Thursday, August 21, 2008

Saturday 4th May 1940

Weekend leave at Tel Aviv! The party was made up, the money paid in and all arrangements made; yet I didn’t feel convinced that I’d really get away until the special bus had got beyond Nathanya and turned south along the Haifa-Jaffa road!
Eight signallers in the party; Keeble, Samson, Cartwright, Pendlebury, Naden, Stevens, Ling and myself.

Tel-Aviv! Large white city of shops and seaside, cinemas and blocks of luxurious houses; wide, tree lined streets; balconied, shuttered houses. We amused ourselves aimlessly – the promenade, a picture and cafes. Naden, Stevens, Cartwright, Ling and I were together a good deal. We were refused entrance to one café where there was some dancing and a pseudo cabaret act. It was a place of about the same social standards as a Lyons Corner House in London. Officers and civilians only. Yes! We are far below the social stratum of stinking, oily, garlic-eating Jews! How amazing!

Tel Aviv doesn’t sleep early; there were still many people in the streets when I returned to my hotel (The Balfourian, Allenby Road) at 12:30a.m. Stan and I stood smoking on his balcony for a while, looking down on the lighted road below. Allenby Road is, I should imagine, the main road of Tel Aviv. Then I returned to my room and got into bed. Clean, white sheets on the bed; electric light; although the balcony window was wide open, it seemed very warm and I only needed two sheets on the bed – sleep with three blankets at camp. Ah! It was magnificent!

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