The happy hippy experience

True love in Tiberias
When I arrived in this hostel in Tiberias by the lake, the English girl in this picture was blocking the corridor to my room with numerous pots of paint, with which she was decorating the door and - unwittingly - considerable parts of herself. She and her 17-year old Swiss boyfriend had been living in one of these igloish huts in the garden for quite a while, paying for their stay by doing odd jobs in the hostel. They had adopted a tiny orphaned dog, which they had to hide from the owner.

He was from a mountain village and had never been abroad before: 'In the beginning, while walking through Tel Aviv, I greeted everyone I met because that's what I used to do at home.' She was a couple of years older, from ritzy London, but had got rid of her airs, bottles of make-up and moisturiser and even lived in an orchard for a couple of weeks on nothing but apples and figs. 'You don't need all that shit', she testified.
We cooked our meals together in the hostel-kitchen, I bought bottles of wine and stronger stuff that we drank in the evening with local weirdos on the central city lawn and one night went swimming under the stars in the marina, between all the yachts moored along the expensive waterfront bars. They were pennyless, and you could not even get a free swim in the lake entirely legally, as the shore around town was plastered with luxury beach resorts.
This happy hippy experience quickly acquired a quality of eternal bliss in memory, though in fact it lasted only three or four days. The day I said goodbye and went back to Jerusalem, by chance I met her once again at the bus-station, alone except for the little dog that she carried in her clothes. She had no milk or proper food for the poor creature, and I was suddenly convinced it wouldn't survive. She told me something she hadn't told her boyfriend yet: that she was going to leave too, soon. 'He loves me, and I like him very much, but he is very young.'she explained.
I happened to return to Israel and Tiberias a few years later, and with some difficulty found the street were the hostel was. It was no longer there; just a flattened heap of debris, waiting to be finally blown away by a new shockwave of urban upgrading.