Today was a transit day, picking up a rental car and driving from Jerusalem to Nazareth in the north where we will be based for the next four days. Should have been a fairly routine event. BUT! You who have followed this blog over the years know, KNOW of the malign spirit that is the Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel...that demi-god that brings all the chaos associated with air travel into our lives. But there is more than one equestrian formed demi-god to make your travel life miserable. I have until now managed to avoid the depredation of the Mystic Pegasus Foal Spirit of Auto Rental! But now that I have had to fight the foal, I will be forewarned and prepared.
I had a reservation with my long-time car rental agency of choice Hertz. I arrived by cab from our apartment on time. It was very busy but I actually got served relatively quickly. This is an in-city location and a licensee, not company owned facility. I was told they would call me back when the car was ready. Then I would sign the paperwork and get the car. An hour passed by. Others who were there when I arrived were waiting too. Finally they called me to have me sign the paperwork. Then they would call soon with the car.
I wait...and wait...and wait. Everyone else who was waiting has gotten their car. Others who have come in later, have gotten their car. I am starting to lose it and just as I start complaining, they tell me the car is ready. Going down into their garage is a scene of chaos but finally we get the car. Now comes the difficulty of getting the GPS to work because we are underground. But I am given good directions for the first couple of turns.
As we go out, the GPS (the Waze app) connects and starts giving instructions...IN HEBREW!. I have Google Maps also going as a back up as I had not used Waze before. It is giving instructions in HEBREW and is sending me through the West Bank! Fortunately the route is relatively well marked to get out of Jerusalem and we are successful. We stop at a gas station. I try to web search how to change the language of the voice...not that this helps much as the screen I'm looking at has none of the buttons the instructions call for. Somehow I bumble to the right place and get Amy (USA) enabled.
But by now my phone battery is very low. So I hook up the phone to the USB interface of the car. No verbal instructions at all. Of course, it is sending the audio signal to the car's system. I turn that on and chose the AUX option. My device is not recognized. I disconnect the USB cable as we have charged enough I think to make it. Audio instructions are back. I'm driving all this time and trying not to kill us.
I want to make the audio louder. I hit what I think is an icon for that but instead get a screen that wants me to insert information for setting up my daily commute. And nothing I do is getting the screen to return to the map and the directions! Finally I somehow get it to return. I leave everything alone from this point on until we get to our destination.
Oh Mystic Pegasus Foal Spirit of Auto Rental, you will not catch me napping again.