345.January 21

Acco, Israel

The City of the Dead was a lovely place. How can we look at death as terrible if it happens now, but still want to play around in the rooms where dead decay. The sarcophagi were impressively built. Did they want to please the gods, or honor your corpse or was it something to show your relatives and friends before you died. Look, this is our dining room. You want to see my grave next? It could be that, it seems likely, since they bought their graves early on. When people died earlier, in the stone age, what did they do it for? I think maybe so other people did not argue over who got what, they just tossed it all in with the body. Okay, that doesn't explain much.

Acco was the first place that I was a little afraid. I guess I might have been upon arrival to Israel at first, but after the US attack on Iraq, going into a Moslem area was frightening. I knew that they probably wouldn't throw stones. Avvi wouldn't have thought of bringing us if there was a chance. But I was expecting some hostility.

Winding through the tunnels and shops, I wanted to get out of there, but the waterfront was beautiful. The crusader stuff was not great, but the sea was. I did not like the jail much. That is all it was, a jail. That is what castles are. (The source told me that.)

In retrospect of the time I spent in Acco, I remember it to be one of the most colorful places that we visited. The shops were wonderful, I wanted to get some silk scarves and jewelry and a strange sitar. The children walking around, led by a kindergarten teacher with an automatic weapon was funny, not scary. The high apartments, with clothing hanging from window to window, built like lone blocky towers that had mysteriously leaned against each other in places, there was much variation in shape, both because of style and amount that had been ruined. It looked like a dusty city, but an ancient dust that I would never think to disgrace by wiping it off. I saw a fisherman along the coast in yellow gear that typified the ideal fisherman in all ways for me. As in all old cities like this, I am upset by all attempts to build on to the city.


London, UK

Becca and I took the train to London to meet Mike, Joe, Jim and Pete. We would spend the night in Jim's room. They were staying at the Imperial Hotel in Russell Square. Pete and I went down to the Hotel Bar for a Jameson. We drank wine in their room and collapsed to sleep.


I have one more paper done with, and one left, due on Monday. If I did not tell you, my proposal to direct 'Lysistrata' was accepted and the arduous task of getting the ball rolling is really starting now. I must block it and not to mention cast the thing. I will have help, but I have a lot of my own ideas to sort out first. Next weekend, however, I will take a break and go to Amsterdam for the weekend with a bus load of students that I do not know to stay in a hotel together and tour the city.It will be my first time this year on the continent.