Israel

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Boss
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Israel

Post by Boss » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:03 am

The following diary entries were carefully copied from my COLLINS 1 Day to a Page Sterling Diary 1993. They were written on the way to, and in, Israel. They are not great works of literature; but rather they are the desperation of a young man leaving behind all that was stable and loved to enter the unknown. I was 24. Most names have been changed.

Israel

Friday, the 27th of November, 1992

12.56 am Melbourne time. The plane is taxiing out of Tullamarine. I’ve said goodbye to the best people in my world. I haven’t cried. I will. Quite edgy going through customs – must ask questions at Rome. Goodbye Australia, I love you my home. Keep cool. The journey begins. 9.34 am Melb. time, 5.34 am Bangkok time – we begin the descent. I step onto another country for the first time. Emotions locked into their usual spot. That’s ok. Plane fine, I move on! 7.00 am B time – Your orange ball of fire in the sky. Oh Bangkok, what a planet! On the way to Roma!! 10.40 am Roma time – have just flown over Himalayas – the rooftop of the world. White valleys and peaks – so far from Australia. At times doubtful of all this, at times like a young child – every moment unfolds. 12.55 pm the descent to Rome begins not 24 hours since I said farewell in Melbourne. Apprehension and excitement walk hand in hand – Hello Europe!!

Saturday, the 28th of November, 1992

3.58 am Roma time – I’ve just woken in my hotel room of Eur Parco Pei Medici. Dinner last night was 2 doughnuts and a can of Pepsi – Lira 3800. I’ve slept for about 10 and a half hours and did I need it! This is so exciting. I can’t believe I’m here. When I was waking I really felt I was back home. Feel confident and well. Won’t forget me giggling walking around outside hotel yesterday, late afternoon – Yes I am here (airport was easy). 10.43 am Roma time – Sitting in the international lounge/waiting area. Next stop - Tel Aviv! What awaits – I don’t know? Fascinating array of people/languages. Thank you Italy. I will be back to discover you more intimately. Feeling strong, it’s been easy. Israel, the land of the Bible, I come to you. 12.06 RT- plane delayed 1 hour. Watching it all. Have been speaking with ex-Israeli from Hobart. Some contact. Sitting on plane – soon I’m off. Ciao Roma. 2.53 Israel time – I sit 35,000 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. A place where civilization began – from small boats to these huge metal birds that scream thru. the air – what a world! I still wonder whether that haze in Rome was pollution or fog – I presume pollution. I get closer to the place of Abraham, Moses. Jesus. To the place of Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and Begin. And it is me going there! The sounds of happy Italian and throaty Hebrew surround me. I am a spectator – enjoying. It seems English is everyone’s 2nd language – terrific. Apprehension about Ben Gurion – but quietly confident. Calm. 8.17 pm Israel time. I’m here. Passport/customs was easy. Hilda and Sarah met me right outside. We got lost on the way to Haifa. They are great – showing me about, helping me organize the kibbutz. I feel good, I feel Australian – I love my country! I also feel a little out, but strong. Stronger than I thought. It will take time to settle in. So I have my first night’s sleep in the land that has given rise to so much of our heritage. I feel Jewish – it’s odd. I am a Human.

Sunday, the 29th of November, 1992

9.26 am. Above seems a little mixed that’s ok, that’s how I am. Will be staying with Hilda for about 7-10 days. She’s nice. I really do want to learn Hebrew as I feel a little isolated – even listening to radio/news on TV. They have cable TV – around 40 stations. US, BBC, Russian etc! Gets on my nerves a bit. TV seems important here. Will have brekky, go for a walk, change some money, take some photos and then go for lunch (Arabic) with Hilda. Calm but pensive. Fiddling with gifts/things from Oz – it makes me feel good. 11.45 am. – Went for my first venture alone into Haifa/Israel. Nice city centre on Mount Carmel. Housing (flats) all pale stone. I wondered often – why do they beep their car horns so often? A ‘happy’ feel to it all. Will start to learn Hebrew now! - a challenge. 6.56 pm. Had a late lunch with Hilda at an Arabic restaurant/café then went shopping in Carmel centre supermarket/deli/pet shop. Very cosmopolitan – people everywhere shopping – out on streets – very unlike Melbourne’s supermarkets/gigantic suburban superstores. Busy, messy and terrific. Crazy but fun.

