We spent part of our vacation in Rosh Pina this month. We don’t own a car and neither of us has a driver’s license, but we manage with buses and taxis. The driver who took us from the intersection of Yesud haMaalah to Rosh Pina was a good driver and we took his card. When I got out of the car, I noticed that “Shulik’s taxi” was painted on the outside of the car, a somewhat unusual occurrence.
While we were walking up one of Rosh Pina’s main streets, I stopped to photographed this amazing garage. It was covered with farm tools, pieces of cars, and rusty bits of machinery. In fact, the yard was full of funky and whimsical mechanical sculptures. Then I noticed that “Shulik’s taxi” was parked in front.
We called him to order a taxi to the Hula nature reserve. When he heard that we were right outside his house, he invited us inside.
His house was filled with beautifully arranged collections of old objects — bins of carved walking sticks and canes in the living room, a long shelf of Turkish coffee pots over the doorway, oil lamps in the dining room, and Russian spoons and dolls in a corner. I was impressed by not only the size and quality of the collections but the artistry with which they were arranged. Considering how much stuff he’d accumulated, his house didn’t feel cluttered.
Shulik (Abshalom) Shamai is 76 years old and a second generation Rosh Pina native. When he’s not driving a taxi, he collects things. He looks exactly like the picture on his card, even down to the buttoned shirt, shorts, and sandals! I didn’t ask him to pose in the photo. I only noticed the similarity later when I photographed his card.
Old cash register in the front yard:
Interior view of porch with a collection of ships’ bells. He rang one, which he claimed was from the Altalena.
Outside view of his porch, showing the striking mechanism of the tubular bells.