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ISRAEL | Wednesday, 26 August 2009 | Views [746]

26/08/2009

Petah Tikva.

And so, it begins again.  What would i have to write about if there were no drama's, hey?  After a hellishly long flight, i arrived at Tel Aviv airport LATE monday evening.  With Adi awaiting me outside customs, i was itching to get my bag and get out.  After spending over 27 hours either in a terminal or on a plane, i was hanging for some real, non-air conditioned air and (i know it doesn't go with the clean air) a cigarette.  But, as usual, the arrival hall was slowly emptying out, and my bag had still not arrived.  My bag always seems to come out last, so i wasn't too worried, simply agitated, and dying to get outside.  And yet, the bags stopped arriving, and mine was still not amongst them.  Mmmm.  I wandered over to the baggage counter, where a lovely gentleman asked my name.  

"Ah, Mr Hennig.  Yes your bag didn't make it onto the plane - it is still in Hong Kong."    Damn.  "Simply fill out this form and we will send it to you when it arrives."

Sounded easy.  After wading my way through the paperwork, i turned on my phone to get Didi's mobile number out as a contact.  To my surprise, it locked onto a local network, and started beeping with messages.  All from a worried Didi who had watched everyone from that flight exit; all bar me!  I finished the paperwork, went to customs to get it signed, ran back to the baggage counter, handed it in, was presented with a small overnight toiletries bag to cover my loss, and told i should see it tomorrow.  Great!  With only a single set of spare clothes on me, that was welcome news!

So, i wandered out through customs, to find my beautiful lady awaiting me..  Almost in tears, and thinking i had missed my flight somehow, wow was she happy once i emerged!  We enjoyed a brief reunion, before heading out into the 28 degree heat (yes, it was 12:30am by now, but still 28) to find Gavriel (Gabby), her father.  So very happy to meet me at last, i felt at home the second he grabbed me in a big bear hug!  A long story that some of you may know, is that Didi lost her license last week - hence her father having to come to pick me up.  Since he works from about 7am till midnight, i was extremely grateful for it.

But anyway, this is all beside the point.  It is now Wednesday, and still nobody knows where my bag is.  I just had El Al airlines call again to ask what my bag looks like.  Yes that's right, the baggage number is not enough, and they seem to be clutching at straws now.  What colour is it?  Are there any identifying marks?  Ra ra ra ra ra.  I have even called Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, who said to keep chasing it with El Al.  I have a very bad feeling about this...  I am now wearing Gabby's clothes, and wondering if i will ever see my stuff again!  I am now wishing i had covered ALL of my belongings on my insurance.  I only put down my trusty eee PC.  Not the peripherals, not my camera, not any of the other shit in there.  Damn!!!  Of all the countries i have visited, i have only flown into a western country a couple of times.  Once to Italy, and now to Israel.  Both times, my bags have disappeared!  I have flown into some very poor and seemingly disorganised countries - Vietnam, India, Nepal, Zambia, Sri Lanka - never have my bags been lost.  Yet here i am, for the second time, with nothing but what i am wearing.  At least this time i have somewhere to stay.  My Italian adventure saw me sleeping on a beach in Sorrento for a night...

So, apart from my baggage woes, i have done not much but sleep.  Meeting all of Didi's family has been a blast, and i feel not only accepted, but at home.  Family here is always the number one priority, and the warmth being extended to me is amazing.  Regardless of my lack of Hebrew, we seem to be able to communicate well enough - firstly because their english is so much better than my Hebrew, and secondly because Adi is such a good translator!  Bagless or not, i am here and happy.  And today the exploring begins - Adi and i are off to Tel Aviv for the day.  Beach, sun, cafe's and fun..  I am excited!  In my mish mash of borrowed clothes, i am ready to take on the city...

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