Monday, the 30th of November, 1992

11.47 am – I am sitting on a man-made rock jetty on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a clear blue day – the sun feels good on my back. I’ve walked from Hilda’s – about one and a half hours. Saw the B’hai shrine – it is beautiful but can’t we see that our shrine is this planet? Behind me is a military compound. Razor wire runs around the top of the fence. Military helicopters survey the coast (and Enya wails to me on my Walkman) and the slab of concrete with protruding rusty iron I sit on is the coast. They protect this – and plastic tyres, paper litter it. Oh beautiful blue Mediterranean you are the source of life – your gentle swaying, carefree order. Weapons and shrines are no, will never be a match. Your history extends through many millennia – many, many. Longer than men and women and their sad games. I hope we don’t kill you like the 20 year old Australian soldier from Brisbane whose grave lies in the Commonwealth graves area of Haifa. What did he care of weapons and shrines – only of laughing with mates and imagining lying with the neighbour’s daughter. And the sea crashes into sagging concrete walls. And a round of fire is heard – 20 year old Israelis practice killing Arabs.

Tuesday, the 1st of December, 1992

11.40 am – I am sitting on a wall on what I think is an old British fort overlooking Akko. Stone upon stone was laid to build this wall. It is inspiring – you can feel the quiet whisper of history. There are many Arabs – one young guy was really friendly. He came up to me saying, “Ostralian” – must be the Aussie aura. Later he gave me a ‘high five’ as we passed again. Felt great! The older guys (ticket collectors) aren’t as friendly. Met 2 poms – nice enough guys. We walked and chatted briefly. Feels great to be an Aussie. I feel so carefree about things. Akko is (the old city) fascinating. My role as a tourist is getting more bearable – it’s ok that people see me lost. In fact I’m proud. Should see Shaun today/tomorrow. Will now finish my roll and venture to the sandy sea. Ps. Why people pollute so much is beyond me. 12.28 pm – I have for the 1st time in my life been refused entry to a beach – In summer it costs!! Who owns a beach?

Wednesday, the 2nd of December, 1992

Shaun arrived last night. Hilda and I picked him up from bus station. It was great to see him. We went out and had Bulgarian. Today we chatted about Europe mainly. We talked all day – I learnt a lot. Briefly, we went to Carmel Central – had a falafel for dinner – beautiful. 4 Shekels. Aviv and Sarah came over – we talked about the state of Israel, war etc. Will watch a movie tonight. Spoke to Dad last night and Pete this morning – great to hear familiar voices. Miss them. Pete leaves on March the 20th – a while. I hope I last in Israel. I should. Then to Egypt, Europe and London. Must watch my cash. Just doin’ it!

Thursday, the 3rd of December, 1992

3.50 pm. In a street of Nazareth. I have just left the Basilica of the Anunciation. We (Shaun and I) followed German tourists. We all passed a lady sitting with a child asking for money. One lady gave her something. I had to stop after I passed – shit, I had just left a holy Christian place – what did that mean? Jesus, if your consciousness lives in a timeless place, we missed you. 6.20 pm. – I’ve now been out of Australia more than one week – what a spin. Can feel a cold coming on. Sore throat etc. Went to Tiberius before Nazareth. It sits on the Sea of Galilee. Quite ‘touristy’. Lots of new buildings. A beautiful view to the Golan Heights (I think!). Something special about the Sea and also something disappointing about the modernness of it. We stayed about 2 hours. Nazareth was very nice. We were in the Arab section and they were ok to me, they were the same as Israelis. This would be argued fiercely. Going thru’ money fast, must relax a little. Kibbutz Sunday/Monday. Central Station – 4 Scandinavian/German girls sat next to 2 Israeli army girls. Fair haired girlish giggles compared with olive complexion girls. Smile not so frequent. War/military is insane – maybe more than the purple-robed man I saw who thought he was Jesus in Nazareth.

Friday, the 4th of December, 1992

6.12 pm. Shaun left this morning to Tel Aviv to meet a friend from France. He will be in touch. I am going on Monday to get onto a kibbutz – will leave as early as possible. It is time. Had lunch with Aviv, Sarah and Hilda at home. Can’t help but notice an abruptness. Sometimes, quite rude. Did today for the 1st time feel quite homesick – just wondering about Jackie. Have a cold. Stayed in.

