Thursday, February 26, 2009

My first Over Seas Trip : Hong Kong - Tel Aviv


Wednesday 12th July 1978

Today was hectic. We went to the Far Eastern Broadcasting Co.  (FEBC). A Christian broadcasting Co. that we learned about in Bible college who send signals into all the countries that can't receive the Gospel by normal means and many of those who can.

We than went and had lunch and then off to the airport. The security there is like I've never seen. It's nice to know I live in a country that faces none of these threats. (how things change).

The flight to Tel Aviv was mostly smooth but with some turbulence. The staff on the plain were really good to us and their French accents had me fascinated, it's not what I was expecting going to Israel.

This is the sort of plain we flew in from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv. We stopped at Bangkok, Dali and Tehran.

What did we see? Well in Bangkok we saw the departure lounge and we were so inspired by that that we stayed on board for the other stops. Not that we were given a choice. It was a long flight despite the good service.

The mention of Tehran reminds me. When we first arrived in Hong Kong we decided to change our destinations a little. We had an around the world ticket so it was a simple matter as long as we stayed inside our mileage. We had had some advice just before we left that it would be very expensive in Zurick without contacts and that Rome would be much more interesting for Mum.

We went to the travel agent  and explained what we wanted to do. After about 20 minutes of watching the young girl flitter around from computer to computer doing calculations we asked what was a problem. The Girl said "You may have to pay the difference".

This alarmed us because of the nature of our tickets and we were sure it was wrong. It turned out that because of our Australian accents the girl had thought we had wanted to go back to Tehran which is about 2000 miles backwards.

Australians are very proud of our egalitarian lifestyle and attitude and generally couldn't care less if people thought our speech was considered lower class. As we travel we found that every body loved our accents. It became particularly useful where British or Americans were not welcome, but this was the first time we discovered that sometimes it did create communication issues and it paid to speak more upper class.

Tel Aviv Thursday 13th July 1978
Tel Aviv itself struck me as being much like St Kilda in Melbourne. Lots of units and close living only a bit more stark. None of the buildings to speak of are painted and all have flat roofs.

Tempers are a little high with the temperature and trying to sleep on the plain. And the money situation is very confusing. Some want to be paid in US dollars and not in their own currency.

It's interesting to see soldiers walking around the street fully armed. We were stopped this morning when the airport was searched for some reason.

Ed note: funny, when we got back home months latter we were often asked if we felt unsafe in Israel. We had to say that we actually felt safer there than we did in some of the European countries. Our safety never actually crossed our mind.



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