Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday 6.10 p.m.
We arrived in Cyprus this afternoon and I went ashore in a small boat as there is no proper harbour in Limasol, the port. It is a very interesting place, 95% ramshackle, old houses and shops and the other 5% would put anything in Upper Park Road to shame. It was boiling hot but we enjoyed walking around and seeing nothing but British cars, merchandise and firms, in fact everything is British. The post boxes are inscribed GR and cars go on the left. One shop has displayed "Representatives of Boots". Everything is amazingly cheap, but I could only get a few shillings of the local currency and had to content myself with apples at 6d per pound and grapes at 4d per pound. The biggest excitement of all will come, of course, tomorrow when at 7a.m. we arrive at Haifa. I am thrilled when I think of it.
Yom Daled Yeshivas Chevron, Rehov Hagai Yerushlaim IHK. BEH"Y, Omar Rebbe Yochanan - Kol Hamehalech Daled Amos Be’Eretz Yisroel Muvtach Shehoo Ben Olam Habo.
To continue where I left off – we were up very early next morning (Tuesday) and as it became light we got our first glimpse. You can imagine the excitement. The boat docked at Haifa at 7.30 but until all the formalities were completed a lot of time went and I only got off the boat at nine. Meanwhile, by shouting over the side I spoke for a minute to Mr S. (an acquaintance of my grandfather) who had managed to get into the harbour but not on board. He gave me his address and sent regards to Zeide and everyone. Then came the Customs... They opened each and went through it piece by piece. Arguments and arguments. When they discovered the [suiting] material all my protests were of no avail. I went to see the chief and argued again, but it was no use. I had to pay 17 Israeli Pounds. I also had to pay something on the toys and 17 pounds on Shtraamel Shvensen, but I’ll get that back [from the sender].
After finishing with them on leaving the harbour I met SL [a friend from Gateshead learning in Mir] who had come to meet me but had been unable to get into the harbour. He then saw to the matter of arguing with the taxi drivers etc and in another half an hour we were off to Tel Aviv where we changed cars. How wonderful it is to drive across the country seeing orange groves, banana plantations, and the actual wonderful beauty of the countryside. On the road signposts with such familiar names as Bne Braq, Rishon LeTzion helped to convince one that one really is in EY. I don't feel it properly yet, but I suppose and hope it will grow on me. Tel Aviv is Tel Aviv, boiling and nothing else but blocks of flats and shops with little taam. Yiddishkeit is not in great evidence. Half way between T.A. and Yerushlaim we begin climbing the Horay Yehudah. Scars from the [Independence] War are still noticeable. It begins to get somewhat cooler and suddenly were are in Yerushalaim. It does not take long by car to get through. We drove straight to Yeshivas Chevron where I am at the moment.
I shall end this letter now and write more later. Write to me at Chevron please.