Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Story of my life

February 1982, I was 21 and had already started a little business of my own. My parents were just gone for a 3-week holiday when I fell in love. Too bad my princess to be had already decided to go to Israel for a year and her departure was scheduled within a week.

I brought her to the airport and every day we wrote love letters to each other. Then, while my parents were still on holiday, she wrote me a letter that she missed me so much and asked me if I wanted to join her. Within two days I gave up my business and booked a flight to Israel. When I picked up my parents at the airport from their holiday, I told them I would leave for at least a year. About a week after I received the "please join me" letter I was on my way to the love of my life.

She picked me up from the airport and told me that although she found it hard to say, she had fallen in love with another boy and that now she just wanted to stay good friends with me. Before we would go to her kibbutz we had to stay overnight in a hotel and there we made love. This helped me softening the pain a bit, not the sex but the idea that she wasn’t really the one for me, already cheating on her latest boyfriend. I can’t say I had a nice first week. To be close to her I stayed in a kibbutz near hers in the north and there it took me a week to decide that I might as well make the best out of it. One reason I didn’t turn back home immediately was that among my friends there were bets how soon I would be back and I didn’t want to loose my face (at least not immediately).

In my kibbutz I met two girls and a boy who were planning to go to Eilat (in the south) and try to find a job there. I joined them and we went hitchhiking. My companions had backpacks while I just had a broken suitcase without handle and held together by a belt (after all, the initial plan was to stay for one year at one place). Our first stop was Tel Aviv. It hadn’t rain for years in March but when we arrived it was pouring. So we slept on our bags in the shower cabins at the beach where in the morning the cleaning squad use big water hoses through the opening under the doors to clean the cabins without looking if there is someone in.

Next stop was Jerusalem, where we tried to make some money by singing on the street but there weren’t any culture lovers among the passers-by. We stayed there for a week with the father of one of my companions who was a professor of something and then we hitchhiked to the south. It was evening when we got lucky finding a truck where we could sit in the open back on our journey through the desert. In the middle of the desert the truck stopped and the driver told us that we had to get off because he would go in another direction from there. So there we were in the middle of the night in the middle of the desert. We gathered some burnable stuff and made a little bonfire. It didn't last long enough till we got ourselves another lift to the south.

One of the girls had said that she knew a guy with a boat in Eilat and that we could stay on it. We found the boat but not the owner and we slept there for a few nights. Then the police came and told us that the owner didn’t know about us and that if we wouldn’t leave the boat immediately they would take our luggage and blow it up; not a real difficult choice. In the mean time I only had some $5 left in my pocket as I hadn’t bring any money with me (after all, the initial plan was to stay for one year and to live of love). To celebrate my last money I took one of the girls with me to a bar where I bought us two cups of coffee. I came into a chat with the owner of the bar and he asked me if I ever had worked in a bar before. With a poker face I lied to him that such was just the thing I use to do when I was a student. So he hired me and I worked there for a month. Eating we would do in the bar and sleeping on the beach. After that month I had saved a little money and felt that I should stay in a kibbutz for a few months and then making a trip through Europe.

I stayed for several months in a kibbutz and enjoyed all the things good parents warn you for. Then with a new companion, an English guy, I took the boat to Athens, third class, sleeping on the deck. We stayed some time in Athens, Greece sleeping in the bushes under the Acropolis and made a little money washing dishes in restaurants and then we took the boat to Crete. On Crete, in Chania, I shared a cave with two Danish girls I had met there on the beach while my companion was with a friend of his he knew from before. The sunrises were beautiful, shining a golden light into the cave. We stayed there for a couple of weeks and then the four of us went to the little city Paleachora at the other side of the island where we made little tents on the beach of washed up bamboo and plastics. The farmers there allowed us to pick cucumbers and tomatoes for as much as we wanted to eat. The nights there where beautiful, looking at the many fallen stars that we could see.

We went back to Athens and there we took the Magic Bus to Venice, Italy. When we arrived, it was a Sunday evening in August, there was a huge firework going on. That night we slept at a dry San Marco place. We stayed for some time in Venice and from there we hitchhiked to La Manga in the south of Spain. The parents of my companion had a house there but since they weren’t there yet and because he didn’t have the keys we slept at the place of a girl we met there. She was a Spanish beauty with long auburn hair and big brown eyes and I vividly remember the night when she took me to a shabby local disco bar somewhere in the middle of nowhere filled with long-haired hippy-style locals playing air-guitar to Jimi Hendrix’ music. This disco was close to the beach and after some dancing she asked me for a walk under the moon over the beach. When we were walking the beach it was loaded with couples making out stimulating my visions of the nice time we were going to have. We sat down and I tried to cuddle a bit when she reached for her wallet for what I thought would be a condom but it was a picture instead. She started talking about the guy on the picture, some Guru Maharaja and what a beautiful person that was and that she really thought that I should learn more about him. Although it was not really the fulfillment of the visions I had some moments before, I did see the humor of it as a story to be told later.

Anyway... the parents of my companion arrived and we stayed another couple of weeks. From there we hitchhiked to Frankfurt, Germany where I knew a girl that I had met in the kibbutz. The first night in Frankfurt, it was freezing cold, we slept outside a stadium. We stayed in Frankfurt a few days and then we moved on to Holland to pick up my car that I had stalled with a friend of mine. We stayed with my parents for about a week and then drove with my car to England to visit some more friends we had met during our trip. Then from England I drove home alone and before I started to pick up my business again, I drove back to Frankfurt to visit the same girl. The first night we went to a drive-in movie. We sat really comfortable and I had my usual hormones driven visions again. Then she looked me deep in the eyes, told me that what she felt for me was really special and that I was as the brother to her she never had...

I have worked ever since.

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