I’ve lived in Israel on and off in periods, totally around 7,5 years. The winter 1965-1966 I spent at Kibbutz Ulpan Hagoshrim in Northern Galilee and learned to speak, read and write hebrew for six months, at the same time working half-time at the kibbutz, most of the time in the fields.
I sometimes wonder how life turned out for all those people I knew then. I know Dany (Daniel Elkouby, my then boyfriend) became a policeman, at first in Tel Aviv, later in Haifa. Leon (Leon Ergaz) and I shared a rented furnished flat for a year a couple of years later in Tel Aviv and it it was through him I got to know Tedy (Tedy Knitel, born in Romania). Leon later emigrated to the U.S. and has been impossible to find since. Heard he worked with installing wall.to.wall carpets. I know Jaqueline (from Morocco) moved to Haifa and started a family. Michael (Mickey, from Turkey) became a military trainer of dogs for the military and lives in the Tel Aviv area. We kept in contact for a couple of years. Alan moved back to London and we kept contact for some years, but later lost it.
Kibbutz Hagoshrim doesn’t look like this nowadays and neither does the border to Lebanon…Here are some pictures from 1965-1966.
The border to Lebanon from the Israeli side. Not very sophisticated at that time…
3 turkish guys gathered around the heater in the classroom.
Alan Newman, artist from the U.K.
Dany (Daniel Elkouby) and me. He was my boyfriend for a couple of years.
Kiryat Shmona seen from above the mountain.
4 guys from Turkey in my Ulpan group.
The barrack we spent the winter in.
Washing line outside the girls house where I lived.
Ken and Alan, both from the U.K.
David from USA, Alan from the U.K. and Michael from Turkey.
Elihau Katan our teacher. Yes, smaking in the classroom was allowed for the teacher…
Me and Jacueline outside our door. WC and shower behind the door to the right.
Leon from Turkey in the middle. Don’t remember the names of those two girls.
Jacueline from Marocco who I shared a room with.
Horshat Tal, nearby park.
Click on a picture to see a larger version and to get a regular slideshow. Hover over a picture to see a comment. Quality is not all that good as these pictures are scanned from very old and partly destroyed slides.
From Russia with Love… or what I brought home from the trip to the Soviet Union that J. and I did in 1985. Gorbachov was the new leader then and the Soviet union was getting somewhat friendlier. That did not mean we were not supervised and checked during our trip through the the Soviet Union. The supervising was at times felt. Our tour leader almost got thrown into jail because he was drunk after a dinner we had and said stupid things. In russian… They had at the time a no tolerance law against public drunkenness.
We were doing the Transiberian Railway trip. Flew from Stockholm to Moscow. Were in Moscow a couple of days. It was summer. Moscow was – to my surprise – beautiful. And my more interesting than I hade expected. Yes, we were at the Red Square. No, we did not visit the mausoleum of Lenin. Moscow and surrounding (when being transported around with the tour bus) was the only place were you could buy some souvenirs. That has probably changed a lot since.
Then we went onto the Transiberian Railway from Moscow to Irkutsk where we went off the train for a busride to the Bajkal Lake. From Irkutsk we continued by plane to Tashkent. Interesting town. And big. We walked and walked and walked on those straight wide streets they built after an earth quake that destroyed a lot of the town. I remember that we got the above embroidered thing in a theater we visited to watch local folk dances. From Tashkent we flew via Alma Ata (just transit) on to Samarkand.
Samarkand was fantastic. Really interesting. We had three days there. That was during the time when the Russians were leaving Afghanistan. They passed through Samarkand in their way out.
When we came to Samarkand there were vegetable salads at the hotel for the first time during the entire trip. We all ate salads. We all got stomach problems just about the time we were to fly back to Moscow (on the most rackety plane I’ve ever been… everything was loose on it…). That is, all but me. I didn’t get it until back in Moscow. And very mildly too. J. wasn’t all that affected either. In fact, we were the only ones standing on our legs the next day. Tours were cancelled and we had the day to ourselves. So we went on the underground inte central Moscow all by ourselves. Now and then there was need for a WC. And yes, I’ve visited the ones in the wall around the Red Square… Very clean.
After we came home, we were home for about five days. Made laundry, got well and then went off again to the former Yugoslavia and to Ulçinj in Montenegro. We felt we needed some sun and warmths that summer too. That was the year of visits to countries that no longer exist in the names they had then. Much has happened since.
I love the things the Soviets did and sold as souvenirs. They are all handmade. Above two painted colored and lacquered wooden boxes for small things, two silver chains, one with a hand painted flower decoration on glass, one with a flower-patterned charm that you can open and put a picture inside, one pill-box with glass mosaic in the lid and a wooden brosch, hand-painted.
If you are interested in our trip with the Transiberian Railway, there are photos on my old website here. Mind though that the site is undergoing re-build and that I will be exchanging the photos for bigger versions when I do. It was done for much smaller screens and really out-dated techniques so the images are very small. Some of the navigation also doesn’t work as supposed to.
I worked and lived in Israel for about seven (7) years of my life over the period 1963–1974. In the beginning I worked at different kibbutzim (I’ve picked most kinds of fruit…) around Israel like all scandinavians who went there at the time. Later I lived in Tel Aviv and worked at two different travel agencies.
Tel Aviv is a modern town, awake 24/24 all days of the week. I love Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv has changed a lot over the years since I first visited in 1963. The above image from Yafo towards the north of Tel Aviv is from 2006 when I last visited. I am sure the skyline has changed again since. The town was unusually deserted in September 2006 because of the recently finished Lebanon crisis. It was uncertain for a long time if I at all would be able to go to Israel. But crisis finished and I could go.
I miss Tel Aviv a lot. The heat, the dust, the crowds, the crowded beaches, and the sea, the food, the people. Tel Aviv has a beautiful beach. Long and well equipped with lots of restaurants and coffeehouses along the beach front. I also miss some of my friends from then. I don’t miss the constant security checks every time when you go into a shop, a cinema or a restaurant, but you get used to them. Unfortunately they are necessary.
Tel Aviv today is huge. It has grown both to the south and the north and inland.
But I still love it. And I DO miss the proximity to the sea.