Tel Aviv: I know we’ve only just met, but I think I’m in love.

I’ve just arrived in Tel Aviv as I have a meeting tomorrow. As you do.

I’m on a different planet. I’m sitting outside a lovely food place in Tel Aviv, very tired and a little overwhelmed. And my wine just arrived, delivered by an achingly cool hipster.

I can see people’s skin – legs in shorts, ladies in dresses. Bare arms. The occasional chap without a shirt.

Confident women in heels, sunglasses, fitted clothing – walking. Owing the street. I vaguely remember what that feels like – but it was from a different life.

In my view, on this corner just down from the ocean, I can see no poverty, no suffering, no disease. The contrast is impossible. I feel silly for having such a strong response to watching the world go by from a café, but there it is.

Thank you Tel Aviv: thank you for enabling me to blend in and simply disappear. No one stares, no one notices, no one intrudes. I have forgotten what this feels like. I don’t need to be on guard.

I’m trying to feel normal. I’m trying to get used to feeling comfortable. I’m seeing other people’s normal. And I want it for myself. I haven’t had this for far too long. The language may be different, but in my heart these few hours have been entirely Melbourne.

David Bowie is playing – he is singing that we can be heroes, just for one day. We can be in love, but for the shortest time. I have two days to be in love.

It’s going to be hard to face Dhaka after this. But I’ll worry about that when on on my way home. After Amsterdam, after Istanbul. Not now.   Dhaka’s monsoon, Ramadan, and everything else is just so far away from this reality.




David Bowie – Heroes

I, I wish you could swim

Like the dolphins

Like dolphins can swim


Though nothing, nothing will keep us together

We can beat them, forever and ever

Oh, we can be heroes just for one day


I, I will be King

And you, you will be Queen

Though nothing will drive them away

We can be heroes just for one day

We can be us just for one day


I, I can remember

Standing by the wall

And the guns, shot above our heads

And we kissed, as though nothing could fall


And the shame, was on the other side

Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever

Then we could be heroes just for one day


We can be heroes

We can be heroes

We can be heroes just for one day

We can be heroes