A Yekke – an uptight Jew of German descent – decides to take the train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He books his trip weeks in advance and tells the travel agent, "There's only one thing I care about. I should be facing the same direction as the train is moving."
On the day of the trip, he arrives at the station an hour before departure. But when he boards the train, he is dismayed to find that his seat is facing in the wrong direction – toward the back of the train.
As soon as he gets to Jerusalem, he calls his travel agent to complain. The agent apologizes several times, and says, "Why didn't you ask the person sitting opposite you if he'd be willing to switch seats?"
"I would have," said the Yekke, "but I was out of luck. The seat opposite mine was empty."