Saturday, the 5th of December, 1992

2.47 pm. Very blocked in sinuses – but woosiness is over. Went with Aviv and Sarah to Lebanese border on coast (Rosh Hanupa (?)). The colour of the Mediterranean was beautiful – like Shute Harbour. Army area not so. We drove over to the Golan Heights and into ‘occupied’ Syrian territory. The girls told me the Israeli version. Shrines have been erected to the fallen soldiers. I wondered of similar things in Syria – of the wounded children, wives and families. Weren’t they all pawns in their respective rulers’ chess game? We drove back to Haifa crossing the Jordan River (not very fancy) and coming close to the Sea of Galilee – Kinneret – Israel’s water source. We had Arabic food at a restaurant for lunch – I couldn’t taste it – then went home. Am missing home – the familiar things – like Jackie. These people cannot see that Arab, Jew and Christian are part of one unique family – that of Homo Sapiens – who have come so far, and fallen so behind. We are all the world. It is us.

Sunday, the 6th of December, 1992

Stayed home all day in an effort to shake this cold. Will go to Tel Aviv tomorrow morning and get onto a kibbutz. Slept, watched cable – took it easy. Will stay on kibbutz till March 20 when Pete comes. Plans to now anyway!

Monday, the 7th of December, 1992

I have arrived on my kibbutz – it is called Gadot. It is situated near the Lebanese border (I went there on Saturday). I went to Tel Aviv this morning (7.00 am) and arrived at about 9.00 am. I then carried my full pack to Allenby and then down. Buses drove by. Eventually, and achingly, I found Ha Yarkon Street, I crawled to 124, climbed to the third floor and knocked on No. 5. They gave me a choice of 2 kibbutzim in the north, I asked and they showed me one in the south. I chose the first one he showed me – Gadot. I then back tracked and caught a bus all the way from whence I came – and further. I was told to get off at the Mahanayim Junction. So, we get to a crossroad. 30 odd kilometres from Qiryat Shemona - I glance at the sign – no English. I try to read the Hebrew and make it out to be ‘Mahanayim’. I raced off the bus just in time – I was glad I’d been studying Hebrew. Anyway, I’ll be bunking down with a Kiwi named Dane and his sister, Julia. They are very cool. Will have a few drinks tonight. Work looks to be a variety – factory, field, kitchen ok.

Tuesday, the 8th of December, 1992

Had a hangover for first half of day. Result of piss-up last night. Was shown around kibbutz by Bruce then went for a walk – beaut day – around perimeter of kibbutz. Wrote 2 letters, 3 cards to Oz. Took it easy. Tomorrow – work!!

Wednesday, the 9th of December, 1992

4.05 pm.- I have finished my first day of work as a volunteer on Kibbutz Gadot. I worked in the kitchen/dining hall. Basically just cleaning dishes – putting them away, cleaning floors, seeing that everything is ok. Work with Dane first off which was handy ie) communication. The manager is a Yank (Frank). He seems cool. Worked 8 hours - am pretty tired now.

Thursday, the 10th of December, 1992

Another day in the dining hall – was ok. Lost the milk valve for hot milk (I didn’t really lose it – we think a dog stole it!!) Feel ok, but sad. It takes energy to live with new people, learn a job, mingle etc. I feel quite tired – I also started at 5 am, therefore up at 4.30 am. Miss Jackie, my family, mates, pets still so much – just the familiarity of you all. I get these visions occasionally of say Buster in the yard running – it’s painful. I’ll push on, you’re only a day or two away. Watched BBC at 8.00 pm – very sad world. What’s goin’ on? India, Britain, Somalia, Russia, Yemen – will it end? Will people question their parents?

Friday, the 11th of December, 1992

5.07 pm. – Work as normal today – started at 7. Getting the hang of it. Fun after work – played soccer/footy/rugby with Dane the Kiwi and Johann from Denmark. We actually played basketball and then mixed it all up. It was great. Dane and I have a friendly rivalry ie) Aust Vs NZ. Good fun. Tonight should be fun at the Miflat – partying on as tomorrow is Shabbat – a day off.

