Saturday, 24 May 2014

Wednesday 28th May, 1986. Kickstarting a love of kibbutz with a head full of dreams and a nylon rucksack.

Wednesday 28th May, 1986.
I was a mixed up 18 year old, an art school drop out with an urge to travel, about to board a flight to Israel with a bunch of strangers.
I had a head full of dreams, and hair full of ribbons and lace, an ode to Boy George, my Art School hero.
And a Walkman with the only four cassettes that would fit into my bulging rucksack.
These would become the soundtrack of my first year abroad - Adam Ant, Culture Club, Madonna and Bowie's Aladdin Sane.
I had impeccable taste!

Of the twelve in our group just five were travelling solo, and it was daunting.
And my first flight.
In an age where smoking was still allowed on planes I got a seat in the smoking section at the back, as that was where most of the group were sitting, and it all passed in a hazy blur.
Occasionally religious Jewish men would congregate to pray, and scowl at us from under their large hats.
They didn't like us much!

Arriving at nearly midnight it was still hot, and the humidity high.
Having lost the scowling religious men we were met by the kibbutz van, complete with armed guard!
I'd never been this close to a rifle before, and we hurtled down the windy roads to Jerusalem and Kibbutz Ramat Rachel - me, a bunch of strangers and the man with the gun - for a lightening tour of Jerusalem-by-night, a place which would become all too familiar over the next few years...

Massada at sunrise, my 19th birthday with Fiona Boom. 
Complete with Boy George ribbons and lace under a military beret.

And now, 28 years later, I finally get to see Culture Club live with my 21 year old son!

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