The day has finally arrived. At 2130 UTC on the Tuesday, 08 June 2004, I will board El-Al Israel Airlines flight 318 from London to Tel Aviv, with the intention of meeting my girlfriend in Acre.
Not having met her in person before, instead choosing to opt for the so-far easier and more discreet route of either talking on the internet or running up huge international phone bills, it is no exaggeration to say, I am incredibly worried about the prospect of seeing her for the first time, but more so, the strong possibility of ultimately having to make love to her. The usual problems apply in this situation. What if she is ugly? What if I am ugly? Do I smell? Should I use contraception? What if I go limp just before?
There also remains the additional concern of being kidnapped by the Mossad, getting blown up on the bus, and receiving an Israeli stamp in my passport.
On the up side, I've almost finished frugally packing my single, Spartan backpack with a few unremarkable items of clothing and basic essentials (computer equipment, copies of The Independent and so forth). We intend to go shopping in Acre or maybe Haifa for additional supplies of clothing if required. Securing a news stand that sells international papers (in other words, The Independent), and Haaretz, will be a very high priority, as well as securing somewhere to stay for the week. I do not know yet if she intends to stay with me, if she would prefer to stay in another room, or even if she intends simply to stay home.
Back here, I still have yet to receive my postal voting form from the postal voting form people, so unless it arrives tomorrow, I might have to arrange for someone to mark a big 'X' next to Liberal Democrats on my ballot and mail it on my behalf. So far it seems, the postal ballot scheme has been on the whole, a complete farce, though by British bureaucracy standards, it's been a resounding success!