Saturday, the 12th of December, 1992

5.40 pm. - Jackie and I met 5 years ago today. I miss her and my life in Oz so much today. I got really drunk last night, got the guilts (as usual after drinking) today and have basically felt shit and sad. I had a sleep (1-3 pm) to get over my hangover. The strongest dream I’ve had for a long time happened. Jackie was on the phone talking to me half crying about how she’d have to leave the house as she couldn’t afford it. It was very powerful as I was on the other end feeling guilty and helpless. The volunteers somehow floated in and out of the dream in the background, I really don’t know how long I will last as the pull to home is so strong – I love my home, my dog, my cat, my suburb, my friends and Jack. I will see until X’mas – may move on. Played a game of basketball with the Garin (young Israelis here for 7 months instead of the first 7 in the army). Was fun but I felt really drained after – emotionally/physically. Had fun last night – in one instance there was Simon the Englishman, Dane the Kiwi, DT the French/Israeli, Johann the Dane and Adam the Aussie all sitting around and talking – a good experience. DT particularly has a very probing, knowledgeable sense about him. I’m nearly here a week – 12 days to X’mas then I’ll decide. Had a strong debate about nature Vs nurture with Dane and Julia – it was interesting at 5 am.

Sunday, the 13th of December, 1992

To be honest, today has been a stressful day. I’ve been envisaging ways to get home even. I’m tired and I’m not sure if I’m getting enough sleep for work which sometimes starts at 5 am. I was determined to take a long break for myself (from 1 – 6) and now feel better though still tense. I hope things settle down – I know Jackie and home are painfully in the back of my mind. I will be ok. Just coming down off a high, a big shock to my system. Will be sure to take it easy.

Monday, the 14th of December, 1992

Was much better today. Sat with Simon, Dane and Julia in Simon’s room after work. Bruce came for a bit. We spoke about good issues, laughed and drank vodka and Coke. I am missing all in Oz. Just someone to be near who I know so well. I miss Jack and home so much. Israel can become depressing even on a kibbutz. We are about 30 km from Lebanon - Syria borders, the front page of the Jerusalem Post (an English paper) speaks of death, terrorism and hate; and people only get excited about the action – no one really asks why it happens – “it’s natural – nature”. And silent agony continues.

Tuesday, the 15th of December, 1992

5.00 pm. – One of the Danish girls is going with a kibbutznik. For some reason he doesn’t like me. Maybe it’s my nervousness that I disguise with my character – don’t we all. Perhaps it’s my mad dancing to Led Zeppelin in the Miflat, Friday. I don’t know. Last night the Danish girls that are left (about 5) had a small tea party. Dane, Julia, Simon and me went in. I spose I sort of barged in although I did knock first. When the others came he said, “At least they knock,” then later quite blatantly said, “Now you see what I said about him.” We quickly left – I was shaken. So he don’t like me. I am nervous – but will not be involved in any violence. The only fight is against hatred – mine and others. What else can we do? Rained all day and was cold. A little tense – if it gets worse I will go – it’s my choice. I’m strong.

Wednesday, the 16th of December, 1992

Normal day at work – started at 4.45 am with only Dane. Set up – made porridge/semolina etc. Start tomorrow with Frank at 4.45 am. – am tired. Worried about Yossi again but spoke to Dane and Simon later – Simon saying it was similar for him when he started. Little relieved. After work walked down to Jordan River; it was raging – have had heavy rain for 2 days. Became really ‘at one’ with the water streaming over the rocks. Movie tonight, with Bruce and volunteers. Guilts again about things I say. I spose this will always be. Feel ok – but flat. Still missing Jack even as I write.

Thursday, the 17th of December, 1992

Went to Rosh Pinna with volunteers, Bruce and Yossi – all is ok – he came and sat next to us and we started talking. Relief. Saw Patriot Games – ok film. Had 1 beer at Miflat then went home (me, Simon, Dane) started at 4.45 with Frank – few stuff ups but was ok. I somehow don’t feel motivated to take initiative in case I make mistakes. Rang Australia to speak to Dad – didn’t have his new phone number therefore I rang Jackie as I was already onto operator. Glad to speak with her and hear Buster – sad ‘cos of money. Good to speak – life goes on a little more peacefully. The Garin are ok, the kibbutzniks very tense and territorial. Apparently they have to get to know you.

