Ever seen a magician put a woman in a box and make her disappear with a few waves of a wand?
Sure, it's an impressive illusion. But have you ever seen women make everything in a 3 bedroom apartment disappear, while taking final exams, while fixing up a car with next to 0 mechanic skills, while working full-time, while planning a kickass fundraising event with Wine on the Vine, while getting everything ready for a multi-month trip? That's real magic.
I'll save you the speculation on this one: there's no trick door, no optical illusion. Just hard work, determination, some tears, a little bit of magic, and A LOT of wine.
Unfortunately for us, Murphy's Law seems to just as determined as we are. For every sold bedside table, there was an entire unsold bedroom. For every fixed brake pad, there's a complete failure of the A/C system. And for every celebrated moment, there's a pull-our-hair-out ulcer-inducing time-sensitive crisis.
What we accomplished in the last 30ish days alone is the most believably-unbelievable illusion I've yet to witness.
For starters, when we got the car, everything seemed to be sunshine and roses. First off, the weight and stress of purchasing a somewhat drivable car before the deadline was lifted. Second, it was a cute car and we seemed like the roof rack was installed with ease. Lastly, we were just excited to have access to a car for all the errands we had to run around the country.
Flash forward all but a week, and we realized that:
The roof rack was installed in a way that kept all the doors open a crack, to the point where if the doors weren't closed with an exact calculated amount of force, precision, and prayer, they wouldn't close at all. And to make matters worse, since the doors were constantly just a touch open, driving on the highway sounded like driving through a wind tunnel, which meant that it was impossible to hear anything else in the car, like the radio, which brings me to our next point...
The radio worked sporadically. As in it would decide when it wanted to be turned on or off. As in driving a 750km return roadtrip to Eilat and back with no music, only the sweet sweet howl of the wind through the slightly-open doors.
No music is annoying, but bearable. It's disappointing, since tunes are one of the best part of a roadtrip, however, it's not as necessary as something like let's say, AIR CONDITIONING. Which, of course, if we abide by good ol' Murphy and his law, also didn't work after week one. Do you know what it feels like to drive through a desert country with an A/C system that blows hot air in your face? I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Luckily, things stopped going wrong for one split second as we got in touch with the folks at the Grutarally. What is the Grutarally? I'm glad you asked.
The Grutarally organizes off-roading rallies across Israel. They have a rally almost every month, with a big one that goes from the top of the country to the very bottom, all in a turd-bucket of a car. Interestingly enough, the Grutarally was started by 2 Israeli Mongol Rally rejects who discovered they couldn't participate in the Mongol Rally due to visa issues with the Israeli army. One broken dream later, they decided to establish their own rally in our tiny, beautiful country. The rules are slightly different than the Mongol Rally, but at its core, it's still driving a junkyard-worthy car on roads that have no business being driven on. On top of that, they have their own pretty amazing charity: The Paragrutarally. They raise money to build small-scale rally cars for kids with special needs and then assist them in racing around a controlled race course. Pretty neat, right?
Anyways, the point of mentioning the Grutarally is that they helped us IMMENSELY by connecting us with their mechanic, Chaim, who helped us discover that there were so many more things wrong with our car. Every Friday for almost a month, we went to Chaim and tried our best to help out with repairs on our car (which more often than not, meant just staying the hell out of his way). He helped us fix a whole smorgasbord of car issues, and also installed a badass sump guard. He also helped us buy a junked version of our Fiat Panda, which we used for spare tires, parts, and get this, to replace our broken A/C system! Can I get a HELL YEAH?
After almost a month of our girl living at Chaim's garage on a beautiful Kibbutz near Zichron Yaakov, it was time to pick her up and prep her for her arduous journey to Greece. However, with less than a week between picking her up and leaving the country, we had a few loose ends to tie up, such as driving around the entire country in one day to drop off our packed belongings at relatives houses, attempting to make the radio work again with little success, and a last-minute Power of Attorney crisis that NEARLY put an end to everything (bullet dodged, phew).
Needless to say that after each one of us moved completely out of our apartments in LA and Tel Aviv, wrapped up our time at jobs and at university, and tried not to kill each other (with very minimal success), we are very much deserving of some R&R time. For the next few weeks, Adina and Racheli will be leisurely driving our car through the Balkans to get to the starting line in Prague (by "leisurely" we mean already breaking down, of course). In the meantime, I'm in Canada brushing up on my rusty French and getting myself reacquainted with Montreal bagels and the horror that is summer construction in this city.
With all this balagan happening before the rally has even begun, we cannot WAIT to see what mayhem awaits us as we attempt to drive nearly halfway across the globe. Should make for a good laugh, right?
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