Friday Morning I went to see a small exhibit of Chinese/Japanese prints in the library of the Japanese embassy in Tel Aviv. The prints were lovely, but the exhibition was small, so I was done looking around quickly. While my friends were talking, I looked through the books until I found the Go section.
Bill and I drove from there to Jerusalem together, while Shirley and the others took the bus. I stopped on the way to do my exchanges in my first Israeli math trade. I traded In the Shadow of the Emperor for Through the Desert, and Aton for both No Thanks and Lucca Citta. This required stops in Petach Tikvah and Maccabim/Reut.
As we were driving from Reut to Maccabim, some guy (talking on a cell phone, natch) entered from my left and swerved into my lane (on the right). He didn't see me until my car tires were screeching as I jerked over to the right to avoid him. He glanced at me and continued on his way.
From Reut to Jerusalem, I was in the left lane trying to work up speed on an incline. A car a few hundred meters in front of me in the center lane suddenly started screeching and stopped. I reacted a little slowly, but finally slammed on my brakes when I saw that the car had halted right in front of a couch stretched across the middle lane and some of the left lane.
Although I stomped on the brakes, my car continued to slide forward, screeching the whole time. I was headed straight for the car in the center lane, but I couldn't turn my car; I had absolutely no control over the direction; stopping was taking a heck of a long time.
I saw we were not going to stop in time and I braced for impact; it looked like we were going to hit the side of the car. No one was going to get hurt, assuming that the guy didn't decide to open his car door or something. However, in the end, my car screeched past the other car, missing it by a few inches and stopping just shy of the couch.
A flatbed was ahead on the side of the road, obviously the one off of which the couch had fallen. I pulled over to the same side and took a few breaths to steady my nerves before continuing on. I said bircat Hagomel in shul the next day.
I saw Eitan, Emily, Bill, and Shirley after dinner on Friday night, and Bill and Shirley went out to a movie on Sat night. Two more weeks and they go back to the US.