Monday, November 19, 2001

One very obvious thing about Israel that both I and the supposedly devoted to his girlfriend Simon have noticed is the very very attractive girls. If the Jews have contributed one thing to Earth, other than my own personal amusement at mimicry by going "Oi oi oi", it's a substantial number of really very good-looking girls. Enhancing their looks is the fact that a large of number of them are serving in the military and so march about in a quite fetching uniform. But the clincher, the single thing that might just lift them aboe Croatian girls in the looks stage, is the gun. Oh yeah. Before Israel I'd never appreciated the appeal of girls and guns, but it works. Especially when the gun is longer than your arm.

I phoned home for just the second time since I've been away, and mentioned all this to my sister, and she called me a pervert.

Regardless, the appeal of Israeli girls with guns inspired me to write a poem the other day. I'm not usually one for poetry, but I have every confidence this poem will win me many prizes. It's called "Female Soldier With A Gun".

Female soldier with a gun
Jesus Christ you turn me on
With your semi-automatic
You little Jewish princess

Female soldier with a gun
Defending Jerusalem
Raise your arms - you're patriotic!
As the Palestinian flinches

This last verse is currently optional.

Female solider with a gun
Please come to Aberdeen
I will feed you gin and tonic
And let you feel my inches

I think I'll send it to the head of Israeli security and see if it can be made the song for the Forces. A rallying call for the Israeli army.

Ok, aside from marvellous poetry (incidentally, proving conclusively that my journey has been one of culture and discovery, and not just me getting drunk cheaply), I suppose a fair few things have happened since my last entry. From Tel-Aviv we went to Haifa, then to a town called Akko, and now we find ourselves in the capital city of religion - Jerusalem.

Also, the capital city of curly sideburns. I tell you, these Jews sure know how to grow sideburns. I call them UltraJews, the ones with these cascade curls of sideburns and big black hats, and long dark jackets. Like slightly odd hitmen. They usually have beards too. Mullets have been very thin on the ground here, but in a way I feel the long curly sideburns are almost a Jewish equivalent. They have a definite charm.

One day I hope to see an UltraJew with a mullet. I honestly cannot forsee my heart coping with such a sight.

Right then. Our final night in Tel-Aviv was spent purchasing a pint for 3 pounds 50, running away from that place and into a supermarket, and buying two bottles of cheap wine. We had no choice but to drink both of them that night, although the second did take some effort. Simon maintains it was nice, but it was like strong Vimto.

We cleared off to Haifa the next morning, feeling a little rough but I've felt worse. Simon felt worse actually, which made me feel better. We've both had colds over the last few days. Mine started in Marmaris and is effectively gone now, but Simon's is a few days behind and so I'm getting the joys of his thrice daily nose-blowing harmonies converted into a 24 hour daily symphony of nose blowing. Is it just one hankie he uses?

After our first hostel being closed due to the imminent arrival of 50 kids, we found ourselves in a new and pleasant hostel called The Port Inn. Clean, good facilities, satellite TV, friendly staff. Let down only by the vague smell of sewage that mysteriously persisted in our room, and the fruitloopity of the guests we were sharing with. There were 6 I was aware of. One was just a guy I saw briefly and he seemed alright. Another was just a podgy man with a thick goattee. One guy was either asleep at a random time in the day, or simply not about at all. On his bed was a Russian computer programming book. The most infuriating guy was an Israeli guy who spoke a few sentence to us and otherwise insisted on playing three awful songs loudly in the main communal room. On repeat. Just these three songs. I don't know what they were but one sounded like Freddie Mercury with OMD backing him - but much much worse. It was a dreadful song. He slept quite a lot too. Then there were two girls/women we were forced to have breakfast with. One was a monosyllabic German girl working on a kibbutz, and the other was some ghastly Canadian women called Alex who was far far far far too spiritual and soul-searching for her or anyone's good. Oh man, she was fascinated with herself, and seemed to be involved in some very self-involved artistic projects. She had some story about seeing a koala teddy bear and then later on meeting an Australian, and equated this with destiny. She talked a lot, and finally she needed some "personal space".

Haifi turned out to be a most charming town. Same size as Aberdeen but more obvioiusly attractive. Aberdeen isn't the mostly classically of beautiful cities, though it does have a grey appeal. But Haifa was stretched up a steep hill which gave a great view of the curving coastline, and its buildings seemed bright and happy. It had some Temple of Bah'ia'i'a''i'a'a'''' too, with 18 gardens, all lined up vertically up the steep hill, and perfectly symmetrical, that was very attractive.

We phoned Zahi that evening and he called by the hostel and took us out. First was a failed attempt to get into a club in some kibbutz far out of town. On the way we were stopped by police and searched for drugs. And it was a pretty thorough search too. I mean, as if I look like a hard-drugs user. The club turned out to be a bit of a no-go. After queueing continental style, we made it to the front just as people were stopped being admitted, unless they were attractive and female. However, as the music being blasted was "Sex Bomb" by the Welshman Tom Jones, I don't think I missed too much. We ended up at a pub near the hostel, which was really quite good, except the prices. Israel is even more expensive than Britain for alcohol. We stayed there till about half 3, after Zahi got kissed on the cheek by a guy who'd lost a game of darts and not long after, a girl on the lips who'd also lost. There were two more girls in the same group, so Zahi really should have held out for more.

Second day in Haifa was mostly just wandering about the city really, and later for a couple of drinks with Zahi, but it was a fairly early night for both. An early rise the next day and onto the town of Akko, a town older than Jerusalem. We stayed in a hostel which was a converted mansion, but as we were the only people we had the run of it. And now we're in Jerusalem. I'm getting tired of writing as you may have guessed. Jerusalem's alright so far. It's one of these places I was brought up knowing about as a kind of myth so maybe it needs more time to sink in.

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