I’ve now spent two weeks and one birthday in Israel. A country many people only know from the news – news from which, of course, only a very skewed reflection of reality is created.
Reality finds me in a beautiful and, up to now, quiet country where hitchhiking is even more common and easy than I thought (to make travelling easier road signs are tri-lingual: Hebrew, Arabic and English).
Good people are plentiful as always, banana fruit is ripening in the banana plantations, dry mountains are now green because it’s winter (it’s now cold enough for things to grow), the days are short but hot, and sometimes leave me wishing for an ice-cream shop and here and there a date-palm offers an oppurtunity to sample some fresh dates. I now find myself staying with Itamar in Degania Aleph, the first kibbutz (1910) of Israel – although almost everything of the original kibbutz structure has disintegrated now.
My birthday on Friday the 17th (which was somewhat extra special as it happened to be on Sabbath) was spent in the woods – new friends sang well wishes in Hebrew, I sat at the campfire listening to Simon & Garfunkel songs and there was also some amazingly good weather involved. (I think I’ll be subscribing to this to-hot-for-a-t-shirt weather in the middle of November!)
Many thanks for all the good wishes from those who suprisingly enough remembered my birthday! Hopefully there will be a good opportunity for a real party ;-)