Friday, the 18th of December, 1992

Started at 7.00 am. Days seem to merge into days. Changed rooms this afternoon to the volunteer area proper. Will share with Simon and Dane. Have a cassette recorder! I was going to play basketball but it just started raining. Miflat tonight – will take it easy – sick of hangovers. A Turkish volunteer has come today and another next week – should be interesting. Chanukah starts today (I think) – celebrations will go on for 8 days. Feel a little manicky – but ok. At around 9.30 pm there was a fire in the new volunteer, Jaki’s room. Volunteers put it out. He lost 2 bags (clothes and bits and pieces). Nice Turkish guy. “There’s a fire in my room!” DT thought the kettle. We laughed so hard.

Sunday, the 20th of December, 1992

Very quiet day yesterday – Shabbat. Walked around, cleaned, went to Rosh Pinna with Simon. Watched 2 films at DT’s – Boy Scout and Dead Poet’s Society. Night before 3 am DT and I had a long talk – he was very drunk. Said some sad things under his usual comical/intellectual cover. He doesn’t belong here. Today I didn’t get up for 4.45 am. start. Frank rang at 5.05. I was there at 5.15. Takes a lot from me each time. Usual day at work. Got phone tokens and letters as usual. Will ring Hilda today and Dad tomorrow. Singing Christmas songs in my head. Chanukah celebrations kicked off last night with a fire display after the kids’ 30 km relay run from near Kiryat Shimona. Was a primitive sight – burning Hebrew words – spinning wheels – Star of David – nice. Tonight – celebration – doughnuts in auditorium. Will stay at Gadot over X’mas.

Monday, the 21st of December, 1992

2 weeks today at Gadot. This evening Chanukah celebrations continued. We saw the 1st part of a dance routine – a guy and a girl – it was ok. Before this 2 Turks (Jaki and Nissim – new vols), I Russian – Rubin, 1 Frenchman – DT, 1 Englishman – Simon, 2 Kiwis – Dane and Julia and me the Australian chatted, laughed and had a Goldstar beer. We were at peace singing John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace A Chance’. Exchanging languages – the 2 Turks and Rubin will teach me some Hebrew – something to do. The Turks did an Upan . Cold night. I’ve been sick. Will take a day off to get over the ‘runs’.

Wednesday, the 23rd of December, 1992

Went and saw A League of Their Own at Rosh Pinna – good film. Today have a sore throat, it rained, we decorated ‘The Twilight Zone’ (an old bomb shelter) in afternoon and night for Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow. 2 days before X’mas, I am in a bomb shelter only kms from Bethlehem, miles from the hostile Syrian and Lebanese borders making decorations with 2 Turks from Istanbul, 2 poms and 2 Danish girls. Who would have thought? Never in my imagination. DT this morning saddened me. He came racing in happy with his letter from his father – he beamed. Minutes later he was quiet. His dad wrote, “Follow God’s way – study”. He missed the point – DT was shattered and the world turns on. I’m ok in general. Got a letter from Dad and co. It was terrific. Miflat tonight.

Thursday, the 24th of December, 1992

Spoke to the kids’ teacher last night. She has hassles. Got home at 3 am. – worked from 7-3. At 3 turned on ‘Happy X’mas (War Is Over)’ and thought of home. In the kitchen with a group of strangers. It’s now 7.27 pm. and I’m about to have my dinner in this bomb shelter. It’s all set out, tree, lights and all – 15 of us to see in Christmas 1992. I feel pensive, sad, excited – I don’t know. Christmas is here and I feel lonely. This is so different. Cheers to all my loved friends and family in Australia. Happy Christmas and Happy Chanukah – especially to you, Bub!

Friday, the 25th of December, 1992

10.53 am. – Dad and co. rang at 10.00 am. (7 pm. in Oz). It was nice to hear their voices. Dad seemed a little worried – but that’s Dad. I love them. Looking forward to hearing from Mum. The meal/celebrations last night were fun. 15 people from all over the world. We sang, opened presents, laughed and argued. I was very tired and became irritable – that’s life. At a strange stage at the moment. New defences are in action. Living in a tight group of 4 or 5 you feel close, people shit you and all the while you want to be wanted and accepted while feeling pissed off (sometimes). I feel I will stick it out in Israel while I know my heart pines for Jackie and home.

