Forced to spend another day spinning around Jerusalem waiting for the Jews to let everyone else resume their normal lives. As a protest against religious oppression I watched TV, listened to the radio, used a phone, used the internet, left the house, ate, drank and tried to get laid (failed of course) before the sun set. I’m all for organised religion and other relatively harmless forms of brainwashing for the gullible and weak willed but I really object when it starts to have a negative impact on other peoples lives and especially my life.
Have decided to catch a taxi to Tel Aviv when it is totally dark and the locals have decided to play nice.
SO MUCH FOR ORIGINALITY
A couple of years ago I had the idea of packaging up coffee, sugar and coffee whitener in one container. It would be great for backpackers etc. Well in a couple of weeks back I found out that some Syrian outfit is already doing it. One week later in Beirut I discovered that Nescafe are also doing it. It goes to show that no matter how smart you are or how good your ideas are that someone somewhere will already have thought of anything you will ever come up with. In the words of Bart Simpson “Can’t win. Don’t try.
DAY 79 (CONTINUED)- ESCAPE FROM JERUSELAM
I missed saying goodbye to rob the American which is a pity because I wanted to confront him about being a spy for the CIA. Now that I think back on our time together I realise their where several obvious clues.
- Rob was average looking, average height etc and you would never suspect him of anything. Least of all spying.
- He said when he was young he was an athlete and was well coordinated. Just like a good spy would need to be.
- He was detained ‘for no particular reason’ for 45 minutes at the Joranian/Israeli border.
- About his job he said “I worked as a writer of technical books for Microsoft on a suite of packages called Microsoft Office” and asked “had I heard of it?” Nobody who really worked in the IT sector would ever be so dumb as to ask another IT guy if he had heard of Microsoft Office. Sounds like a dodgy cover if you ask me.
- He knew an amazing amount of detail about the Israel/Palestine problem. Just like a spy would need to know.
- He said had been traveling for two years (of three) to explain his packed passport. But the stamps and visas could easily have been from carrying out various ‘assignments’ around the world.
- He took loads of photos. Not too suspect in itself but when considered with the other facts it seems very suspect.
It’s probably for the best that I didn’t get a chance to let on that I was on to him as I don’t know what the standard operating procedure for a blown cover is and I think he would have been quite upset if he had to ‘erase’ me. Also he was probably pretty busy making drops, tailing people, mixing up batches of invisible ink, decoding secret messages and other spy stuff. Right now he’s probably making a small gun out of his toothbrush and shaving foam canister so he can ‘put a cap in’ Sharon or Arafat’s arse if they don’t hurry the fuck up with the peace process.
I eventually got a service taxi out of Jerusalem around 6pm when the sun was well and truly behind the horizon. Got in to Tel Aviv around 8pm and booked into the cheapest place in town. Which worked out to be my most expensive yet. On the up side the room comes with it’s own shower and toilet facilities. On the down side I have to share it with 7 sweaty (and stinky) blokes from around the world.
Its much hotter here than Jerusalem. For the last couple of nights in Jerusalem I have had to use my sleeping bag to keep warm (first time I have experienced ‘cold’ since Mt Sinai). I didn’t really give it a second thought and figured that summer is drawing to an end. My sweat glands have helped me realise that the hot weather is far from over and that Jerusalem must be at altitude or something.
I can tell that Israel is a big step closer to the western world because the porn has reappeared on the top shelf in the newsagents. An odd thing about Tel Aviv is the number of pet dogs they have here. It’s like no other city I have seen in the last 79 days. You can come up with your own theories for why this might be. I’m tired of doing all the thinking.
The women here in Israel are very nice indeed. I mean they are not Beirut nice but it’s not entirely unpleasant walking the streets. The important thing to remember in Israel though is that all of the women have been in the army and they all know how to kill you with a single punch. Definitely something to keep in mind.
There are a number of shops here in Tel Aviv that look like they have closed recently. A year of Intifada (the Palestine uprising) is obviously costing the Israeli economy dearly. The remaining tourist here at the moment fall into a small number of categories. the diehard tourists like me who came a long way to get here and didn’t want to go home without seeing the sights. The mentallly unwell who are here for their own reasons and who will probably stay until they get in trouble and are sent home. The young and dumb who think Israel is a great place to live and work at the moment. And the down on their luck. There a quite a few of these last two groups. People who live from day to day and work illegally for a fraction of what the Israelis earn. There’s loads of shitty under the table work for the tourists at the moment. Partly because there are so few tourists to do all the work and partly because the Palestinians are all locked up in the occupied territories.
The other main group that you see here is South Africans. Many of the Saffas use Israel to put together enough cash to get their English working visa. The other main advantage for the Saffas is that Israel acts like a halfway house for them so that they don’t have to go cold-turkey on street violence i.e. they don’t go from a situation where they are likely to get shot at every day (South Africa) to a situation where they are very unlikely to get shot at all (London).
Found out about a kibitz here that has a ratio of five girls to every guy. Apparently they Danish and Finish girls there used to have a competition to see that could ‘score’ any new boys first. That was until their respective embassies advised them all to leave. I got this information first hand from a Saffa guy called Andrew who lived there with his girlfriend. He described being there with his girlfriend was like taking a sandwich to a restaurant. Like everything in life, this information is for sale for the right price. All serious bids can be sent to my email address.