Any self-respecting social media user knows or has used the popular hashtag #TBT better known as Throw Back Thursday. I always wondered why they choose a Thursday to remember a time that has gone by. Does the pre-excitement of closing off a week make it the perfect day for remembering the past? Or is it a day where social media peeps generally don’t have much to do other than scrolling through their photo folders? Or am I overthinking things? Most of the posts I see are ‘old’ selfies of a couple of months ago, beautified with whatever beautifying app is en vogue this month. Of course there are the serious #TBT artists amongst us who actually go through shoeboxes filled with photographs (printed on photopaper, made with a fototustel) to find that perfect moment to throw back.
I wanted to have my own throw back moment but rather than polished selfies or abdominal transformations, I decided to do a throw back on travel. It is a throw back that leads me to the times gone by, reminding me about lamentations and recklessness, wonderment and discovery, overcoming the fear of the unknown and about having dreams and foolishly trying to fulfill them (and yes, I am overthinking things again!).
I dug up my old shoeboxes and found the negatives from a nearly forgotten era. It was a massive effort for the Fuji guys to digitize these brown strips of see through foil paper but boy oh boy, how I rejoiced when modern technology and a CD-rom allowed me to transport myself back to one of my fondest memories.
Today’s TBT is dedicated to the place I have stayed the longest in my early days of travel. My first time Israel was the result of a cheap Eilat diving package impulse-buy. My knowledge of the Hebrew language was as elaborate as a pocket dictionary and I made my way around with sign language and a worn out map. I also kept large amount of coins for long-distance phonebooth calls in case an emergency or loneliness strikes. Fortunately I did not have to spend that many coins because people were generally helpful, nice, outgoing and incredibly inquisitive. To originate from Indonesia was such a unique concept to most Israeli, who only knew Asians in the form of Filipinos or Chinese, that I often ended up explaining where I am from and why I am here.
The Israelis are the ones that struck memost about traveling in Israel. Not the Dead Sea mud bath or the birth place of Jesus but the incredibly rich mixture of people, origins and conflicts, maneuvering their lives and existence in that tiny strip of land. As most throw-backs, I thoroughly relived every moment of it and looking at these old pictures of more than 10 years ago I can only wish to return and create some materials that my children can throw-back one day. Via their Google Glass phones. Or Neuro-transmitting Apps on brainchips. Or via time machines.