The buses from Nazareth to Tel-Aviv are sly dogs. Depending on who you ask there are either: no buses, only one bus a day (that had already left at 5.30am) or a complete denial of the existence of Tel-Aviv and buses in general.
We inquired at a bus ticket office, even asked a bus driver himself. And were met with universal ignorance. That was until we came across a tourist information office. Within less than a minute we had a map, a location and a bus number. The bus stop was 200 metres away and departs every 30 minutes.
So we got to Tel-Aviv two and a half hours later in the early afternoon of 30th December. We had sorted out staying at an air bnb flat in a Tel-Aviv suburb next to a large park. The flat listing on the website was notable for the absence of any phone number or house number. All we had was a street name and had told Duncan (who had left earlier in the morning) to put a towel over the gate.
At first we attempted to acquire a taxi but were put off by the fee. Couldn’t find any place to get a map so with nothing better to do we hopped on a bus to take us to the park. My hebrew wasn’t up to scratch so a kind lady tried to help us, but we ended up more confused as she proceeded to deny the existence of this park (Ha-Yarkon park – the biggest in Tel-Aviv).
So we trundled along to the terminus where we met a man with an iPhone who kindly showed us that we were about 3/4km from our destination at the wrong end of the park.
But being the adventurous types, Jessie and i decided to walk. Along the main road and then we cut across the park and got lost again.
Jessie had a brainwave and emptied her entire bag in the middle of a car park to look for a map which turned out not to be there.
After nearly three hours we ambushed a man and his son who were just coming out of their apartment block and asked for help. He told us we were still quite far away so offered to drive us.
“So do you have a house number or telephone or anything?” he asked.
“No just the street name.”
“That’s an interesting way to travel,” he replied.
He dropped us off and, pointing to one end of the street said, “I suggest you start down there, good luck.”
We paced the length of the street several times to no avail. No hanging towels or nothing.
“it’s all getting a bit Love Actually, we might have to start carol singing,” I mentioned in a moment of post-festive gaiety.
In desperation Jessie went into a small grocery store to find someone with a smartphone. The owner instantly downed his tools and ran out of the now unattended store gesturing for me to run after him. He told me he had met two British guys staying here the week before. He knew the address and it was close by.
I went and rang the doorbell but no reply. Motivated by weary fed-up-ness, Jessie crept up the side stairs and knocked on the top-floor door hesitantly.
The door opened and it was Duncan.