Mark made sure El Jefe and I had all of our belongings packed before we went to bed. We’d be catching the Paper Taxi by 6AM, and he didn’t want us to be late. Mark made a call to confirm the reservation, and we were set to go. All that was left to do now was walk down to the fried chicken place and grab a late snack before heading to bed. (Warning: If you want fried chicken in Jerusalem in a timely fashion, do not call in your order ahead of time. The only thing that assures on-time chicken is if you are a regular customer and a taxi driver. This was evident as we watched literally dozens of men walk in, order, and receive their meals before ours was prepared.)
Waking up on time for the taxi was not an issue, having an excellent alarm clock in the form of the PA system used for the Islamic call to prayer. We grabbed our bags, headed out into the still-dark city, and waited by the curb for our ride. Not having any idea what a Paper Taxi looks like, I assumed that any vehicle coming our way could be it. The Paper Taxi, is not a car created out of Mache, but simply the van used to courier a newspaper, printed in Jerusalem, up to its distribution point in Nazareth. While we could have taken a bus or hired a shiroot (whether it be Shen’s or not), the Paper Taxi was certainly the cheapest route.
The driver arrived right on time, pulled up to the curb and opened the rear doors of the van to place our bags inside. He had a massive space to choose from since his cargo consisted of only one bundle of newspapers placed in the middle of the floor. I looked at that bundle and questioned the worth of driving a van 100 miles through the desert to deliver one bundle of papers; however, I kept that judgment to myself. Read more