When I arrived in Israel in June of 1995, I had no idea that one, I would be spending five months past the time I planned. Two, falling for a solider in the IDF, and three almost being a direst witness to one of the worst events in Middle East and the world history.
First lets start with the pleasant part of my arrival.
When I first landed, I didn’t plan on doing anything special. This was just another trip, that I’ve taking many times before. I planned on visiting friends, hanging out and relaxing in my hotel. You see, this was the last trip in my leg this vacation. I’ve already been to France, Italy and Greece months before.
My cousin was with me this trip. In fact this was her first trip overseas. She met me in Greece my last week there and we both flew to Israel. I warned her that since this was her first trip out of the U.S., that this particular part of the world would be a serious cultural shock. This wasn’t England. LOL!
But the trooper that she is, she joined me anyway. When we arrived, she was wide eyed. I told her to stay with me and don’t go venturing off. This was my tenth trip there.
After we rested in the hotel and watch some Israeli television, we headed out. It was night, and I wanted to hit a certain club.
Once there, my cousin let loose. She said a club is a club. Well, she got me there. But here is where things got interesting.
Some soldiers walked in and took a seat. The place was packed, so a few sat near us. My cousin and I noticed a few of the men were real cute, and they were a bit flirtatious. My cousin decided to act out. She leaned over and asked one the guys, “Hey would you like go to the Wailing Wall?” They laughed, I pretend not to know her, but it was funny.
When I turned around, I noticed another soldier staring me down. I wondered if he heard my cousin and didn’t think that was too funny. Instead he smiled at me.
Did I mention that he was drop dead gorgeous?
Black curly hair, olive skin, black eyes will killer lashes and a face that could turn heads.
When I smiled back, he took that as an invitation I guess, and came over to my table. He said something in Hebrew to one of the other soldiers and he got up. Cutie took his seat. I knew then that this man not only knew the others, but was important.
He looked at me and asked me in his best English with a strong accent, was I with anyone, a man. I told him no, just my cousin. He smiled even harder. He said he thought I was pretty and what was I doing in Israel. He knew I was a tourist.
I told him how I traveled and how I always came here every year. He thought that was interesting, He asked how I liked it, then corrected himself, saying I must love it since I come here every year. We laughed.
He said he would ask me to dance, but he was bit tied down.
Did I mention he had what looked like an AK47 strapped across him and a blade that looked like it could cut through the hide of an elephant on his hip? The IDF is no joke, and I will get to that in another chapter.
Anyway, he gave me his number. He said he wasn’t going to ask for mine, cause he knew how some women were wary. I thought that was nice. After we talked some more, he turned to the other group of soldiers and said something. They all got up. He looked at me and smiled again, and said “Call me”.
My cousin came back to the table after dancing. She said she saw the whole thing. She was like “Who was that?” I told her his name and that he wanted me to call him.
And I did. I called him the next morning. Of course he forgot to tell me I had to jump through hoops because of who and what he was. But when he came to the phone he was happy to hear from me. He said he had some time off and he wanted to meet me in a public place to have lunch and he would show me around, even though I’ve been there before. But he said he wanted to spend as much time with my as possible.
And that’s where this chapter ends. Chapter two will talk about our first date.