Saturday, the 26th of December, 1992

We had a mad (as Simon would say) night last night. It was extremely crazy at our room playing drinking games and then at the Miflat until 3.00 am. No one was there. We danced like crazy. And danced and danced and danced. Sleep at 4 am. Woke at 9 am – am very tired right now. Dane (and everyone) was keen on a girl we nicknamed, George. She left with a kibbutznik. He went to her house, went inside and left a note on her bed! He was very drunk. They really are a great bunch of guys. Very gradually I feel a part of them. I will stop drinking after New Year’s. It’s a step I’ve wanted to take for a while. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps I won’t. As usual, missing home – Busty.

Sunday, the 27th of December, 1992

3.12 pm. Walked from 9.30 to 1.30 – half way to the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) along the Jordan River. Spectacular scenery, but very cold. Will go to Rosh Pinna with Simon this afternoon. May go to Tel Aviv New Year’s Eve – would meet Simon there. Money is what stands in the way. I’m just biding time at present. Had a terrible dream last night that Jackie had died. It was so very strong – I hope all is well. I feel empty – have for the past week. Not down, just lonely – I’m surrounded by good people. Home is on my mind - my dream can’t be mistaken.

Monday, the 28th of December, 1992

Today is extremely cold. The wind is so chilly – it comes straight from Mount Hermon. Worked a typical day – 7-3.30. Still feeling lonely. Planning a 3 day break at Hilda’s soon. Not much else to say. Just going on 3 cylinders, into a routine and biding time. 8.45 pm – spoke to Shaun. He leaves tomorrow for London and will be back in Oz next week.

Tuesday, the 29th of December, 1992

Usual day. I am starting tomorrow at 4.45 am on my own – should be ok. Will get a good description off Dane of what to do. Still debating Tel Aviv. Only 2 days and 8 hours left of 1992. Drew a picture of our back path and gate at home last night while listening to ‘The Mission’. I am so homesick for things like Buster’s chain, Jackie’s veggie patch, the gate. Drawing these things I nearly cried. Simon left this morning. He spoke to his ex last night for 2 hours. Perhaps it is all clearer. He seemed really hurt. He’s a real nice guy. I still think I’m wonder man – it’s so hard to see that others have insides too. I know I have so much work to do re. Mum and Dad and family, I just don’t want to face it. Nothing seems to want to come through. It is all so locked away without emotion. Time will tell. I’m but a man – no Adonis, Bogart, or Beatle – just me.

Wednesday, the 30th of December, 1992

6.13 pm - Started today at 4.45 am on my own. Accomplished everything ok. Noddy helped. Am feeling better today and have decided to stay at Gadot for New Year’s Eve. An Israeli volunteer came today. She’s a friend of the Garin and will be staying about 7 months. Spoke to Dane about traveling with Pete – got some ideas. May base ourselves around Gadot to see the northern parts of Israel. Listening to Led Zepp at present – reminds me of the boys at home. Oh, the times we had – will have. Ageing truly is the most painful realization that us humans have. I don’t want to get old and die – but I will. ‘Such is life’ said Ned.

Thursday, the 31st of December, 1992

5.09 pm – Happy New Year Australia. I envisage all are having a raging time right at this moment. My night begins soon (it’s just about dark – a new thing for me being used to summer and daylight saving). Normal work today, 7-3.15. then played soccer – rugby – right ball with Dane, DT, his brother, Rubin, the ‘new volunteer’ (she’s cool) and Julia – we had a ball. Tonight will be different. We’ll start by having drinking games in the ‘Twilight’, then to Frank’s briefly and then to the Miflat for the countdown to 1993. Dane’s just opened 2 beers (5.19 pm) – ‘hates’ a beer. I don’t really know what my resolutions are for ’93 – I guess over the years I’ve realised that we change ever so slowly. Then again I guess I do want to find some sort of definite direction ie) for the rest of my working life. I will eventually stick at something – this journey is the precursor (I hope). Anyway for the last time in ’92 – cheers. To you Jackie, Buster and Giz – I love you.

