More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 89

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills: A half-life in journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

TEL Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport is a modern and, to all intents and purposes, efficient entry point for international visitors to Israel.

The entrance from the tarmac is more like that of a swish Hilton – up an expansive flight of steps to a marble-floored, palm-fringed arrivals hall.

But then there are, like everywhere else, those inevitable lines of silent supplicants for entry.

A bank of uniformed young Israeli women perused passports.

Eyes and fingers sped over the pages and tapped the keys on the terminal. The operation was repeated. I could swear the eyebrows were raised and any trace of welcome on her visage had been replaced by a glance of bemused appraisal.

“Your first time in Israel?” “No,” I admitted.

“Purpose of your visit?” “Holiday.”