That week between Christmas and New Year’s was a blur of activities. We awakened after our evening with the Magician’s son, said our goodbyes, and went to Tel Aviv to visit and stay with our friend, Daniel.
Daniel, a journalist, was once featured in a LIFE magazine article about the “Six-Day War.” Having met him through Rainbow, we knew him as a pivotal contributor to the family. Daniel is a wealth of knowledge and a beautiful soul. We hung out with him, listening to his interesting stories of the history and life in Israel.
When we arrived, we met Peter and Karen who were already at Daniel’s, preparing for their return to England to get married. Together, we made a day trip north to Omadamah, the tipi village in the mountains. I think it was to return some tipi poles. Offa, Daniel, and some others had founded the tipi village, but Offa was not too keen on having it overrun with too many people. Before returning to Daniel’s, Peter and I buried a pipe made from a bone of some kind in the rocky land. He said this pipe had spiritual meaning and needed to stay in Israel.
Returning to Tel Aviv and Daniel’s, Peter parked their “Big Blue Whale” of a van nearby Daniel’s flat, leaving the keys with him. Peter and Karen offered us the possibility of staying in their van while they returned to England to get married. We thanked them for the offer, but we were also preparing to leave for India in the next few days.
I remember Donna and I walking down to the water’s edge a few times, admiring the Bauhaus buildings Tel Aviv is so famous for. Bauhaus’ core objective was a radical concept: to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts. Clean lines, simple, useful shapes with little or no decoration, primary colors, and the rational use of modern materials such as glass, concrete, and steel characterize Bauhaus designs. Tel Aviv is a lovely city.
We had been advised of a “bucket shop” selling “cheap tickets” to India. After a short bus ride into the city and a walk down tree-lined streets, we found the shop and bought a pair of one-way tickets. They weren’t so cheap, but we would leave soon after the New Year. We would arrive in India with only $600 in our pocket and no ticket out. We didn’t know where or when we would go after India.
Although we were fortunately not near it or involved in any way except being shocked by the news, a bus was blown up by a suicide bomber in the city while we were there. We rode buses. It’s strange and scary to think that at any moment, someone could choose to blow themselves and everyone around them to pieces. It must be unnerving to live with knowing that this could easily happen to you or someone you know at any moment.
My other memory of this city is that it had the best falafels! The stands had an enormous variety of salads and vegetables to put on your falafel. One could ‘graze’ for hours if one was so inclined.
Someone invited us to experience a kibbutz, even if it would only be for one night. We drove out to the apparently famous Ramat David kibbutz. Some founders of the Kibbutz movement in Israel were influenced by the ideals of Ancient Sparta. It is a voluntary society in which people live in accordance with a specific social contract based on egalitarian and communal principles in a social and economic framework. The land was desert, with a few reclaimed patches of green around the buildings. Even though there were approximately 500+ residents, we met only a handful of people. We ate dinner in the cafeteria and were off to bed early. All in all, it was not impressive. I suppose if we were part of the community, it could be different. As outsiders, we were not a part of it. We were apart from it.
Rainbow Warrior meets Rainbow Warriors
At some point, we rejoined the circus passing through Haifa for an afternoon. They had come to perform and donate the proceeds to Greenpeace’s “Rainbow Warrior II.” This vessel was a three-masted schooner that replaced the original “Rainbow Warrior” that the French intelligence service (DGSE) bombed in 1985 in the Port of Auckland, New Zealand, which sank the ship. Being open to the public, Donna went aboard to take photos of us performing on the dock below. As I juggled three clubs of fire, a woman from the ship asked Donna, “Where did these people come from?”
“They are part of a group called Rainbow,” Donna replied.
“I didn’t know that people like this still existed,” the woman said, surprised!
New Year’s Party
Many of the Rainbow performers would be going to a New Year’s party and jam. The party was at an art and technology village on a hill outside of Haifa with round-shaped buildings. Miss Guitara was becoming unglued and falling apart at the seams. Someone said, “They have the resources to fix her.” So, we followed along.
It was dark when we arrived, but we could see the large round buildings and, beyond, the lights of Haifa. I was introduced to an artist that worked with wood, and before long, Miss Guitara was glued and clamped with large wood vices. Donna and I mingled with the locals snacking and drinking. We met several other musicians, many playing drums and percussion, who began to get the music of the party started.
I wasn’t sure what to do because my guitar was a jumble of awkward clamps jutting out in all directions. Nonetheless, I plugged up my Zoom effects and my amp to the guitar. Straddling the clamps, I found a position from which I could play, and we made rhythmic, spacey music into the 1995 new year. 1994 had been a year full of adventures and wonderful memories. We had faith that this next year was going to be amazing.
After the New Year’s party, we returned to Daniel’s in Tel Aviv and prepared to go to India. We returned our backpacks and gear to Shannon and Davey’s in the US. Inserted into the middle of one of the backpacks, Donna’s Rainstick was carefully wrapped in clothes for its protection. We opted to bring Miss Guitara along since music is such a key to opening the doors and hearts of the locals.
On the 4th of January, we went to the airport, where we met many Israeli friends who were also leaving for India. Excitedly, we made our way through the winding path that led to check-in, customs, and, finally, the gate to the plane. We took our seats, settling in for the long ride. The aircraft was scheduled for a “brief layover in Cairo, Egypt” before continuing to Bombay. Or so we thought.
Next: Proper Conduct