Saturday, April 28, 2007

Israel: The Wishing Bridge

The sun's gone in - it must be global warming - so here I am again, writing at speed as muzak tinkles in the background. My young artist friend Fish asked about Bauhaus in Tel Aviv: some very fine limestone buildings have been restored but too many left to flake away, resembling the surface of a pale, barnacled groyne. I hadn't realised that the state contributes nothing to save these '20s gems: it's all down to private investment.

Meanwhile, parts of the original city are being bulldozed and replaced by gleaming tower blocks that will rapidly tarnish in the hot salty air. My favourite quarter, Florentine, still draws the artists and bohemians - spiritually twinned with Goa perhaps - but what a wreck. In any other place decrepitude would signify urban decay and crime. Here, it is a victory against development.

While I think of it, I can highly recommend Tel Aviv as a holiday destination for all-girl getaways. You can walk about all hours unmolested. No drunken yobs with their hairy stinking cracks, their tabloid-shaped psyches, their criminal tattooes.

Went to the old city of Jaffa, largely Arab, to its leisure park overlooking the Tel Aviv shoreline curvature below and its Wishing Bridge marked all the way across with the 12 signs of the zodiac. You place your hand on your sunsign, look out to sea and make a wish. It doesn't work. So this time I made a demand as I gazed seaward, hand on Gemini, and introduced a penalty clause. Next time a wish is not fulfilled I am returning with dynamite.

Off to Haifa later today and a spa hotel.


Ms Baroque said...

Let's hope it works this time!

You could try hedging your bet with a wish on your rising sign - maybe wish for a pacific nature...

Arcati said...

A pacific nature! I am an Atlantean, my sweet.