Friday, the 1st of January, 1993

I won’t write too much as I really am knackered. Last night was very crazy. I was so drunk. I found myself in a field near the silo, walked (in my shirt!) for about half an hour, ended up in a house and was then thrown out by a guy. Danced a lot, counted etc., etc. I got to sleep at around 3.30-4 am and felt very ordinary today. Did very little but received a letter from Pete – it was great to hear from him. Will write back. The boys are going to drink again tonight – DT has arrived to play drinking games – Whiz Bang Bang, Rusty the Alsatian, Pelican. This group is really tight. It really is. As Simon and I keep saying - it’s like Summer Camp. We laugh, joke, drink, talk about so much. I have set aside this year for travel – we’ll see. It is a long year ahead. Funny, but I’ll miss these guys – you become so close. The journey enters 1993, I feel strong but still miss home. Pete in 78 days – not too long to wait. Money situation is as it was at the end of November – a real bonus of kibbutz life. Welcome ’93, here I come. 9.20 pm – The peer pressure is incredibly persuasive for me to drink – my will will prevail – I hope!!

Saturday, the 2nd of January, 1993

Had an interrupted sleep (from 1-7.30/8) as Dane was quite drunk - maybe extremely. Julia, Vivian, myself and a kibbutznik named Tim went sight seeing – Old Rosh Pinna, a Druze village, Tiberius, the three churches – the Beatitudes, Peter (?) and the Fish and Loaves. He also took us to a ‘Pleasure Dome’ where caliphs from Damascus built a winter getaway near Kinneret – fascinating the old buildings. Will never forget when Tim kicked the sand away revealing tiny coloured tiles. We had an interesting talk about Arab/Israeli situation and we also talked about psychology. He is a learned man with wide views. It was good. Am still so tired and need a good night’s sleep. 8.55 pm – On Nov. 27 I wrote that I hadn’t cried about leaving loved ones – I said I would – I did tonight.

Sunday, the 3rd of January, 1993

Usual work day – but then again only 3 of us after 12.30 pm. We knocked off around 3.40 then went up and played soccer – Garin Vs. kibbutzniks. I was with Garin (Rubin too) while Dane was with kibbutzniks. Was great fun. I played goalie last 40 minutes and made some good saves including one penalty. Will play again.

Monday, the 4th of January, 1993

The days roll on! Started at 4.45 with Dane – no hassles. Usual day. 2 English guys arrived today. Also a Mexican. The mood obviously has changed. Next weekend it seems we’ll hire a car and do some traveling – Masada etc. Simon and DT may join Julia, Dane and me. Should have a ball. Watched ‘Twin Peaks’ parts 1 and 2 at DT’s this evening. Feeling high but in control.

Tuesday, the 5th of January, 1993

Started at 7 – got about 6 and a half hours sleep. Received a card from Ken yesterday and last night wrote a letter back. Hopefully will write a couple of letters tonight. Once again played soccer – but this time against Garin. Played goalie half of the time. I’m feeling strong and clear. It seems life is opening up – it is good to have my own space – to feel me. And of course the paradox is me missing Jack and home. You can’t have both but having one is always going to be painful. More settled than yesterday. Cruisin’ for something.

Wednesday, the 6th of January, 1993

10.15 pm – drunk – playing Rusty etc. Old Bastard etc. Now, play on. Fire today! Tourists. Feeling ok.

Thursday, the 7th of January, 1993

Life never ends

I wrote no more entries in Israel. I left the country on the 14th of January, 1993 and went to Europe. I landed back in Australia on the 1st of May, 1993. Whilst on the kibbutz, a lovely kibbutznik lady taped the ‘new’ Leonard Cohen album – ‘The Future’ – she thought I may like it. I last kissed Jackie late at night at the airport - the 26th of November, 1992.
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Byron
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Location: Mad House, Eating Tablets, Cereals, Jam, Marmalade and HONEY, with Albert

Re: Israel

Post by Byron » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:16 pm

Well, what can one say ? ( Rhetorical )
Gripping, informative, truth in a basket, innocence in turmoil.
We stood atop Masada a few years ago. A short time before the intafada (spl ? ) began.
We stooped to enter and exit the church that contains the 'birthplace in a manger.'
We stooped to enter and exit the cave where He 'rose after 3 days.'
We watched the prayers on paper being placed in 'The Wall.'
We were in awe of the history and violence visited on such a small piece of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.
We emerged from a slice of rock to stand before the ancient Petra.
We swam in the Red Sea.
We have memories.

Thank you for awakening our memories as you shared yours with us.
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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