallon. Seems pretty
close to the standard for Western Europe as well. A fill-up for the
roadster costs me almost $50 bucks, and is worth every cent. Let me tell
Thursday was Israel Independence Day, and a beautiful spring day to boot.
Bright sun, not too hot, playful breeze.
The B and I took my wife for a 'cross-country' drive from Tel Aviv to Beit
Shemesh, a residential town not too far from Jerusalem. Once there we met
some friends for a barbecue and picnic in a natural park before hitting the
Most of the drive is through coastal plains and agricultural fields, on a
4-lane highway. The hay had just been cut and baled in the fields abutting
the road, and the wonderful scents of newly-mown grass mingled with that
peculiar mix of oil and gas and exhaust that we all love.
This was the longest trip I have yet taken with my B. I have only just now
come to trust it enough that I am no longer afraid of being stranded
somewhere. Apparently all of this care and preventative maintenance have
paid off - the same car that blew a head gasket the day I bought it
performed flawlessly, seeming to enjoy the clear dry air, and the
opportunity to cut through it at 4000 rpm.
2/3 rds of the way there, we turned off of the main highway and headed south
down a two lane road that meanders through forested rolling rocky hills.
The air was thick with the sweet smell of spring flowers and pine trees, and
almost every availible clearing already contained a family having a picnic.
We roared through the valleys and screamed over the crests of the hills, the
MG purring downhill and growling up, happy to escape the traffic of the city
and truly stretch its legs. Owners of lesser transportation stared in awe
and jealousy. You know it's good when you are doing 120 kph on the highway,
top down and hair flying, and you pass a Porsche Boxter, just loafing along
with top up and air conditioned, and he looks longingly at your polished red
MG as you fly by.
This is a day that makes you want to quit your job and just go driving
forever. A day that reminds you why you bought an MG, instead of a
"sensible" car. A day that leaves you grinning for weeks afterward. A day
that makes it easy to forget the pain, the hatred and the violence that are
so often associated with this part of the world.
A day that makes you wax poetic.
And the steaks and sausages and barbecued chicken were d*mn fine too. Mmmm.
R. Martin Rogovein
1970 roadster - "Cartman"
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