Apparently, Israeli musicians do not like being charged extra for carrying large musical instruments on buses. Fair enough. The analogy drawn between the instruments and large duffel bags–for which there is no charge on top of the standard ticket fare–is valid. The fare disparity between carrying musical instruments and other luggage seems like a fair cause for complaint. What is Egged’s response? The policy is in compliance with the regulations issued by the Ministry of Transportation.
The fact that the government has direct oversight over these issues is part a problem, but that is another story. My real qualm here is with another analogy drawn by a cellist interviewed for the Ynet article (Hebrew). After a laughable attempt at analogizing a cello to a laptop, the cellist proffered an infuriating justification: “[B]ut it’s absurd that we’re paying double for [the cello] . . . we put it in the aisle anyway, and it doesn’t bother anyone.” (emphasis added)
Doesn’t bother anyone? Excuse me? A loud minority of Israelis who use mass transit, ruin the already-unpleasant experience–and bother everyone. Placing large items in the middle of aisles on buses is just one example of this behavior. (I wonder what the Ministry regulations are on blocking exit routes on buses.)
The rush to board the bus (or train), as if it were a matter of life and death, is yet another example of this unpleasant behavior. Never mind the elderly, and other who are unable to compete with 20-year olds (or with 40-year olds, for that matter). The vigor displayed only moments earlier, in the fight to board–is nowhere to be found when an 80-year old lady is left with nowhere to sit. Suddenly everyone is too tired, and the octogenarian may not find a seat at all. Maybe they’re just worn out from overcoming the competition, striving for their entitled place on the bus…
Similarly, idiots playing loud “music” on cell phones, asserting a “right” to do so when to turn off the offensive noises (although annoyingly playing with your ringtones can be an effective counter).
So, no, cellists should not be placed at a disadvantage. They should be treated the same as the musically-challenged (and those who prefer the clarinet or the flute). But the cellist quoted above will gain no sympathy by saying it’s just like another dismal act. And adding insult to injury, he then presumes to speak on behalf of the injured, by claiming that it bothers no one. It bothers many, which he might have noticed if he weren’t too busy asserting his “rights.”