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By Agi Geva

The places I am longing to see again. There is a different longing for a place you know—to be able to visit any time you decide to. The longing is even greater when you know for sure not to see that place again. The reason is the danger of flying while having three stents in my heart with instructions not to get on a plane again. 

I would not allow myself to let my fantasy roam and/or dream to revisit … . What I should do is remember and write about it, without the longing. The question is, how?

I would like to see the city Haifa again, where I spent more than 40 years. The first time I saw Haifa was from a boat coming from Marseille. It was breathtaking! 

Then the city Tel Aviv, where I spent 12 years, became my city in every way. I adopted it and it adopted me! I have mostly good memories. I was always on the move. Every minute not spent out of the house was a wasted minute. There was so much to see, to attend, and to do! Mostly every place was within walking distance: the center of the city, the seashore, the parks, the theater. 

Most of all, I liked the time spent with my grandchildren, Moran and Oren. I was there because of them, for them. They visited a lot; we did a lot. All the years I had spent in Haifa, I saw them only for short periods. Now at last we could spend endless time together! And we did. 

Haifa is very different. It has a lot of things that Tel Aviv does not. It has a view that no other city has. That view is breathtaking from everywhere you look at it. The higher you climb, the more you see of the sea and of the city beneath: the bay and the opposite shore and the suburbs. 

Downtown you can smell fresh pita bread, fish, and herbs. You sense the taste of the Middle East.

The exciting sounds are in Tel Aviv—the noise of a big city. Loud voices in different languages. Plus cars and buses. The whole day people keep on yelling: “Taxi!”

When you see almost everyone carrying at least three newspapers under one arm, a huge watermelon under the other one, and sunflower seeds in their hand, you know for sure that it is Friday! 

There is a saying in Israel: “In Haifa you work, in Jerusalem you study, and in Tel Aviv you have fun!” 

Well, these are facts. Not longing.

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